Republican Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey’s condescending remark about college professors should alarm voters across the state about the Republican commitment to education and job creation, Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester said.
Ramsey told Capitol Hill reporter Tom Humphrey that many in the academic world “step off campus and they’re lost. They like to get up in the morning, comb their beard, put on their wire-rimmed glasses, throw their little tweed vest on and go to school for three hours… and hate Republicans.”
“Mr. Ramsey and the Republican leadership at the General Assembly have shown their true colors with a remark like that,” Forrester said. “It really calls into question their commitment to higher education and even helping our local school systems better educate our children.
“Mr. Ramsey and the state GOP not only want to cut programs intended to reduce infant deaths, they also now want to give the boot to any child who wants to go to college. That boot is going to hamper job creation in this state if it’s not careful.”
Forrester pointed out that a well skilled work force is vital to many businesses and industries.
“How in the world do you recruit top-notch companies and industries into a community if you don’t have the workers with the necessary skills to hire or the educators we need to teach those skills?” Forrester asked. “Our teachers and college professors shape and hone young minds every day.
“If we don’t have the commitment we need in the General Assembly or in the governor’s office to better educate and train our work force, then this entire state is lost. Fortunately we have had that commitment in Gov. Phil Bredesen and Democratic leaders in the Legislature.
“And I know Mike McWherter and the rest of our Democratic candidates across the state have the commitment to create more jobs in our communities by ensuring companies and businesses in Tennessee have the employees they need to compete in an increasingly global and high-skilled economy. I’m not sure that commitment is there with some on the other side of the aisle,” he added.