CONCORD – Yesterday, Governor Maggie Hassan sat down with WMUR’s Josh McElveen on Facebook Live to answer questions from Granite Staters on topics ranging from college affordability and fiscal responsibility to climate change and bipartisanship.
You can watch her entire interview on WMUR’s website HERE or see specific segments below.
When asked about her plans to make college more affordable, Maggie talked about her record as Governor of New Hampshire and her work to freeze college tuition for the first time in 25 years and lower tuition for community colleges. She also discussed her priorities at the federal level to make college more affordable, including expanding Pell Grants and allowing students to refinance their student loans so the government isn’t profiting off student debt.
When asked about what she will do to help the middle class, Maggie highlighted her Innovate NH 2.0 economic plan that contains a number of initiatives to help middle class families make ends meet. She emphasized the importance of competency-based and STEM education and ensuring that workers earn a living wage. She also discussed her proposal for a $1,000 middle class tax cut paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes, and her commitment to ensuring paid family and medical leave, and protecting and strengthening Social Security and Medicare so New Hampshire seniors can enjoy a secure retirement.
Governor Hassan said that “it always starts with fiscal responsibility,” and emphasized the need to exercise care with taxpayer dollars. She then identified several specific opportunities to cut federal government waste including eliminating tobacco subsidies and programs that don’t work like abstinence-only education and selling off empty federal buildings. She also indicated her support for Senator Shaheen’s proposal to move the federal government to biennial budgeting and taking steps to increase data-driven decision making in the federal government.
When asked about her plans to combat climate change and rising sea levels, Maggie highlighted her work as Governor on preparing communities and increasing resilience on the Seacoast as climate change takes place. She talked about her record of sponsoring New Hampshire’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative bill, supporting the state’s renewable energy portfolio, and working in a bipartisan way to lift its net metering cap. She also discussed the differences between her record and Ayotte’s record of standing with Big Oil and the Koch Brothers at the expense of New Hampshire’s natural resources which gives Ayotte a worse environmental record than former Senator Scott Brown.
When asked how she will work to heal America’s divisions and pull us together, Maggie told a story from her childhood:
“My dad was a World War II veteran. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge and he would look at us from time to time at the breakfast table and say, ‘What are you doing for freedom today?’ And it sounds like kind of a big question to ask a kid, but he was serious. Because he had been part of a generation, the Greatest Generation, they’ve come to be called, because they believed in something greater than themselves, they saved the world from Hitler. And then the built the United States into the greatest economic and military force the world has ever known. That’s the spirit that I try to bring to my work here in New Hampshire and I know that that’s the spirit that Granite Staters bring to their daily lives. We share a great deal in common. The most important thing we all share is a democracy and the mission that that democracy was founded on. That notion that every single person counts. Counting everybody isn’t always easy and our forefathers didn’t do it perfectly. But they believed that every generation of Americans would work harder and harder to pull the vulnerable and marginalized into the center and that we’d all get stronger as a result.”
She also talked about how in New Hampshire she’s been able to work across party lines to get things done and wants to bring that same approach to Washington:
“So one of the reasons I’m running for the Senate is because I want to bring that Granite State attitude and respect for individualism and community to the United States Senate. And that understanding that you can work across party lines and have passionate and vigorous disagreements. But then still come together and by focusing on the challenges that the people you represent are facing get things done. That’s what we’ve done here in New Hampshire. That’s what we should be doing in Washington.”
When asked whether she raising the retirement age, Maggie talked about her opposition to such a move and told the story of her father-in-law who worked on his feet as a butcher until his retirement in his mid-sixties. She also reiterated her commitment to strengthening Medicare and Social Security.
When asked why she’s running for Senate at the close of the live interview, Maggie highlighted her commitment to bringing her New Hampshire approach to the Senate to break the log jam and deliver results for Granite Staters.
“I know we can keep our economy moving in the right direction, we can protect our environment, and we can keep our country safe, as long as we work together. And I will always be a senator who puts the people of New Hampshire, not special interests, first.”