Those on the left who use the issue of women’s health in a political way and attack Republicans for a so-called “War on Women” don’t represent the true concerns of women, Rep. Nan Hayworth of New York told Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview.
Hayworth, the only woman physician on the House Doctors Caucus, said she has “the privilege of speaking with women throughout the Hudson Valley, and what are they concerned about? They’re concerned about the well-being of their families and their communities.”
“They’re concerned about being able to afford to stay in their homes here in beautiful New York State, which is also a very expensive state to live in, and their federal tax burdens only add to that problem,” she said.
“Energy prices are high. Part of our positive plan is to help reduce energy prices. They worry about being able to put gas in the tank. They worry about the same things that every American worries about so to try to boil down women’s concerns to whether or not we compel our faith based institutions to provide for certain types of coverage that they simply cannot do without violating their principles is offensive to every American and it’s not correct, it’s not accurate.”
Hayworth is seeking re-election in a district split between Democrats and Republicans and is one of the most evenly divided in the country. Polls show her leading her opponent, Sean Patrick Maloney, who just received support from the left-leaning Working Families Party which will make this a tighter race. Hayworth said she plans to continue providing great service to her constituents to try to win over Independents.
“We have tremendous constituent service,” she said. “We are trying to provide the kind of service on the ground both in terms of what we do directly with the citizens in our district and, obviously, in terms of how I represent them in my work on the Hill to let them know that I am a voice for every citizen of the district irrespective of their party affiliation or their station in life. We’re there for them and that message has definitely been resonating. But this is a very heavily contested district and this will be a photo finish, just the nature of things in this particular political year.”
She has been called a tea party Republican but said she just prefers being called “Nan.”
“I never slotted myself in any specific way,” she said. “I was happy to have the support of a number of tea party groups in the 2010 election and that came with my actually being rather different from some of their views, particularly on environmental protections, the role of the EPA, certain aspects of social policy. But what we share is that we want the federal government to be responsible, to respect its constitutional role, to live within its means the way Hudson Valley families do. That’s a universal issue, really, and it’s not specific to the tea party so I’ve always said, ‘I’m Nan and I’m here to serve everyone.’ And I’m very proud of that.”
Turning to the sequestration issue, Hayworth said if the House, Senate, and White House align, there will be significant movement on the issue.
“So much is going to depend on the results of the election, as you know, because then we’ll have a very clear idea of what the combination’s going to be: House, Senate, White House,” she said. “If we have House, Senate, and White House aligned, then you will see more movement toward putting the reforms in place that we need to manage the budget responsibly and providing the kind of, really, surgical measures that need to be taken when we talk about issues of national security.”
She continued, “There are legitimate concerns about across the board cuts; same with social programs. We need to look very carefully at where the need truly is and how we can continue to serve those needs. Medicare is a huge concern. I’m a doctor. I have parents who are seniors and I can relate completely to the challenges that we face there. So we have a lot of work that we’re going to have to do together. And even if we have House and Senate and administration aligned, we are going to bring our Democratic colleagues into this process fully so that everybody feels they have a voice.”
Turning to the presidential election, Hayworth said Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have a “great message” on economic growth and more needs to be done to help unemployment and the tax system.
“Gov. Romney and Congressman Ryan have a great message about economic growth and opportunity for every American and that’s what I’ve emphasized on their behalf,” she said. “We need to have growth and right now we have stagnation. We have an unemployment rate that has remained at or above eight percent for more than three and a half years now. That’s simply wrong. We can do so much better.”
“And how do we do better? Provide for a flatter, fairer tax structure,” she said. “Let’s not have taxmageddon facing us on January 1, 2013. Let’s have real regulatory relief and reform. Let’s repeal and replace that very burdensome, very costly 2010 health law with a plan that will work and honor those goals without costing Americans trillions of dollars. These are things that we can do together in a very positive way to put the 23 plus million Americans who are currently unemployed or underemployed back to work and, thereby, we will lift all boats and will actually provide more revenues to the federal government for it to do its job responsibly.”
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