U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas.
Democratic Congresswoman Niki Tsongas Saturday criticized the Republican party for allowing Donald Trump to become its nominee for president, and called on local Democrats to cross the border into New Hampshire to help elect Hillary Clinton.
Speaking at the annual pre-election breakfast of the Haverhill Democratic City Committee, Tsongas said the problem is bigger than simply Trump’s nomination.
“And I can’t tell you how dismayed people are that, not so much at Mr. Trump who they are astonished at, but that a major party could produce like this. They cannot believe that this is what our country has come to,”
Recognizing Massachusetts is reliably in Clinton’s corner, she urged local Democrats to help New Hampshire’s effort to elect the Democratic candidate.
“Massachusetts—more predictable than, perhaps, New Hampshire. We’re close to the New Hampshire border so I think all of us have to make our way up there even if we’re working hard on all the local elections,” she said.
To cheers of applause, Tsongas credited Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for raising key issues during the Democratic primary. These include, she said, the “growing income gap” between the top 1 percent and the rest of the country.
Besides electing Clinton, the Third District congresswoman said Democrats have a chance at taking the U.S. Senate away from Republicans this year by undertaking a state-by-state effort. She acknowledged, however, retaking the U.S. House of Representatives is “a little more remote.”
Tsongas reflected on Friday’s Women’s Equality Day—the 96th anniversary of American women’s right to vote—to discuss political progress by women. She noted one of the longest serving female members of the House came from Massachusetts. While not mentioning her by name or party affiliation, Tsongas was referring to Edith Nourse Rogers, a Lowell Republican who served from 1925 to 1960.
She credited passage of Title IX, a federal civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination, with helping women excel in sports. She noted American women won a majority of the gold medals during the recent summer Olympics. Clinton’s distinction as the first woman to be nominated by a major party as its presidential nominee is the latest in trends supporting women, she said.
“For me it was quite a moment to be at the convention and have that historic nomination of a woman to seek the presidency of the most powerful country in the world, United States of America.”