Campaign 2010

Oct 24, 2008

Hayes Says CAFTA Support Was a “Very Good Vote”

Representative Robin Hayes (NC-08) has already been forced to apologize for his divisive comment that "liberals hate real Americans" after first denying that he made the remarks.  Now, it has come to light that on the same day Hayes made this controversial comment, he also said in a talk radio interview that he did not regret his Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) vote, which helped send thousands of North Carolina manufacturing jobs overseas.


Hayes claimed that CAFTA "saved American textile jobs" and called his deciding vote on CAFTA "a very good vote" in the interview.  Robin Hayes has changed his tune from the days before his CAFTA vote, when he explicitly said about CAFTA, "It's not in the best interests of the core constituency I represent."  Hayes support of Bush's bad economic policies and unfair trade deals has caused North Carolina to lose almost 230,000 manufacturing jobs since President Bush took office.


"Although Robin Hayes apologized for his divisive comments at the McCain rally Saturday, he is obviously unapologetic when it comes to his decision that sent thousands of North Carolina jobs overseas," said Kyra Jennings, Southern Regional Press Secretary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  "Congressman Hayes should ask the thousands of people n North Carolina's 8th District who have lost their jobs if they think his deciding vote on CAFTA was ‘a very good vote'."





DON RUSSELL (WBT):  Do you regret your CAFTA vote?


ROBIN HAYES: Absolutely not.  History - and the textile industry where some of the concerns came from have clearly said, Don, that this vote saved American textile jobs.  It allowed the plants like Tuscarora [ph] to expand.  It held off the Asian markets, especially the Chinese, so it was a very good vote.  People ask about it.  I made up my mind when the time came to vote.  That's when all the facts are on the table, so absolutely it was a good vote. [NewsTalk 1110 WBT, 10/18/08]


  • Hayes Cast Deciding Vote in Favor of CAFTA: After initially voting against the bill, Hayes switched his vote and cast the deciding 216th vote in favor of CAFTA, breaking a tie that forced Republican leaders to hold the vote open 40 minutes. If Hayes had held fast to his promise to vote against CAFTA, the bill would have failed. [Charlotte Observer, 7/29/05]


  • For Weeks Prior to Vote, Hayes Vowed to Oppose CAFTA: "I am flat-out, completely, horizontally opposed to CAFTA," Hayes said. "It's not in the best interests of the core constituency I represent." [Raleigh News & Observer, 7/29/05]


  • North Carolina Has Lost Nearly 230,000 Manufacturing Jobs Since Bush Took Office: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state of North Carolina had 743,400 manufacturing jobs in January 2001 when President Bush took office. In September 2008, the most recent month for which data were available, the state had 513,900 manufacturing jobs. The difference amounts to a loss of 229,500 manufacturing jobs since Bush took office. [Bureau of Labor Statistics, "At a Glance Tables," accessed 10/22/08]