DFL 3rd District congressional candidate Ashwin Madia had his own press conference today. He responded to questions raised yesterday by his Republican opponent Erik Paulsen's campaign about Madia's ties to the Minneapolis suburbs.
Madia responds to experience questions. Listen
Madia called the charges that he lacks sufficient suburban life experience "bizarre." State Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina, leveled that criticism yesterday on behalf of the Paulsen campaign. He said Madia will have trouble understanding the problems facing suburban families, because Madia, 30, hasn't raised children or had to pay a mortgage.
"I find it slightly unnerving that people who have no problem sending 17- and 18-year-old kids 10,000 miles to fight and die in this war have such a problem sending a 30-year-old a few hundred miles to help end this war," said Madia, who served in Iraq as a Marine Corps lawyer.
Michel clarified his statement today, saying his concerns also include Madia's lack of legislative experience. Michel and Minnesota Republican Party Chairman Ron Carey spoke with reporters after Madia did. Listen
In response to reporters' questions, Madia said he would "probably" have voted for the Wall Street bailout package that went down to defeat Monday in the U.S. House. Madia said the vote should have been delayed, and he is still hoping for a bill with more protections for tax payers and oversight outside the Treasury Department.
Independence Party candidate David Dillon says he would have voted against the package. He thinks Congress should "tee up" a bailout bill, but not start buying up mortgage-backed securities unless credit markets freeze up.
As of this posting, the Paulsen campaign has not said which way he would have voted on Monday's bill. At a debate last week, Paulsen raised concerns about the bailout's hefty price tag, and said at that point "I don't think I would be supporting it." Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Ramstad, who holds the seat Paulsen, Madia and Dillon are seeking, voted against Monday's bill.
Madia also said there is nothing he can do about the negative ads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is running against Paulsen. KSTP has fact-checked a DCCC TV ad, giving it a 'D,' and it flunked a DCCC mailer accusing Paulsen of accepting campaign donations raised at a Las Vegas strip club.
By law, Madia cannot coordinate with the DCCC and he has no control over what ads they run.
"I wish there was something I could do about them, but there's not," Madia said of the ads. "To the extent that they're inaccurate, I condemn them."
Madia didn't say he believed the ads were inaccurate, and his campaign has also raised the strip club money accusation.
Ashwin Madia is a joke and has no idea about what's important to the District.
I can't believe people are actually taking this kid seriously. KID. What is he like 14?
Madia demonstrates the qualities we need in our next congressman. He steps up to the microphone HIMSELF and answers his critics head on.
That's what I like about Ash. He's committed to a positive message of change for the voters of the Third District, the same message that continues to inspire a growing number of Team Madia volunteers.
I wonder why Erik Paulsen is so reluctant to speak directly to voters?
Madia: Ready to Lead
in response to the first blog response...you've got to be kidding. Either you haven't listened to Michel's press conference or the comical response Carey and Michel gave after Madia had finished his press conference, or you share the same warped, mean spirited, right wing views that I and others heard. Michel and Carey (and Paulsen by association) are a total embarrassment to our CD and our State and they do not represent the views of the majority of the people that live here. Ashwin Madia is much more like me and the thousands of voters in the 3rd that are Democrat, Independent, and Moderate Republicans that support diversity and carry about issues and solutions....these are the backbone of Madia's message! He is truly "one of us".