Home 2024 Elections Video: Sen. Mark Warner Says “if the American people really focus on...

Video: Sen. Mark Warner Says “if the American people really focus on what Mr. Trump is saying day in and day out…they’ll think twice”

Sen. Warner also comments on the "heat dome" and the climate crisis; rural health care; Tuesday's Virginia primaries; TikTok; etc.

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Earlier this afternoon, Sen. Mark Warner held his weekly press availability, at which he covered a variety of topics, including the climate crisis, FAFSA (the form used to apply for financial aid), TikTok, rural hospitals, the upcoming presidential debate, results of Tuesday’s primaries, etc. See below for video and a few highlights, including:

  • “I hope everybody is staying as as cool as possible with the heat dome. I do wonder at times with the heat dome hitting us 10 days ago, record rains in south Florida, and now I understand the possibilities of 10 inches of rain in a tropical storm that’s hitting east Texas, I don’t know how any rational policy maker could still deny that our climate is changing and it’s something we need to address.”
  • We’ve got to make the application to college as easy as possible and we’ve also got to make sure that sorting through the financial aid that in many ways makes kids able to go to college is in a clear form…. I can tell you as the [first?] person in my family to graduate from college, my parents only had enough money to help me a little bit through the first year…If I had not gotten student aid and…also worked almost 30 hours a week…my sophomore through senior year of college, I wasn’t able to afford to go.”
  • “The only way we’re going to get to a clean, carbon-free energy generation in a way that meets our power needs – and they are growing enormously even with just the existing data centers we have, without even adding new data centers, mostly driven by AI technology needs enormous amount of power – this would put additional funding both in terms of licensing and how we can, I believe, bring nuclear power, particularly small modular reactors, back into the energy mix.”  (Note: I strongly disagree with Sen. Warner on “small modular reactors” – they’re speculative technology and *extremely* expensive, multiple times more than solar, wind, energy efficiency, or even natural gas)
  • “How do we make sure that we maintain availability of health care, particularly hospitals in rural areas? We’ve seen about 30% of our rural hospitals across the country close over the last 15 years…rural hospitals are at such a tremendous disadvantage in terms of reimbursement rates. So I’ve had a bipartisan bill for years that would make sure that rural hospitals get at least 85 cents for every dollar that wealthier communities get in terms of reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid…this legislation would increase…the Medicare and Medicaid funding for OBGYNs…you shouldn’t have to travel literally two, three, four hours to get obstrectrics care.”
  • “I’m sure somebody was going to ask me about the primaries…in the three…Democratic primaries, I think we’ve got three great candidates in Mr. Vindman…in the seventh…we all are still waiting to see what happens in the Republican primary in the Fifth District. If there’s one thing I guess we can take away is that a Trump endorsement alone, even in one of our more conservative districts, does not necessarily guarantee an outcome.”
  • “While I’ve not seen the FTC complaint itself, I have grave national security concerns about TikTok. But I’d also say I have concerns about a lot of our social media  companies. I think the Surgeon General Murthy’s comments the other day that potentially these social media companies need warning labels needs to be really considered…the amount of mental health challenges that our kids face based on social media is  increasing not decreasing. And frankly Congress has been kind of pathetic in doing anything about it.”
  • “I think when push comes to shove [Biden losing support among women is] probably not going to be the case, because I think one of the most important issues for women this year is the ability for women to have control over their own bodies and the freedom and the ability to have access to reproductive health care. And when you’ve got former president Trump bragging about a Supreme Court that took away the right to abortion with Roe v. Wade; when you see my Republican friends say they want to support right to contraception but then vote against a simple bill that would provide that; when we see those same friends who say of course we support IVF to allow families that can’t otherwise conceive to have a family, yet again when that vote was put on the floor all but two of the Republican Senators voted against it. I think we’ll get a little more clarity next week when the debate takes place, this will finally stop some of the speculation...I think when the American people actually take a moment and start to listen to what Donald Trump is saying, I think they’re going to pull back, not just because of women’s health care, not just because of questions around democracy. But here we’ve got a presidential candidate who’s a convicted felon who spends 85% of every one of his speeches talking about himself and why he’s still angry over slights to himself or trying to relitigate the 2020 election. I think Americans, regardless of partisan leanings, want somebody that’s going to lay out what they’re going to do what a president’s going to do for them and for the future of this country. And I generally feel when people focus on what former President Trump is saying…some of those polls will change. But I think the president and his campaign needs to take those concerns to heart and aggressively reach out to those communities that need to hear more about his record. And in so many ways I mean there’s been a record, whether it was the broadband deployment, whether it was the CHIPS bill…the infrastructure that’s finally rebuilding our roads and bridges and airports…The fact is the American economy is the single strongest economy in the world… That in itself may not, those facts don’t convince everyone, because still we’ve got to grapple with inflation and I’m glad to see these inflation numbers are coming down. I do hope the Federal Reserve would go ahead and cut interest rates…that would allow people who want to buy their first home; if we just don’t have enough supply, if we get the the wheels churning on the housing market, I think that will help bring down costs as well, particularly in housing…I do think at the end of the day that if the American people really focus on what Mr. Trump is saying day in and day out, and count how much time he spends on talking about their families and folks’ needs, I think they’ll think twice.”

 

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