MOUNT VERNON — As U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown prepared to take off on a “listening tour” of early presidential campaign states, he was already sounding like a presidential candidate.
In a telephone press conference Wednesday, Brown took several shots at President Donald Trump and spoke of how he thinks every Democrat should focus his or her campaign in 2020.
Indicating that the “dignity of work” will be his theme if he decides to run, Brown said he thinks every Democrat should focus on the theme that hard work should be rewarded.
“Hard work should pay off and I’ve been fighting for that my whole career,” Brown said.
“I want to listen and learn,” he said of his tour, which will first stop in Iowa, before moving on to New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.
Sometime in March, he said, he and his wife will decide whether to make the race.
Trump’s lack of respect for work, he said, was shown by his temper tantrum to shut down the government and then bragging about it.
He decried the “tone deafness” of the administration who said things like the Secretary of Commerce’s comment that people who weren’t being paid should “take out a loan.”
Government workers will eventually get their pay, Brown said, but we should also have taken care of other workers, the contract workers who don’t work directly for the government and won’t recover lost wages.
“The Republicans just weren’t interested in helping them,” he said, and “the Republicans weren’t willing to stand up to Trump.”
He also took a shot at the Republican tax cut, saying “70 percent of the cut went to the wealthiest 1 percent,” and added that “The wealthy don’t pay their fair share.”
He said corporations who don’t pay their workers enough to stay off assistance programs should pay a “freeloader fee.”