Franken responds to Grassley’s ad criticizing him for his rural Iowa comments
Franken said parts of rural Iowa were struggling economically and he had a plan to fix it in response to the Grassley campaign announcement that criticized Franken for calling rural Iowa “depressing “.
Admiral Mike Franken — the Democratic Senate candidate facing incumbent Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa — responded to an ad produced by Grassley that quoted Franken.
The ad quoted Franken saying rural Iowa was “depressing,” Franken said the quote was taken out of context.
At a Friday night campaign event in Cedar Rapids, Franken said that while he said rural Iowa could be depressing, there is room for improvement and that he has a plan to revitalize the rural areas to attract a younger population to prevent the mass exodus of young people from rural towns throughout Iowa.
“The rural Iowa aspects are not what we wanted them to be economically. And I’m sorry the truth hurts so much. You need to identify the problem before proceeding with a solution,” Franken said. “I have ideas on how to resculpt things, recreate them. I see Iowa has the cheapest, most redundant, most sustainable power grid, and a net negative carbon footprint.
Rural areas have experienced an average population decline of 0.6% over the past decade according to the United States Department of Agriculturee.
Franken on education policy
Franken said that during his teenage years, Iowa was on the cutting edge of education and he would like to see Iowa regain its status as a leader in education, but to do that, Iowa must fund public education.
“I see Iowa getting that back. We need to put teachers on the high list of those who should be funded,” Franken said. “We must not attack their pedagogical principles, their know-how.”
Franken also said that community college, trade school and preschool should be free, but college education should not.
“I’m a big fan of postgraduate education and apprenticeship training that doesn’t put you on your feet for the rest of your life. I don’t think it should be free,” Franken said.
Franken is a critic of President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program who fails to address the root of the problem, but calls the plan a “welcome first step.”
RELATED: Biden’s new student loan plan will forgive up to $20,000 in debt
Administration’s College Debt Cancellation Plan Doesn’t ‘Fix’ Associated Problems [with] the cost of higher education. A much more comprehensive approach is needed,” franken tweeted. “We also need to invest in vocational training and technical education programs for the trades. Although college is not for everyone, everyone needs a job. I will be a leading voice in the Senate to make that happen.
Franken talks about economics
Franken said there is a dire need for child care in Iowa, which would get more parents back into the workforce and help grow Iowa’s economy.
“I would like to see a state or municipally funded child care program to ensure that these child care providers have the option to work if they want to get out of their homes,” Franken said. .
Franken said everyone is hiring and there aren’t enough people to fill the positions. Iowa Workforce Development’s IowaWorks online job portal had 10,000 open positions as of September 2.
“Because God knows that in the state of Iowa, from a seamstress in Shenandoah to a dock worker in Dubuque, everyone needs employees, everyone, everyone, and that’s holding back our growth in as a state,” Franken said. “Companies don’t want to grow because they don’t think they can recruit the necessary employees. Businesses don’t want to locate here because they don’t think there are enough people to satisfy their workforce.
Democrats have been criticized for passing the Inflation Reduction Actwhich Republicans say will lead to worsening inflation.
In a conversation with The Iowan Daily*Franken said the Inflation Reduction Act actually helps the economy recover from high inflation rates, and that high inflation rates are more to blame on the pandemic and that the Federal Reserve is maintaining inflation rates so low during the pandemic to prevent the economy from turning into a recession.
“This is good news, unlike previous bills that have passed or documents that have been released to most corporations,” Franken said. “Now in the Biden years, the bills that have been passed from the CHIPS Act, to the Cut Inflation Act, to the Infrastructure Bill.”
“People before politics”
Franken told a crowd of his supporters at a campaign event in Cedar Rapids that he was not a professional politician, but rather a public servant seeking to serve the people of Iowa.
“I am not a professional politician. I am a military officer and a person and a person with a long record and looking beyond partisan lines. I have never been a political animal. I grew up in an apolitical family. We didn’t talk politics at the breakfast table,” Franken said.
Franken also said Americans needed to find unity and common ground with each other.
“We constantly say, country before party – people before politics,” Franken said.
Franken will attend a debate with his opponent, incumbent Sen. Chuck Grassley, in a televised debate on the Iowa Public Television Network on Oct. 6.