Tampa, Fla. — Another Wisconsinite has shown up at the GOP’s national convention — but he’s not a Republican.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett — who ran for governor as a Democrat against Scott Walker in 2010 and the 2012 recall — was on hand Tuesday at an news conference hosted by the Democratic National Committee.
The event was held hours in advance of Janesville Congressman Paul Ryan’s speech at the Republican National Convention in his role as Mitt Romeny’s pick as vice president.
Ryan “is a very articulate spokesman for a failed economic policy and … as Americans look at this policy, this Romney-Ryan economic policy, they’re coming to agree that these are failed policies and they are not policies that are going to move this country forward,” said Barrett, who served with Ryan in Congress.
“It’s a theory that says if you give the wealthy more budget-busting tax cuts and place even greater burdens on the middle class and seniors, you’re going to grow the economy. It just doesn’t add up. We’ve already tried this theory and it failed.”
Also at the event was U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee that Ryan chairs. He railed against Ryan’s budget plans.
“What it is is a U-turn, a hard right U-turn back to the failed Bush trickle-down economic policies,” Van Hollen said. “And this is no longer just a theory. This is a theory that has been tested in the real world. The evidence is in. At the end of the eight years of the Bush administration, we saw a net loss of private-sector jobs. The only thing that went up was the deficit, which skyrocketed under the Bush administration.”
The Republicans have a debt clock running in their convention hall to highlight the country’s budget woes. Van Hollen questioned their use of the clock, saying Republicans were responsible for much of the problem because of tax cuts and launching two wars that weren’t paid for.
“Tonight when Paul Ryan looks up at that debt clock, all Americans can say is ‘Thank you, President Bush. Thank you, Paul Ryan. We are forever in your debt,'” Van Hollen said.