Reactions are pouring in after The Morning Call reported this morning on Mike Fitzpatrick’s “47%” moment. Speaking to a Tea Party group, Fitzpatrick was recorded telling them that “we need to support people who have a history and know what it is like to sign the front of a paycheck, not the back of a paycheck,” which the PA AFL-CIO said “impl[ies] that people who receive paychecks rather than own businesses are somehow less important to the American economy.”
Fitzpatrick’s Democratic challenger, Kathy Boockvar, said “[i]t’s shocking that Congressman Fitzpatrick would so callously insult the hard working, middle class people who trusted him to represent them in Washington, and his divisive philosophy represents yet another example of why he’s the wrong fit for Bucks and Montgomery counties.”
“As Congresswoman for the 8th district, I will represent all of the people, regardless of what side of the paycheck they sign,” Boockvar added.
Fitzpatrick’s comments fit into Boockvar’s recent campaign narrative that Fitzpatrick isn’t the “right fit” for the district. Her most recent campaign ad hammers this point home.
This is trouble indeed for Rep. Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick is gaining a reputation for saying one thing and doing another. Now, the narrative is changing to “he says one thing to one group, and another thing to another group.”
What will be most interesting is hearing what Rep. Fitzpatrick has to say after a few beers at an event his campaign is calling “Fitz-Tober Fest,” a fundraiser that will take place this Sunday at Belle Crest Farm.
Get a few IPAs into him, maybe get a few SNAFUs out of him.
Until then, here’s the reaction from a variety of activist and labor groups:
In reaction to Fitzpatrick’s remark, Michael Eagle, the District Director of CREDO SuperPA, said “people who sign the backside of paychecks are the backbone of our country,” and “contrary to Fitzpatrick’s beliefs, they deserve our government’s support and respect, at least as much as his wealthy donors and lobbyist friends.”
Eagle added that he’s “not surprised that Congressman Fitzpatrick would show his true self when talking to the Tea Party” given that last April “he told them that President Obama would trade away secrets of national intelligence if he were re-elected.”
Eagle’s group is no stranger to the race for the 8th Congressional District. In fact, for the past five months, CREDO SuperPAC has worked with local activists to make over 70,000 phone calls to “make sure that voters in Bucks and Montgomery Counties know about Fitzpatrick’s Tea Party record.”
The group says that “today’s revelation only solidifies what we already knew: Mike Fitzpatrick cares more about his wealthy donors than his constituents, and is too extreme for Bucks and Montgomery Counties.”
Local organized labor groups are also reacting to Fitzpatrick’s misstep.
Mary Dunne, the President of the Bucks County Central Labor Council, said that the “people who teach your children, stock your shelves and protect your streets receive paychecks and they deserve your respect, Congressman.”
Dunne added that “just because you’re speaking at a private fundraiser, to a tea party crowd, doesn’t mean you can just write off the people who work for a living.”
PA Working Families also jumped into the fray, pointing out in a press statement that “Congressman Fitzpatrick is long-time government employee who has spent most of his career signing the backs of paychecks provided by taxpayers.”
“It shouldn’t matter whether you sign the front or the back of a check, all working people contribute to society,” said Mary Downing, a PA Working Families supporter. “Congressman Fitzpatrick signs the back of a paycheck himself and should not be so quick to judge.”
Bill Rittler, another PA Working Families supporter said that “I signed the back of a paycheck for 40 years. I worked hard my whole life and deserve a congressperson who represents me, regardless of which side of the paycheck I sign.”
“Congressman Fitzpatrick is right about business owners taking big risks,” added Budd Heinz. “But all working people take risks and deserve to be represented in Washington. I’m a cancer survivor who has gone without health insurance. If Congressman Fitzpatrick wants to support Bucks County residents who have taken risks, he could start with the uninsured.”