Casey: Democrats need to do a better job engaging rural voters

  • Rachel McDevitt

(Susquehanna Township) — Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania says his party needs to do a better job of engaging with rural voters about their challenges, if it hopes to win Pennsylvania and other states in the presidential election.

“We can’t just be the party of cities and suburbs,” Casey said. “If we are, we’re going to lose. You need to be able to get a larger share of those communities and that’s going to be a challenge this year and we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Casey said he endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden because of his character, experience, and plans for the country–and because he thinks Biden has the best chance of winning the Keystone State.

“The harsh reality for Democrats is we have to win Pennsylvania in November. The Republicans don’t,” Casey said. “President Trump could be re-elected without Pennsylvania. President Bush did it twice.”

Biden finished fourth in the Iowa caucuses, behind former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Casey said he plans to campaign with Biden in New Hampshire this weekend ahead of that state’s primary on Tuesday.

Casey spoke during an event in Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County, where he presented a new plan to invest in children’s health care, economic security, education, nutrition, and safety.

He acknowledged it will be a challenge to find support for the plan among his Republican colleagues because of a “substantial divide” in priorities.

He noted the 2017 tax overhaul bill championed by Republicans dropped the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.

“Every point that they dropped it was $100 billion over ten years,” Casey said. “You’re making a conscious choice, every time you drop it a point, to take $100 billion of revenue out of the revenue pool that could be dedicated to children.”

He proposes raise the rate to 28%, which he says would provide money for many of the programs laid out in the plan.

Casey said he hopes his proposal will be a topic for presidential candidates to debate.

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