Rep. Tom Reed tried to pump up the base for the fall elections in a speech to the New York delegation of the Republican National Convention at their daily breakfast Wednesday.
Reed urged his fellow Republicans to get behind House Speaker Paul Ryan’s policy agenda, which focuses on addressing poverty by reducing waste and fraud and giving more autonomy to the states and individual agencies already working to combat those issues.
A Trump presidency would position Congress to put that plan in place, said Reed, who served for the past few years on the House Ways and Means Committee alongside Ryan until Ryan left that post when he became speaker last year.
“We believe in policies that empower individuals,” Reed said. “The other side believes in policies that empower government.”
Reed also encouraged members of the audience to not give of hope and to “roll up their sleeves” to try to get voters to the polls this fall.
“I know there’s pundits and there’s some media here and there’s media across the country that say, ‘The Republican Party is the party of yesterday, it’s the party of old ideas,’” Reed said. “I say no. We are the party of the future. We are the party that’s going to allow our kids and grandkids to have jobs and opportunity for years to come, because we believe in you, not the government as the controller of our lives.”
Reed, whose district stretches from the southwest corner of the state to just west of Binghamton, also dismissed the idea that New York, a reliably blue state in presidential elections for decades, is not in play this time around. Earlier this week, a new poll showed Donald Trump trailing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by 12 points in New York.
“We can sweep New York and put New York on the map in a presidential election, because we have elected a candidate that is disrupting the entire process,” Reed asserted. “We can get it done, and we will get it done.”
Reed briefly touched on the theme of the third day of the convention, “Make America One Again,” saying that as he has traveled he has sensed a heightened anxiety among Americans.
“But, what we cannot do, is turn on each other,” he said. “God forbid we turn on our men and women in blue when they’re out there sacrificing, day in and day out, for all of us. All lives matter.”