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Elections

Sherrod Brown continues to test presidential waters with Facebook town hall

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    Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, speaks to supporters after winning re-election during the Democratic election night party in Columbus on Nov. 6. Brown held an online town hall Sunday as he considers running for president in 2020.

    JOHN MINCHILLO / AP FILE

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CLEVELAND — From the comfort of his home, Sen. Sherrod Brown took questions from viewers Sunday afternoon during an online town hall as he considers running for president in 2020.

After his victory in the November election, Brown turned to Facebook to meet voters from across the nation and answer their questions about his views on various issues.

“In politics, it’s really ‘whose side are you on,’ and if you love your country, you fight for the people who make it work,” he said.

The issues he spoke about ranged from health care and gun control to internet access and veterans.

Numerous people asked his opinion about Friday’s ruling by a federal judge in Texas that the Affordable Care Act is “invalid.” The ruling threatens coverage for millions of Americans, but most likely will be appealed so coverage will remain in place for now.

Brown criticized conservatives and President Donald Trump for trying to dismantle the health care program and spoke as a proponent for universal health care for Americans. He said the ruling is an attack on those who rely on Obamacare.

“What the Republicans all over this country and the president are applauding is immoral, and it’s wrong and we’re going to fight it and we’re going to fix it,” he said.

Brown also was asked for his thoughts about how to rebuild struggling smaller cities like Mansfield, Youngstown and Flint, Michigan. Brown said the effort is a big challenge but has to start with giving these smaller communities the attention they need.

“These communities don’t get the investment that big cities get, they don’t get the attention from government, opioids are a bigger and bigger problem, so it means we invest in things like broadband in these communities,” he said.

Brown said the country also needs to give more attention to the agendas of the minorities in those smaller communities.

Throughout the town hall, Brown criticized Trump for the way he has led the country and said he is determined to stop and reverse what Trump has done.

“You have a president of the United States who specializes in dividing people, and when he divides people, he tries to detract from the message and what this government — what this country — should be doing,” he said.

There were about 14,000 views of Brown’s town hall by 9 p.m. Sunday.

Contact Bruce Walton at (440) 329-7123 or bwalton@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Facebook @BWalton440 or Twitter @BruceWalton.


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