NHDP - Tea Party Candidates Lambert and Garcia Show True Colors in Race to the Right

Tea Party Candidates Marilinda Garcia and Gary Lambert Leave Doors Open to Government Shutdown, Cutting Social Security and Medicare, and Phasing Out Higher Education Assistance

Manchester, NH – Last night's NH-02 GOP primary debate featured Tea Party candidates Gary Lambert and Marilinda Garcia running to the right leaving the doors wide open to shutting down the government, cutting Social Security and Medicare, and phasing out higher education assistance.

“In last night's GOP debate, Marilinda Garcia and Gary Lambert showed their true colors by embracing Tea Party policies that would hurt middle class New Hampshire families. Both candidates said they would consider using the threat of a government shutdown to push their extreme agendas, cutting Social Security and Medicare, and Garcia remained open to phasing out funding for special education and higher education assistance,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Deputy Communications Director Bryan Lesswing. “Cutting these vital programs would devastate Granite State families, students, and seniors. As far-right conservative Gary Lambert and Bill O'Brien protege Marilinda Garcia continue to pander to their right-wing, ultraconservative base in the final stretch of the primary, they're making it very clear that their priorities are dead wrong for New Hampshire.”

Background on Last Night's Debate

On Social Security: Garcia openly supported measures that would lead to cuts in Social Security, including raising the retirement age and limiting benefits.

On Medicare: Garcia backed the Bill O'Brien agenda to turn Medicare into block grants that would effectively end the program. Lambert noted that “we have to come up with new reforms.”

On whether shutting down the government is a good tool for negotiations: Lambert said, “everything should be on the table in terms of negotiations and options,” while Marilinda Garcia conceded, “shutting down the government is never the goal, but look at the reality of our situation.”

On funding for special education and higher education assistance: Garcia notably dodged a direct question on whether the federal government should have a role in providing for special education and higher education assistance, like Pell Grants.