- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 1, 2019

Rep. Dan Kildee on Thursday criticized the candidates in this week’s 2020 Democratic presidential debates, saying they were more focused on “ideological battles” than solutions to current problems.

“I think there was far too much attention on nuanced differences between the candidates that they tried to turn into big ideological battles. They’re not,” the Michigan Democrat said on “CNN Newsroom.” “The big struggle is with this president. And the issues that really matter to people who are trying to figure out their lives. People here in Michigan who are trying to preserve their way of life here. We needed to hear more about that.”

Mr. Kildee said the candidates didn’t inspire enough discussion about cities such as Flint, Michigan — which he represents — and its ongoing water crisis, especially since the debates occurred less than 100 miles away in Detroit.

“I did not hear enough about Flint,” he said. There were references to Flint but it felt very much like a drive-by conversation. Many of the candidates have made their way to Flint and, you know, we appreciate them coming, but what Flint does not need or want is sympathy, we do not need or want more photo-ops, we want people who are willing to step forward and say ‘this is an injustice that happened and we’re going to make sure things are made right in Flint and that we don’t see another one happen.’ … What we don’t need are people to use us as a backdrop.”

Mr. Kildee said that while Michigan is experiencing a great economy under Mr. Trump, it’s part of a “normal cycle” and could come crashing down if they don’t take precautions.

“That’s a mistake that I think a lot of people that are running for president are ignoring,” he said. “Yeah, we’re in an economy that’s moving, but it’s a normal cycle of the economy that we’ve been able to continue, but it’s not permanent. Unless we deal with the fundamentals, we’ll be paying a hefty price in the coming years.”

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