‘Rich Men From North of Richmond’ Comment Sparks Debate About Economy

‘Rich Men From North of Richmond’ Comment Sparks Debate About Economy
Republican presidential candidates (L-R), Vivek Ramaswamy, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) participate in the first debate of the GOP primary season hosted by FOX News at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wis., on Aug. 23, 2023. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

A comment about Oliver Anthony’s chart-topping song “Rich Men From North of Richmond” from moderator Bret Baier, and another question about why the recording is “striking a nerve in this country,” sparked a discussion about “Bidenomics” among participants of the Republican presidential primary debate.

Fox News host Mr. Baier first directed the question to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“We need to send Joe Biden back to his basement and reverse American decline,” Mr. DeSantis said, “with understanding we must reverse Bidenomics so that middle-class families have a chance to succeed again.

“We cannot succeed as a country if you are working hard and you can’t afford groceries, a car, or a new home, while Hunter Biden can make hundreds of thousands of dollars on lousy paintings. That is wrong,” he added.

“We also cannot succeed when the Congress spends trillions and trillions of dollars. Those rich men north of Richmond have put us in this situation,” Mr. DeSantis continued, noting that, if elected, he will make the U.S. “energy dominant again.”

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was asked if he agreed with Mr. DeSantis, and if he would do a better job on the economy than the Florida governor.

“I was elected as a conservative Republican in a blue state with 61 percent of the vote with a Democratic legislature against me the entire time,” Mr. Christie explained, adding that debt and taxes were cut in New Jersey under his leadership.

When reminded by Mr. Baier that New Jersey had the second lowest credit rating while Mr. Christie was governor, and that rating was downgraded 11 times, Mr. Christie said “That’s what happens when you inherit a blue state that has done that.”

“We cut state debt that had been left to us by three democratic gubernatorial predecessors,” Mr. Christie responded, adding that the state’s unemployment rate was reduced by 50 percent during her tenure.

Sen. Tim Scott was told that Mr. Anthony’s song attacks welfare programs and that President Joe Biden “argued for freezing federal spending” when he was a senator, and then he was asked what he has done to “rein in increasing the size of government.”

Mr. Scott criticized Bidenomics and said that, under President Biden, the U.S. has seen a has seen a loss of $10,000 of spending power for the average family when significant increases in inflation, gas, food, and electricity are included.

“We can stop that by turning the spigot off in Washington, sending the money back to the states and allowing the decisions to be made at their own houses,” Mr. Scott said.

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who at 38 is the youngest candidate in the 2024 presidential election, said that his business background is more valuable than political experience.

“My parents came to this country with no money 40 years ago. I have gone on to found multi-billion-dollar companies,” Mr. Ramaswamy said. “I am genuinely worried that the American dream will not exist for our two sons and their generation unless we do something about it. “

“If you have a broken car, you don’t turn over the keys to the people who broke it again. You hand it over to a new generation to actually fix the problem. That’s why I’m in this race and we’re just getting warmed up,” he added.

In response to the condition of the U.S. economy, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley blamed Republicans, and not President Biden.

“The truth is that Biden didn’t do this to us our Republicans did this to us when they passed that $2.2 trillion COVID stimulus bill. They left us with 90 million people on Medicaid and 42 million people on food stamps,” Ms. Haley said, adding that borrowing, spending, and earmarks “that Republicans brought back in” must be cut.

“You have Ron DeSantis you’ve got Tim Scott, you’ve got Mike Pence – they all voted to raise the debt and Donald Trump added 8 trillion to our debt. And our kids are never going to forgive us for this,” Ms. Haley added.

The 2024 budget includes $2.8 billion in earmarks requested by Democrats and $7.4 billion in earmarks asked for by Republicans, Ms. Haley noted.

Former Vice President Mike Pence said, “I think unquestionably I’m the best prepared, the most tested, the most qualified and proven conservative in this race,” adding that Indiana had balanced budgets and a triple-A bond rating when he was governor there.

“I was the first person in this race to say that we’ve got to deal with the long-term national debt issues. You got people on this stage that won’t even talk about issues like Social Security and Medicare,” Mr. Pence added.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, whose appearance at the debate was questionable after he suffered a leg injury playing basketball, expressed concern about “the $1.2 trillion of green New Deal spending buried in the inflation creation act” and how it is “just subsidizing China.”

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson noted that he passed over a $2 billion surplus to his successor and that he shrunk the size of government. Mr. Hutchinson pledged to reduce the size of the federal government by 10 percent.

From The Epoch Times

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