Joe Biden enlists the help of former Senator Heidi Heitkamp to help explain his message to rural America
Biden is also using surrogates to help spread his message virtually. Their team reached out and offered up former Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, to explain the campaign’s message to rural America.
It is down to the wire for the presidential candidates to win over rural voters. Former North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp is on the campaign trail to lend her support to Joe Biden.
According to Heitkamp, “When Joe Biden said he’s going to be a candidate and a President for all of America, you can take his word to the bank and rural America is not going to be left behind. When we design a new healthcare program, when we design an infrastructure plan, when we look at how we can in fact expand broadband and make sure that educational opportunities reach people in this country-- he gets it he is going to be a fighter for rural America.”
Expanding access to broadband has been a talking point for both campaigns. The Trump administration has invested just over one billion dollars in rural broadband through the USDA’s Reconnect Program.
The Biden-Harris plan calls for a $20 billion dollar investment in broadband, paid for by increasing corporate and high-income taxes.
“You cannot think about broadband as a luxury. It’s essential whether it’s for precision agriculture and just so our farmers can be the best farmers in the world, but also, so our kids can get the best education and a more diverse education than maybe what the local school districts can provide,” Heitkamp states. “All of that has to be built on the back of a strong opportunity to have access to broadband, whether it’s in your home, or in the school, or for telemedicine.”
Biden’s plan also includes preserving the Affordable Care Act, expanding Medicaid, and increasing access to telehealth and transportation.
“The one thing I want to say about Biden’s healthcare plan, as it relates to rural America and it tells you how tuned in he is to the challenges of rural America, is transportation,” she notes. “In his healthcare plan, he’s got the opportunity for states and for rural communities to provide transportation, so somebody isn’t stranded on the farm without a way into town to check their diabetes, to check their high blood pressure.”
At several rallies in battleground states, President Trump has pointed to the $28 billion dollars in federal payments for farmers, as a sign of his commitment to agriculture during challenging times, but Heitkamp says that farmers would rather have market access.
She explains, “Anywhere from 35-40 percent of net farm income this year will come from the government. That’s not what farmers want. Farmers want their markets. They want to make to sure they can grow even more markets for their products. They are the best producers in the world.”
She says that she is optimistic about the next four years, and encourages farmers across the country to cast a ballot.
“I would say all of you get out and vote, vote the future, vote the future of your farm, and the future of your farm is not in direct subsidies,” she adds. “The future of your farm is in growing economic opportunities and markets.”
Heitkamp served one term in the Senate and served on the Senate Ag Committee.
For full interview, click HERE.
For more election coverage click HERE.