ICYMI: Highlights From Press Conference Call With U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach (PA-6), U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15) And PA GOP Chairman Rob Gleason

PA GOP Chairman Rob Gleason:

“In advance of President Obama’s Philadelphia fundraiser tonight, we’re gathered today to discuss the state of the race in Pennsylvania. We simply cannot allow President Obama to come into our state without providing Pennsylvanians another opportunity to investigate his record.

“First, as many of you are aware, President Obama made comments last week saying the private sector is ‘doing fine.’ Yes, he actually believes that while millions are struggling with 8.2% unemployment and are unable to find jobs, we’re all ‘doing fine.’

“How about the side effects of ObamaCare? Does the President believe that medical device companies, saddled with a 2.3% tax thanks to ObamaCare, are ‘doing fine’? Does the President believe that small businesses who are unable to grow based on ObamaCare’s extensive regulations and red tape are ‘doing fine?’

“I don’t know what world this president lives in, but thanks to Obama, Pennsylvanians aren’t ‘doing fine.’ Whether it’s our skyrocketing national debt, rising unemployment or stagnant economy, things have gotten worse. After three and a half years, the president simply hasn’t kept his promises, and voters are now asking themselves, ‘do I believe that President Obama has done enough to earn a second term? Can I entrust President Obama with running our nation for four more years?’ By saying the private sector is ‘doing fine’ while millions are struggling shows that Barack Obama either doesn’t know how to fix our economy, or has gotten to the point where he simply doesn’t care. So, Mr. President, we’re not ‘doing fine’ and you’re not ‘doing fine’ either and it’s time for you to go.

“Based on a new Quinnipiac Poll released today, more and more Pennsylvanians are starting to agree. Mitt Romney is well within striking distance in Pennsylvania. Romney is running strong, and Obama’s disapproval ratings are upside-down, with 49% disapproving of the way he is handling his job as president. Perhaps more importantly, when asked who would do a better job on the economy, a plurality of voters choose Romney. 49 percent to just 41 percent who choose Obama. Governor Romney was also on the radio this morning on Dom Giordano’s program in Philadelphia, and he said that ‘we see Pennsylvania as very much being in play.’

“So at the end of the day, it will be a dogfight in Pennsylvania, but based on the president’s failed record on job creation, dismal approval ratings and the fact that voters believe Governor Romney is better equipped to fix our economy, we believe we have an authentic opportunity to deliver Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes to Mitt Romney.”

U.S. Congressman Jim Gerlach (PA-6):

“I think it’s so ironic that President Obama is to going to be coming to Philadelphia tonight to raise money when just a few miles to west of the city is the very important part of our economy here in Southeastern Pennsylvania and certainly the entire Commonwealth. And that’s our medical device industry which is an industry that is growing and has an opportunity to produce great paying jobs all across the Commonwealth, all across the country.

“And yet, ObamaCare has a tax, a 2.3 percent tax, on the gross receipt, that is very important to understand, the gross receipt of these companies that they’ll have to pay beginning in January if that tax is not repealed. And so this morning, Congressman Meehan and I were out at a company called Neuronetics in the Great Valley at corporate center, where this is a small device company that makes a wonderful product to deal with chronic depression that is used by psychiatrists. Here is a company that is only a few years old, is now going to be facing a 2.3 percent tax which is absolutely going to crush them in terms of their ability to continue to grow. They’re not going to be able to hire the employees they want to hire, given their business model. They’re going to face anywhere between a 800,000 to one million more taxes just next year just to pay for that 2.3 percent tax.

“And so, if the president is so serious about jobs seems to want use that issue all across the country as he visits many campaign stops. If he is so serious about jobs he should come a few miles west of Philadelphia and talk to the medical device manufacturers in our area and really learn from them as to what his job crushing tax is going to do to them next year and beyond.

“It’s so ironic that the president wants to raise money in Pennsylvania but just a few miles away isn’t very concerned about the job that are going to be lost to the medical device taxes contained in his healthcare plan.

“So, it is our hope that perhaps the president will listen a little bit, will understand that his policies are hurting Pennsylvania, his policies are hurting this country. Very excited to have the candidacy of Governor Romney out there who does understand in the private sector how jobs are created and what a tax like this one, a 2.3 percent device tax is going to do to crush jobs across the country and finally put into place, when he’s elected president, the right policies to allow our businesses to grow and to prosper.”

Congressman Charlie Dent (PA-15):

“The medical device tax is emblematic of what’s wrong with the president’s Healthcare Law. It’s the perfect trifecta, higher costs, lost jobs, less innovation. That seems to be the reoccurring theme in this healthcare law, but in particular with respect to the medical device tax… I have many medical device manufacturers Boas Surgical, a small family run company for nearly one hundred years with 45 employees, they said that if this takes effect they will have to close their doors. Precision Medical , another smaller medical device company in my area will also be very much impacted by this.

“Larger employers, such as Bebron, 2,000 employees in the medical device realm, very concerned, this is going to cut their R&D (research and development) budget back very substantially, again less innovation. Also with the headquarters up here to Olympus, the maker of a lot of probes and scopes. So, we are feeling this very keenly.

“But in addition to the biotech side, the medical device side, we are experiencing a tax and regulatory assault on some of our very basic industries. I live in the heart of cement country, the largest cement producing district in America and the EPA regulatory assault on cement is going to result in close to twenty percent of all cement plants closing in this country. We only have 98 and we are anticipating eighteen or nineteen will close because of the new rules being imposed. I am just a couple miles south of the coal region and I’ll tell you that the assault on coal in well established and what they are doing to raise the price of coal and make it not competitive. One company has announced the closing of five coal plants in Pennsylvania a couple of months ago and two of the five plants are in two of the counties I represent. So we are feeling the effects of this administration’s poorly thought out policies.

“Again with respect to the healthcare law we do not know what the Supreme Court is going to do, but we know that if it is struck down, in part or in whole, that we are going to jump in and replace this law with sensible reforms that I think the public will embrace. We learned a lesson from the president’s Healthcare law, passing a 2,700 page bill without understanding its implications, it’s wrong for the country and I think we’ve all learned lessons and I am prepared to get to work to address the healthcare system in a real and meaningful way that the America public will find sustainable and with it help them have access to care.”