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Stumping for Blum, Forbes rejects Obama's ‘new normal'

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CEDAR RAPIDS — President Obama’s “new normal” of higher taxation and spending, more regulation and attacks on privacy cannot be allowed to stand, former presidential hopeful Steve Forbes said Wednesday.

Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, was in Cedar Rapids to raise funds and support for Rod Blum, one of three candidates for the Republican nomination in Iowa’s 1st District.

He called the Dubuque businessman someone who “understands what it takes to get America moving again, especially on the economy” and making reforms that result in “true patient-oriented health care.”

Forbes, who sought the GOP nomination in 1996 and 2000, said he will leave running to president to others. His visit, he said, was in his role as an “agitator.”

“The whole idea of this country being in the position it is today is an abomination,” Forbes told more than 100 people at a rally at the Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. The rejected the idea that Americans should accept high unemployment, low economic growth, “not doing as well as we did before, have the rest of the world disrespect us” as the new normal.

Blum, Forbes said, is an entrepreneur who stands that free markets have turned expensive luxuries into everyday commodities available to everyone. Thirty years ago, a cellphone “big as a shoe box” cost $3,995.

“Today, they are everywhere, they can do everything,” he said. “Everyone can afford it.”

Those kinds of “miracles” become commonplace when entrepreneurs “are allowed the opportunity to do great things,” Forbes said.

Blum, who recalled that his childhood home had dirt floors and his family raised chickens in the attic, said middle class families cannot tolerate the “new normal” foisted on them by the Obama administration.

“Democrats talk about food stamps, we talk about jobs,” Blum said. “Democrats talk about Obamacare, we’ll talk about millions who have lost physicians … the hospitals they want to go to … their insurance policies canceled and (who) will lose their jobs because of Obamacare’s impact on economy.

“We want a culture of opportunity,” Blum said. “The solution is not more government, more dependency, but a booming economy.”

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