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Public Statements

Baldwin Says She'll Focus on Heartland Values During Convention Speech

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U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin told "UpFront with Mike Gousha" she'll focus on "heartland values" during her speech to the Democratic National Convention this week.

"I'm going to talk about the Wisconsin that I know, talk about heartland values, basically the strongly held belief that if you work hard and play by the rules you should be able to get ahead," Baldwin said on the program, produced in conjunction with WisPolitics.com.

"And that that's not happening for too many Wisconsinites and too many Americans."

Democratic delegates will nominate the Barack Obama-Joe Biden ticket this week in Charlotte. Republicans met last week in Tampa to back the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket.

Baldwin also painted her GOP rival, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, as one who works on behalf of powerful interests, while saying she has stood up for Wisconsin families.

"It's about whose side you're on," said Baldwin, Madison-area's congresswoman since her election in 1998. "Tommy Thompson has spent this last many years giving access to some of the most powerful moneyed interests in the United States helping them write their own rules.

"I've been fighting for hard-working Wisconsin families making sure there is one set of rules that everyone gets to play by."

She said after Thompson left his public position as Health and Human Services secretary that he "essentially started working for those same interests on the other side."

In contrast, Baldwin said "my record is one of being a fighter and I am not afraid to stand up to those big powerful moneyed interests in Washington that he has worked for in the past few years."

She gave the example of voting against the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999.

"Glass-Steagall told the big investment banks you cannot gamble with people's life savings," she said. "I believe had that still been in effect, we could have averted much of the financial catastrophe that our nation went through."
She also knocked Thompson for supporting an extension of the Bush tax cuts, saying he wants to tax the middle class to pay for it.

Baldwin pointed out she introduced the so-called Buffet Rule, which she said is predicated on the belief that "millionaires and billionaires should pay at least the same tax rate as hard-working middle-class Wisconsin families."

Baldwin, who has been going after Thompson for refusing to release his tax returns as she has, defended the criticism as relevant.

"Tommy Thompson leads his campaign with a call for tax breaks for the top two percent. I think it becomes relevant about how his plans will affect him now that he has become a multi-millionaire since leaving public service," Baldwin said.


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