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Pramila Jayapal
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Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal: What Democrats have been missing

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. (Jason Rantz, KTTH)

When Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal was running to represent Washington’s 7th Congressional District, she encountered a man who was not a likely voter. He didn’t like what the Progressive candidate had to say about guns.

“We had a great conversation on minimum wage, on all this stuff, he was a Republican,” Jayapal told KTTH’s Jason Rantz. “…And at the end he said, ‘Ya know, I agree with everything except your position on guns.’ He said, ‘I’m sorry, I’m not going to be able to vote for you.’”

The man’s wife was standing next to him, so Jayapal asked the man how long the two had been married – 23 years.

“So I said, ‘Do you and your wife agree on 100 percent of issues?’” Jayapal continued. “He starts laughing and I said, ‘Well, you married her. I’m just asking for your vote.’”

“He actually shook my hand and said, ‘You’re authentic, you’re telling me the truth, I’m going to be on you if you try to take my guns away, but I’m voting for you,’” she said. “I think that’s part of the spirit we need to get back.”

Jayapal’s spirit seems to be winning. The recent midterm election delivered her an impressive 83 percent of the vote. It’s a genuine nature that Democrats have been missing, she argues.

“I think we haven’t paid enough attention to that as Democrats; what does it mean to be authentic?” she said.

“I think the president did speak that way to a group of people who voted for him and believed he would shake up the establishment and he would ‘drain the swamp,’” Jayapal said. “Unfortunately, I don’t think that is what he has done. He has not delivered on promises to working people.”

Jayapal, Trump and rhetoric

Among the list of failed Trump promises that Jayapal cites: passing a tax bill that does not benefit the majority of working Americans; stripping away health care, including attacks on protections for pre-existing conditions.

“Worst of all, I’m watching TV this morning and he’s telling reporters that they’re stupid,” Jayapal said. “He’s literally saying to people ‘you’re stupid,’ you’re this or that. That’s is not what I do. It’s not what I think anybody should do, and certainly not the person in the highest office in the land.”

Proof of that attitude might be the fact Jayapal, a Progressive, said all this on the Jason Rantz Show – conservative territory – and not long after the two appeared on stage in Seattle to discuss Washington issues. Rantz pressed Jayapal on statements made by Maxine Waters, which some blame for protests outside the home of Fox’s Tucker Carlson.

“I think it is deeply flawed to say that what Maxine Waters said is the same as what Trump has been saying,” Jayapal countered. “Trump has literally said in rallies that he encourages people to be violent, to punch people, and if they do, he will pay for their legal fees. He went to Montana and celebrated a member of Congress who body-slammed a reporter.”

“The president standing up and encouraging white supremacists, in my mind, is absolutely horrific,” she said. “I think it’s not enough to say it was wrong, you have to say ‘We cannot support somebody who does this kind of thing.’ And there are Republicans who are doing that, including Kellyanne Conway’s own husband …”

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