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Van Hollen Second Md. Democrat to Crash GOP Convention

Rep. Chris Van Hollen visited the RNC in Tampa.

TAMPA, Fla. - U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Kensington, on Wednesday became the second Maryland Democrat to show up in Tampa to challenge Republicans during their national convention. 

But unlike Gov. Martin O'Malley, who spoke at a Democratic Party office across the street on Tuesday, Van Hollen went inside the security perimeter Wednesday evening, doing an interview with Politico before talking to Capital News Service and criticizing the Romney-Ryan plan and the speakers at the convention.

Van Hollen, speaking at the convention center where most of the media is stationed, called the Romney-Plan "wrong for America."

"He's going to double down on windfall tax breaks on the rich like himself," Van Hollen said. "When the rich aren't going to pay a cent more, it's going to come at the expense of students, the middle class, and almost everyone else. President Obama's balanced approach is right for America."

He added that the Romney-Ryan plan would have a "very negative impact on the state of Maryland," because the tax breaks would hurt things like medical research at the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health.

Van Hollen pulled no punches describing Tuesday's convention events. "(Tuesday) night was a straight out personal attack on the president," he said. "What I watched was clearly going after the president."

Maryland Republican Party Chairman Louis Pope called Van Hollen's appearance an attempt to get Democrats media exposure, and supposed that Republicans would have a surrogate in Charlotte doing the same thing next week.

"They are trying to interject Democratic beliefs into a solid Republican setting," he said. "They should stay at their convention and we should stay at ours. They are trying to damage the enthusiasm in America for Mitt Romney. (Van Hollen) is going to be depressed on Nov. 6."

Brian August 30, 2012 at 10:47 AM
Blah, Blah, Blah... Let me see if I can summarize... Republicans are for: dirty water, dirty air, against woman, want to throw granny over the cliff, don't like kids with down syndrome and autism, and can't stand immigrants. Crap, how could I forgot that they are big-time racists too! On the other side Democrates are for: clean air, clean water, women's rights, free heath care for everyone, free cell phones, free cable, free internet, free condoms & birth control, free education, free food stamps, free EBT cards, government sponsored housing & transportation, the right to vote including dead people and criminals (oh, and you cant vote multiple times too!). To pay for it all, no problem just go after those evil successful people, print more, and borrow the difference from China. To anyone who believes that dribble, I have one thing to say to you - you are not doing poorly because I am doing well. Don't raise my taxes to pay for more of your entitlements. Get up off your dead, lazy, butts and try earning something for a change. Let me say that again, go out and put your free education to good use and EARN something. Who knows, you might actually begin to appreciate what you have and be happier too.
watchingfive August 30, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Brian, you should have stopped after blah, blah, blah.
Rick August 30, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Brian is absolutely right. Let's just keep taxing success more and more and keep giving it to those who don't do a thing to better themselves or society (like O'Malley is doing in Maryland).
David from VoxPop August 30, 2012 at 01:18 PM
My aunt Katherine was the daughter of sharecroppers from Virginia who themselves were children of slaves. When she was a little girl, she had a job carrying water to the troop trains during WWII. For the rest of her life, she worked--with an 8th grade education--two jobs (at least), washing and folding laundry and working in the hotel industry. She lived her entire life in poverty, died a pauper, and was buried with the aid of the state due to her total lack of assets. Katherine was a great example of the lie that poor people are lazy and deserve their poverty. It takes a special kind of meanness and a very small heart to think that people like Katherine lived envious, lazy lives when, in fact, the complete opposite is true. Get out of your comfort zone, go walk the streets of Sandtown-Winchester and tell those folks they're just a bunch of lazy people. They're not. They're working two jobs and a paper route, trying to make a dollar out of fifteen cents. I don't think The Government is The Solution. But I do think that people like Brian would benefit from some perspective and some truth. Cheers, -d-
Brian August 30, 2012 at 02:15 PM
For some perspective all I have to do is leave my office. Right down the road, I see what the Section 8 housing is like. I see Cadillac Escalades, BMWs with wheels that are worth more than most people's car in the complex parking lot. Really, really, if you have a car that's worth more than your house and your on public assistance than that is a problem! I see $200 sneakers $300 pairs of jeans. I see gangs of thug kids roaming the roads during the day when they should be in school. Then I go to the grocery store to get some lunch and I see the guy pay with his EBT card, get cash back, and then leave the store and jump into his brand new Toyota Highlander. The stories are endless. Abuse is ramped... wake up. It was a different time for your aunt Katerine and I'm not saying there are people who do not legitimately need assistance. But public assistance should not be a lifestyle nor should it abused. People like yourself could benefit from a little perspective, people like me are tired of the abuse. I grew-up poor. My father was a stone mason and still works today at 85 to make ends meet (he dropped out of school at 12 to help support his family). What he did though was teach me the value of a dollar and to respect it. So please, don't lecture me about having compassion as if I don't understand what it is like. I know what it's like.
kathy gambrill August 30, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Why does Democrat Van Hollen have to " crash" the Republican Convention? Who pays for him to fly and stay in Tampa? Couldn't he wait a week for HIS party's convention? This lacks professional courtesy.
JoeEldersburg August 30, 2012 at 04:43 PM
@Brian-From your tone, it's clear that you are buying into all the Tea Party drivel about taxes and jobs, etc. Wake up! Federal taxes have never been lower and the rich and the big business are not creating jobs, they are stockpiling wealth through our evadable tax code and off-shore havens. Wage disparity is at an all time high and it is increasing. Yes, we have poverty and it's becoming more of a problem because there are fewer jobs, but this will only get worse if we continue doing the same thing that Bush did (which Romney & Ryan support). I don't support Obama, but his policies are definitely better for the middle class. When or if you lose your job through no fault of your own, you will have a better perspective on the economy, healthcare & poverty. Like never before, Americans are one layoff away from having their entire world turned upside down. Did you ever stop to think that the people you see on public assistance, were just a short time ago supporting themselves? We've lost over 6 million jobs in this recession that are likely not coming back. Tax cuts are not the answer.
Brian August 30, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Joe - your are incorrect. I'm not buying into anything. I'm perfectly capable of thinking for myself. Again, please don't lecture me - you don't know me. I know what it is like to be worried about where the next pay check is coming from. I worried about having health insurance as a kid when my father was self employed and in-between jobs. Never once did we reach out for assistance of any kind. Too much pride for that. We always figured out another way. Perhaps, instead of worrying individual cases you need to worry about where America's next pay check is coming from. Everyone cannot be dependent on the government. Why is that such a hard concept to understand - liberals seem to understand the redistribute the wealth concept. I guess it's just easier when you don't have to think about it. Can you not see what's happening around the rest of the world where the people are dependent on their government for everything. While we are on the subject - who contributes more of their *personal* money to charity, the Republicans or the Democrats? Romney - millions; Obama - thousands; Biden - $500.
Gay Loskarn August 30, 2012 at 06:49 PM
I believe it may be you who are buying into some drivel.
Gay Loskarn August 30, 2012 at 06:50 PM
@Joe
Gay Loskarn August 30, 2012 at 06:51 PM
In my opinion a sign of desparation.
Thad Berry August 30, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Brian...The expensive jeans and spinners in section 8 housing aren't coming from the government, sir. They come from the sale of drugs and other illegal activities. It's not your desired living or mine, or our values, but it's how such luxuries are afforded. Not through "hand outs". It's a morality issue, not the government's fault alone. Do you actually know the exact amount a person receives from government assistance? It's hardly a living wage. Same goes for food stamps. Ever received unemployment benefits? It's not exactly a free ride. Welfare is a bipartisan issue. It has been accepted and modified by both parties over the decades. We either adhere to the Christ-like virtue of a safety net for the less fortunate or we choose the rogue tea party path of every individual for themselves. Obviously the ladder isn't truly valid because each and every single member of America needs assistance at least once during a lifetime -- whether it be a loan from a bank towards education, government aid, parental financial and housing support, inheritance, etc. No individual is completely self made from birth to the grave. That line from the convention, we did it ourselves, is bogus and falsely charges up the wrong spirit of the argument. We're either in this country together, accepting and understanding, or we're blind egotists. To give in all forms is to honor God. To complain about giving and worrying about who does what and when is self-righteous idiocy.
Stop the Waste August 30, 2012 at 09:11 PM
How do you all feel about paying for van holland to take a vaca to Florida instead of working here at home doing what we elected him for? Would you mind sending me some money so I can go to the convention and hang out. Also I need money for a hotel and food and entertainment while I'm there. And also those reports you need won't be done until I get back. Maybe if those in power (bipartisan) stopped feeling entitled to use our tax dollars for their every whim, we could afford to help more people with less of Brian's money.
Brian August 31, 2012 at 10:25 AM
No joke... really. My point was not that you could afford a Cadillac on government assistance - it was the abuse. In this day-in-age we should run a quick DMV check - if you own an expensive car and your on assistance, then something has to give. Furthermore, you have to report somewhere and actually *DO* something for the assistance and oh yeah pee in a cup for a weekly drug test too. Drug money agreed... combat that with a consumption tax in-lieu of a payroll tax. That'll hit everybody including the dope dealers. As to your Christ-like virtue- churches have programs in place to help those in need. Let me decide who to give my money too, I think I'm better able to decide that rather than the government. Self-righteous idiocy huh - how much have you contributed to charity when times where good or EVER? Why is it the liberals who are always preaching about helping the less fortunate are on the wrong end of giving? Conservatives give a whooping 30% more than liberals... from ABC news: http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=2682730&page=1#.UECNRKAU58E California to use federal money to reduce mortgage balance by up to 100,000. Again, wasteful. Why should my tax dollars go help people who made poor decisions. $100,000 per family... outrageous. Why just California? Are they more deserving? This is exactly what I am talking about. We already borrow .40 on the dollar. I pay an effective tax rate of 42% and that's not enough? You want more? 50% don't pay a nickel.
Brian August 31, 2012 at 10:27 AM
Well said.
Stop the Waste August 31, 2012 at 12:29 PM
You know on that note, why is the rnc in Florida at all? I know it's good for the economy of Florida but don't we have a little money problem right now? Why didn't the politicians decide to stay home for the conference? Have it in dc. They had plenty of time to consider locale. Dc has conventions centers and security experience. No travel, less lodging requirements (I would assume most politicians already have lodging in dc), less security expense... We really need to re-focus the spotlight on government waste. The money they already have could be working more efficiently instead of digging deeper into our pockets. And why is Ben Bernanke in Jackson hole? And why is the Dnc in Minnesota or wherever they're going? Someone needs to start a lucrative blog asking people for anecdotes of government waste. Huffington post could substantiate or deny. People could demand accountability. We could get some media attention and really fix something.
Thad Berry August 31, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Brian, I agree, there is obvious abuse in the system. President Obama's administration letter to states in July seems like a step in the right direction since it requests experimental measures in putting recipients to work, and off welfare. Better oversight and cracking down on abuse certainly needs focused improvement from all sides and parties. Nobody likes fraud or waste, even some Democrats (that's tough for Carroll County citizens to believe, but not every moderate and progressive is fiscally liberal).

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