U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo questioned the sincerity of President Obama’s recent exhortations about the importance of the middle class while attending the Kansas Republican Party’s annual convention in Topeka on Friday.
Pompeo, R-Wichita, charged that more people are on food stamps under Obama than any other president. He pushed back against the themes of Obama’s State of the Union address and his recent speech at the University of Kansas.
“He says the middle class is falling behind? Well, sir, you’ve been there six years. So his policies have failed the middle class in America,” Pompeo said. “I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. And it’s not about what I think – it’s about the reality of lives of ordinary Kansans. He has made their lives worse.”
Pompeo said conservative policies would do more to strengthen the middle class. Asked if he could point to a specific policy, he said he could name 100.
“I’ll start with a health care system that actually reflects an effort to reduce costs for Americans,” he said. “And then I’d start with a set of policies or statute that tells the federal government it needs to stop creating incremental regulations on top of what is already an enormous burden. Capital will go to work and get a return.”
The convention was held at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Topeka, where the party also held its election night parties for Gov. Sam Brownback and U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts. Kelly Arnold, the state GOP chair, said this year’s convention is about the getting party ready for 2016.
Asked what he would be discussing with constituents at the convention, Pompeo, R-Wichita, said he was sure government spending would be a popular topic.
“America continues to spend too much. The federal government collected more in revenue than in any year in the history of the world. And we still spent $438 (billion) more than we took in,” Pompeo said.
He offered similar advice to the state of Kansas, which faces a projected $648 million shortfall for next year’s budget. Pompeo said state lawmakers should focus on shrinking government.
“Shrink government. Shrink government. Cut spending. Cut spending. Make it smaller. And by the way, when you do that you can still deliver the services. It is not a tradeoff,” he said. “It is not the case that if you spend less money in the state of Kansas that you can’t deliver services.”