Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie
Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. (Christine Stuart / CTNewsJunkie)

HARTFORD, CT — The minimum wage, paid Family and Medical Leave, healthcare, democracy, environmental protection, workers rights, and reproductive rights are on the ballot this year, according members of the Democratic Party who gathered Friday for a pre-election rally. 

The values of the Democratic Party were the focus of candidates from the top of the ballot down, from U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy to gubernatorial nominee Ned Lamont to Jahana Hayes, who is running for the 5th Congressional District seat.

An estimated 1,300 attended the rally at a Hartford Arts Magnet School near Trinity College.

The Democratic Party has dominated Connecticut politics for years. All five Congresspeople are Democrats and the party currently holds the governor’s office and the House. The Senate is evenly divided between the parties.

But in spite of that winning tradition, Democrats are leery of their ability to hold on to their majorities after the results of the 2016 election.

“We learned the hard way that elections really matter,” Lamont told the crowd.

He said that’s why he’s going to work hard over the next 11 days. He said if Republican Bob Stefanowski gets elected it’s going to be a “$1.3 billion tax cut for the 400 richest families.”

“You know who’s gonna pay for it?” Lamont asked. “We are,” the crowd responded.

He said Stefanowski is “Trumpian” because he wants to cut more than 50 percent of the budget but has not proposed a way to pay for it.

Lamont said every time he talks about healthcare or a woman’s right to choose, the Stefanowski campaign says, “There goes Ned again, talking about anything but the economy and jobs,” Lamont said. “I’d be the first governor who actually started a business and created a job … I am fighting for jobs. Bob is the guy who fires people.”

He said he’s fighting for “F.D.R.” which stands for “fairness, decency and respect.”

At one point, Lamont broke into a little Bob Marley in introducing former Vice President Joe Biden, saying “You got to get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight.”

Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie
Ned Lamont (Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie)

Biden used more than a half hour to highlight what he believes is at stake in this election.

He said, “Our political opponents are not our enemies,” and “the press is not the enemy of the people.”

Biden noted that although it sounds corny, “before we are Democrats and Republicans, we are Americans.”

Moreover, Biden said the election is about a lot more than politics.

“It’s about the character of our country. It’s about who we are as Americans”.

He said his travels around the world have shown him that America is perceived as unique. He described having dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping and being asked to define America for him in one word.

“Possibilities,” Biden said.

He accused the Republican majority of “choosing party before country.”

Biden said he agreed to give the Trump administration a year to settle before making public comments, but he couldn’t remain silent after Charlottesville.

“We’re in a battle for America’s soul,” Biden said.

He said never thought he would have to condemn such racism and bigotry again.

“Our children are listening,” Biden said. “Our silence is complicit.”

He went on to talk about the “love letters” Trump said he got from Kim Jung-un and Trump’s decision to take Russian President Vladimir Putin’s word over that of his own intelligence agencies.

Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie

Biden said the world already knows who Donald Trump is; the question is “who are we?”

Biden also talked about the Affordable Care Act and the Republican tax cuts.

“Folks, they created a deficit of $1.9 trillion … the reason they’re doing this is to eliminate things they couldn’t otherwise touch,” Biden said. “You cannot sustain this additional deficit of $1.9 trillion. They’re going to eviscerate Medicare.”

He said Republicans couldn’t make a direct case to cut Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, so they have created an economic problem to force cuts instead.

“They’re now trying to use an economic argument that they created in order to eviscerate them,” Biden said.

Without using his name, Biden said it seems like Stefanowski is making the same argument and if he succeeds, Connecticut won’t have any money left to fund infrastructure or services.

“Look, this game has been exposed,” Biden said.

He said the Democratic Party stands for giving the middle class a fighting chance.

Connecticut Republican Party Chairman JR Romano reminded his supporters Friday that “the radical left is pulling out all the stops for Ned Lamont.”

He said Biden will draw “mobs of left wing supporters” who will resist Republican efforts to “take back Connecticut” and “preserve their status quo.”

Republicans have been arguing that electing Lamont would be, in effect, a third term for Malloy.

However, Lamont, who has not held elected office at the state level, was defeated by Malloy in 2010 in a Democratic Party primary.

This is Lamont’s first time running against a Republican candidate and the most recent public polls show the race is a dead heat.

Ned Lamont rally with former Vice President Joe Biden

Posted by on Friday, October 26, 2018