Ex-Wisconsin Sen. Feingold Launches New PAC
MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
Welcome to the program, sir.
RUSS FEINGOLD: Good to be in the show and thank you.
NORRIS: Now, why did you decide to do this, and why now?
FEINGOLD: What's going on now with the power of corporations, particularly after the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court, is like the gilded age on steroids. So this is the moment to try to reinvigorate a progressive response to what's going on.
NORRIS: Let's just listen to the president for a second, speaking to the Chamber of Commerce.
BARACK OBAMA: We need an economy that's based not on what we consume and borrow from other nations but what we make and what we sell around the world. We need to make America the best place on Earth to do business.
NORRIS: Now, you have argued that corporations have too much influence over the political process and really much else in Washington. But does the president have a bit of a point, that in order to right the economy, the government needs to take a much more pro-business stance, to work with the Chamber of Commerce and corporations instead of doing battle with them?
FEINGOLD: But that's entirely different than letting corporations have a stranglehold on the political process.
NORRIS: As a progressive yourself, I'm curious about your reaction to the budget cuts that the president is proposing.
FEINGOLD: My concern is this: We gave away the store when we gave away huge tax cuts to very-high-income people at the end of last year. What you've done is done something so much more dramatic than any cuts that the president has proposed that it really is out of whack. And we need to reassert a progressive attitude, which is it really isn't our top priority to make sure that very-high-income people get tax cuts at this time. That's just not the right direction.
NORRIS: Is it possible that you and your ideas are somewhat out of touch with the voters in Wisconsin?
FEINGOLD: But I'm pretty sure the message was not: destroy the opportunities for working people to protect themselves. That's not an agenda that is truly popular here in Wisconsin, and it won't be...
NORRIS: But the voters have spoken.
FEINGOLD: Well, the voters did speak. They wanted to have different people in office. But that doesn't mean they expected these policies. And guess what? The voters will speak again, and they're going to say something very different.
NORRIS: Russ Feingold, it's been a pleasure to talk to you. Thanks so much for making time for us.
FEINGOLD: Good talking to you.
NORRIS: Russ Feingold is the former Democratic senator from Wisconsin. Today, he launched a new political action committee called Progressives United.
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