Release: Former Republican Gov. Arne Carlson Endorses Dean Phillips

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Release: Former Republican Gov. Arne Carlson Endorses Dean Phillips
Carlson cites the need for a return of decency and respect

Former Republican Governor Arne Carlson enthusiastically endorsed Dean Phillips for Congress this week. Carlson joins thousands of Republicans and former Paulsen supporters who are now supporting Dean, as well as the Star Tribune, which endorsed Phillips after five consecutive endorsements of Paulsen. A recent KSTP SurveyUSA Poll showed that 17% of people who voted for Erik Paulsen in 2016 plan to vote for Dean Phillips in 2018.

In rolling out the endorsement, Phillips’s campaign released a new online video of a conversation with Gov. Carlson, former Vice President Walter Mondale and Dean. In it, Governor Carlson says, “Extreme partisanship doesn’t get anything done…; it produces the kind of divisiveness that we have now in our society. You [Phillips] have the ability to bring people together towards a positive solution.”

In addition to the online video advertisement, Phillips for Congress also announced the placement of outdoor advertising that highlights Governor Carlson’s endorsement:

Gov. Arne Carlson billboard endorsing Dean Phillips
In his op-ed endorsing Phillips, Governor Arne Carlson writes:

One of my favorite memories growing up was Papa regaling us with stories of con men in New York City coming up with clever schemes that would separate victims from their money. One story, at the height of the Depression, was about a hot dog vendor selling from his two-wheeled cart in Central Park. Every once in awhile, he would put a rubber cone on his middle finger, slip it into the bun and cover everything with mustard. The customer would grab it and start to walk away. When he discovered that there was only a bun with loads of mustard, he would search around looking for the missing hot dog while the vendor would push on.

That type of diversion is precisely what Erik Paulsen is doing with voters. He does not want to talk about the surge in the deficit that is crowding out other expenses like health care, Medicare and Social Security. Nor does his boss, Paul Ryan, who already has prepared a budget that does precisely that. The Trump tax cuts Paulsen strongly supported are backfiring faster than expected. The deficit has grown 17 percent and is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2020.

In order to bury this grim reality, Paulsen, with Ryan’s special interest financial help, is putting the spotlight on Dean Phillips with all sorts of reckless ads. As long as the focus is on those ads, Paulsen can avoid any discussion of cuts to Social Security, Medicare and health care.

Now there is serious pushback. Several prominent Republican business leaders noted in a recent Star Tribune commentary that Paulsen’s ads are not only “unprecedented” and an “outrageous lie,” but also cause significant harm to Minnesota’s commitment to broad public service and voluntarism. And KARE11 and WCCO analyzed Paulsen’s ads labeling them “false and misleading.”

The Third Congressional District was shaped and intelligently led by moderate Republicans such as Bill Frenzel and Jim Ramstad. They relied on values that brought out the best in us. We now have a chance to get back to those same values with Dean Phillips.

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