Rohrer Condemns Rendell’s Disparaging Remarks About Americans

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September 23, 2009

Rohrer Condemns Rendell’s Disparaging Remarks about Americans
Governor’s comments reminiscent of Jimmy Carter’s ‘malaise’ speech

HARRISBURG — Rep. Sam Rohrer (R-Berks) today condemned Gov. Ed Rendell’s comments Tuesday night on a nationally televised cable program where the governor suggested Americans suffer from a lack of optimism and confidence.

"The governor should not confuse his plummeting poll numbers with an overall lack of optimism in America," Rohrer said. "Just because Pennsylvanians no longer have confidence in him does not mean they do not have confidence in America."

The controversy surrounds comments Rendell made Tuesday night on an episode of CNBC’s "Mad Money" program with host Jim Cramer.

On the show, Rendell said, "This country used to have a great optimistic attitude that we could do anything, roll up our sleeves and use American creativity, ingenuity and innovation and get anything done. I think to a great extent we’ve lost that Jim. We need a confidence boost."

A video clip of Rendell’s comments can be viewed at

Rohrer compared the tone of Rendell’s comments to former-President Jimmy Carter’s now infamous "malaise" speech, which he delivered on July 15, 1979. In that speech, which Carter delivered during the middle of an energy crisis and economic turmoil, Carter blamed the problems on a "crisis of confidence," adding that, "The erosion of our confidence in the future is threatening to destroy the social and the political fabric of America."

"Governor Rendell seems to believe in the Carter doctrine: when government fails, blame the people," Rohrer said. "Americans do not lack confidence in themselves. They lack confidence in some of their elected leaders.

"The answer to Jimmy Carter’s malaise was Ronald Reagan’s optimism. If Americans have lost confidence in anything it is in some of their elected leaders – like Rendell – who have promised to solve all their problems using the strong arm and heavy hand of government.

"Excessive government suffocates confidence, depriving it of the liberty it needs to breathe. Americans can accomplish anything when the shackles of a repressive government are removed. Unfortunately, American government today seems to be moving away from the basic principles of our Founding Fathers’ republic and towards a form of government that hampers individual freedom and collective progress.

"Americans don’t need a confidence boost in themselves. They need elected leaders who earn the public’s confidence. The governor should not blame his failures and the failures of nationally elected leaders in Washington, D.C., on the American people."