Cramer softens his tone to try to fool farmers on his strong support for tariffs and advance his own career
(BISMARCK, ND) — After weeks of ignoring outcries from North Dakota farmers and ranchers – belittling concerns for their livelihoods in the face of backbreaking tariffs as nothing more than political “hysteria,” Kevin Cramer today played an elaborate game of political double-speak to advance his own career. While trying to fool North Dakota farmers into believing he’s finally standing up for them, Cramer said he’s staying “consistent with what I’ve been saying all along.”
Confused? So are we.
Ever since he deleted a tweet opposing the tariffs before posting a new tweet in support, Cramer has been doubling down on his support for the president’s tariffs, insisting that because “very few places in the world grow soybeans,” so China will eventually cave to U.S. pressure because China needs us “every bit as we need them.”
But yesterday, during his remarks at the U.S. Trade Representatives hearing, Cramer finally called the tariffs a “fairly blunt instrument” against farmers.
Sounds like a change of heart, right? Not so fast.
Cramer also said the president is “fighting for American agriculture” and that he hopes “this continues throughout the negotiation of our trade deals with China.”
So, what gives?
Acknowledging the pain the tariffs would cause farmers and ranchers, Cramer said he wished the president would soften the blow – but despite his softer tone, he still refused to denounce the tariffs and still passed the buck, asking Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to, as Patrick Delaney of the American Soybean Association put it, think about what repairs might look like after a car crash rather than preventing the wreck in the first place.
“Make no mistake: Just because Kevin Cramer – for once – wasn’t speaking down to farmers and ranchers, Kevin Cramer’s No. 1 priority is still Kevin Cramer. He still very much supports the president’s tariffs over farmers to help his own career – but now it’s worse, because he clearly understands they could break the back of our ag economy,” said Scott McNeil, Executive Director of the North Dakota Dem-NPL. “This is the worst kind of Washington political double-speak – perhaps that’s why he said it in the D.C. swamp instead of to farmers’ faces back home – he knows there’s no farmer that’s going to buy that kind of evasive language over really, truly having their backs.”