Watching Republican Jack Bergman running for Congress in Michigan’s mammoth 1st Congressional District is fascinating. He’s a charming, affable guy but when you scratch the surface of his façade, he’s not informed about many issues and he’s nothing more than a typical tea party Republican on all of the others.
The campaign of the Democrat running for the seat, Lon Johnson, put together clips of Bergman’s know-nothingness and tea party rhetoric that gives a comprehensive look at how atrocious of a candidate he really is:
Bergman wants to privatize Social Security and Medicare. He wants to decrease the number of VA hospitals. He thinks the decision on whether or not to shut down Line 5, the aging oil pipeline that runs under the Straits of Mackinac, is a “business decision”. He is an extreme forced-birther who wouldn’t even allow an exception for abortions for women who are the victims of rape and/or incest. He even brought in House Speaker Paul Ryan to campaign for him, a man who is the poster child for privatizing Social Security and Medicare and a major proponent of the failed model of trickle-down economics where all of the benefits go to the most wealthy at the expense of everyone else.
He’s not just completely wrong on the issues, he’s also completely ignorant on some of them. Here’s what he told an audience at a recent appearance when asked he is “for Medicare turning into vouchers”:
I’ll tell you what, again, that’s one of those things. You have concentrated on all of the issues that I have not here in the last six months. I’m not very deep on that one. So, I… I… Going back… End game? End game: quality health care, that’s accessible and affordable. How we get there, we’re going to figure you AFTER you send me to Congress. Okay?
I can’t give you all the answers on the front end because we’re going to be in that debate saying, “Geez, well why didn’t I vote for you before?” Well I didn’t run. This is your chance. This is your chance. You can’t vote for the incumbent because he’s retired. You’re gonna hafta roll the dice with me.
His rhetoric is astonishing enough but when you watch his body language when he says it, you get a true sense of just how out of his league he is:
Bergman appears to know he’s terrible when he has to deal directly with voters. He’s been skipping out on multiple debates and forums with Johnson. Here’s the tally so far:
After skipping out on a debate last week in Gaylord, here’s what his “appearance” at a forum in Ontonagon this past Tuesday looked like:
Meanwhile, Johnson has been an indefatigable campaigner, criss crossing the Upper Pensinsula and the northern Lower Peninsula to speak with voters to earn their vote.
Bergman doesn’t appear to believe he has to earn the votes of the people who would be his constituents. He’s relying on his military background and the fact that the 1st District has an R+4 Cook Partisan Voting Index to carry him, avoiding contact with voters on a regular basis.
You might say he’s rolling the dice.