Last week, The Concord Coalition was joined in New Hampshire by former Congressmen David Jolly (R-FL) and Patrick Murphy (D-FL).
Their visit included an interview on The Concord Coalition’s radio show and podcast “Facing the Future.”
Jolly and Murphy also participated in a town hall at the Warren B. Rudman Center at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. Moderated by Robert L. Bixby, executive director of The Concord Coalition, the event was attended by more than 80 community leaders and UNH law students.
During their town hall, Jolly and Murphy discussed opportunities for bipartisan leadership, how to build political consensus, and to demonstrate that even in times of disagreement on solutions to our country’s most divisive issues, those disagreements need not divide us as a people.
The Florida congressmen have been going around the country on a “Let’s Fix Washington” speaking tour.
Jolly emphasized that the point of the tour is, “talking about a platform where people of all ideologies can call home… The reality is the system has incentivized gridlock as opposed to incentivizing bipartisanship.”
Murphy said, “There are a lot of great people in Washington D.C. but they are like so many Americans that want to keep their jobs. We have got to change those incentives so that it is about our country, its about the United States and not one party or the other.”
“Our debt, for example,” Murphy said. “Right now, it’s $21 trillion and counting. We’re putting a tremendous burden on the younger folks in our country right now to one day pay that off. We are pretty soon going to be paying more on the interest on our debt than we are on infrastructure, than we are on education.”
Murphy went on to say that structural problems that exacerbate partisanship are preventing important issues from being addressed properly. The experts on these issues know that if they were to put something forward, it would never see a vote or even a hearing.
The congressmen were adamant that these structural problems can be addressed through a variety of reforms. They also stressed the impact of a motivated electorate, educated and informed on the issues.
Jolly said, “Understand there are multiple ways to influence congress and political decision making and it is not just choosing which candidate you want to go to Congress.”
He continued, “The way forward on solving these issues, including long term debt and deficit reform, is in staying true to your ideological convictions but recognizing we make greater progress if we can have a level playing field that rewards bipartisanship. It is not necessarily a moderate ideology but it is the ability to work together and allow voters to reward that.”
Their visit to the Granite State also included several interviews with local media including an hour on New Hampshire Public Radio’s “The Exchange,” a TV interview with WMUR’s Adam Sexton, and an interview with the Seacoast Media Group.