Last week, U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright said his new House Democratic leadership job would mean more visibility, more network television appearances.
In case you missed it, House Democrats last Wednesday elected Cartwright one of three co-chairs of their policy and communications committee, which actually consists entirely of three-co-chairs and a chairman.
A strange committee structure, I know.
Anyway, for his first national TV spot since the Democratic leadership election, Cartwright showed up Sunday on the Fox News Channel show, “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo.”
It’s an interesting choice, considering Cartwright represents an 8th Congressional District that re-elected him Nov. 6 but also voted for President Donald Trump by 10 percentage points two years ago.
What better way to reach Trump voters than to show up on his and their favorite news channel, right?
Bartiromo introduced him, then asked him to talk about President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday at age 94. Cartwright praised the late president for leaving a note at the White House as he left office for incoming President Bill Clinton in 1993. In the note, Bush said he would root hard for Clinton’s success.
“That is just exactly who President Bush was,” Cartwright told Bartiromo.
Bush acted in a “low key” and “kind way,” the congressman said.
“I’d like to see us all take a lesson from that,” he said.
Bartiromo then brought up President Donald Trump’s new United States, Mexico, Canada trade agreement (USMCA), which will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Cartwright said the new deal isn’t broad enough because it focuses mainly on automobiles and dairy farming.
“The protections for labor and the environment are not there,” Cartwright said, referring to requirements to allow workers to organize unions and requiring more environmental protection. “In places like Northeastern Pennsylvania, where I’m talking to you from, we got hit hard by NAFTA. NAFTA bestowed many benefits on our nation, but it bestowed them unevenly. It really hit the manufacturing sector in my part of the country very hard. And a lot of people lost their jobs and they saw those jobs go to Mexico for one reason only: because you could get away with paying Mexican manufacturing employees $2 an hour as opposed to the 15 (dollars an hour) at the time or more in the United States.”
Cartwright said USMCA “is a step in the right direction, but it’s got to be made a lot stronger.”
He brought up the move to Mexico of a local television-tube manufacturing plant more than 17 years ago. He didn’t mention the name, but it was Thomson Consumer Electronics in Dunmore.
“TV manufacturing is not affected at all by this current deal,” he said. “Everything that’s made in this country ought to be subject to this deal.”