Jim Mowrer, the Democratic challenger in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District race, spoke at the Des Moines Register Soapbox during the Iowa State Fair. Congressman David Young (R-Iowa) whom Mowrer is running against spoke last week (Caffeinated Thoughts was unable to attend).
Mowrer had a more partisan tone than Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) who preceded him at the Soapbox. Mowrer also took time to attack Young’s support of Donald Trump as the Republican nominee citing the “Trump-Young Agenda.”
There is no “Trump-Young Agenda.” The House Republican Agenda is not the same agenda as Donald Trump has put forward. If Young is responsible for what Trump says and does, then it’s only fair if Mowrer is responsible for what Hillary Clinton says and does?
We probably shouldn’t hold our breath waiting for the mainstream media asking Mowrer if he supported Hillary Clinton’s inaction in Benghazi. Surely someone who worked at the Department of Defense has an opinion about that. He should also be asked if he thinks it is appropriate for Clinton Foundation donors to receive favors from the State Department when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State? As a former member of the military how does he feel about Clinton’s mishandling of classified emails? Does he support the Department of Justice blocking an FBI public corruption investigation into the Clinton Foundation?
So if Trump’s actions are relevant to Young then Clinton’s actions are relevant to Mowrer. Mowrer shouldn’t have to defend Hillary Clinton’s actions as Secretary of State just like Republican candidates shouldn’t be expected to respond to every dumb thing Donald Trump says on the campaign trail.
Mowrer did criticize Young’s vote to eliminate Planned Parenthood funding. Does he support taxpayer-funding of abortion which the Democratic Party supports, but most Democrats oppose according to a new poll? Does he support Clinton’s plan to raise taxes on the middle class?
In his speech he criticized Young’s voting against cloture on the Highway Bill. In his press gaggle afterwards he said that Young believed it was too much money. So this begs the question – where would Mowrer support cutting spending? We have a large national debt. The federal government has been engaged in deficit spending. How would he handle that?
Those are questions that he could be asked. He ended his speech with 10 minutes left to go in his allotted time at the Soapbox and didn’t offer a Q&A time. And during his press gaggle he shot me down from asking a question stating that the time was for “reporters.”
— Shane Vander Hart (@shanevanderhart) August 15, 2016
The press gaggle ended on this awkward note. So apparently Jim Mowrer believes he can determine who is press and who is not. During his events he’s free to credential whomever he likes, but this was a public event on public grounds. The press there recognizes me as media. I just am editor of a well-read conservative blog and co-host of a weekly radio program, but apparently that doesn’t make me “a reporter.”
So conservatives are not reporters? Yes I write opinion pieces, but I also write lots of straight news articles as well.
Ok, how about being a constituent? I am a 3rd district voter. I wanted to ask him about the debt. I was trying to formulate a question (I didn’t plan on asking one) so I didn’t get a chance to blurt it out right away. So I admit it wasn’t my finest moment as a journalist.
What he gave me was a disrespectful, terse reply. I’ve attended a number of his events and have never attempted to ask a question before. I’ve shown him nothing but respect on the campaign trail. But because I am conservative he wouldn’t take my question. Apparently Mowrer is afraid to take questions from outlets he doesn’t deem friendly. Republicans take questions from liberal media outlets – including partisan liberal media outlets all of the time. Is this something he will do as Congressman if he wins?
Congressman David Young takes questions from all Iowans. Contrary to what Mowrer states isn’t even remotely as close to being as partisan as Mowrer himself is and he doesn’t avoid questions from the media.
I thought a couple of responses I received on Twitter were interesting.
I was actually defended by Pat Rynard who writes the Democrat blog, Iowa Starting Line:
Iowa Republicans always take my questions… https://t.co/eVCxE2ugRa
— Iowa Starting Line (@IAStartingLine) August 15, 2016
Jimmy Centers, former spokesperson for Governor Terry Branstad, pointed out they took questions from everybody.
— Jimmy Centers (@jimcenters) August 15, 2016
Kedron Bardwell, political science professor at Simpson College, said the exchange was “awkward.”
@shanevanderhart Well, that was awkward….lol.
— Kedron Bardwell (@KedronBardwell) August 15, 2016
Yes it was. If Mowrer is serious about representing Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District he shouldn’t be afraid to take questions from anyone.
Watch his full remarks at the Des Moines Register Soapbox:
Here is the full video of his press gaggle.