For reasons he says cannot explain, Broderick Johnson, senior adviser to President Obama's re-election campaign, found his daughter and son, ages 13 and 12, respectively, engrossed in last week's Republican National Convention. His daughter, he told members at the Democratic National Convention's Black caucus meeting Monday, got "really worked up" by attacks on the president and repeated false accusations that he's trying to gut the welfare-to-work program.
What message does it send to other politically astute 13-year-old girls who are paying attention but are part of families that currently rely on food stamps or welfare to survive these tough economic times, Johnson wondered.
"If she hears all this political rhetoric and attacks directed at the poor, how must she feel at the end of the day?" he asked. "We have to fight for her, we have to fight for her parents and we have fight the cynicism that tries to take advantage of the poor people of this country who want to make ends meet. It is real and it is personal and we must fight for these families."
Johnson also talked about why a Romney-Ryan administration, in his opinion, would be bad for America.
"[The Affordable Care Act] is a great achievement this president fought for. But real and personal, we all know children who suffer from sickle cell anemia, and if Romney and Ryan win, [they] will be denied health insurance if they repeal the Obamacare law. We can't let that happen," he said.
Johnson, who depended on Pell grants for his undergraduate studies and spent decades paying back law school loans, also cautioned that as president Romney would reduce such benefits, taking higher education out of the reach of many families.
"This election is personal and it is real because the stakes are so grave," he said. "We can't go backward."
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