Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick said Tuesday that his centrist record and 30 years of business experience put him in the best spot to help restore America’s financial health.
The former Trus Joist CEO touted endorsements from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business, Associated General Contractors and associations for Realtors and bankers.
“I ask each of you to help me to continue to use those skills to decrease government spending, balance the budget and reform out-of- control entitlements,” he said.
GOP nominee Raul Labrador, who has operated a small law firm for 10 years, countered by saying Minnick disrespects small businesses. Last week, he told Labrador in a radio debate that “running a three or four or five person law firm is not a small business. Let’s be forthright: you’re a lawyer, you’re not a businessman.”
"He attacked each and every one of you who are small businessmen,” Labrador told the crowd of 100. “The problem with Washington, D.C., is we don’t have enough people looking out for small business.”
Labrador, 42, credited Minnick for running a Fortune 1000 company, but said, “He doesn’t understand what small businesses have to go through like I do.”
Minnick, 68, didn’t back down, saying Labrador’s “total business experience has been limited to running an immigration law firm.”
For more on the forum, read Wednesday's Idaho Statesman.