Barletta: Low unemployment, high GDP 'just the beginning of what we can do'

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch
U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, a four-term Republican congressman from Hazelton, is running to unseat U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, the Democratic incumbent, in the Nov. 6 midterm election. Barletta spoke to the Rotary Club of York during a lunch meeting Wednesday, Oct. 24.

U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta had a high-profile campaign stop with Vice President Mike Pence in Lancaster County on Wednesday afternoon, but that didn't prevent the U.S. Senate candidate from stopping in York County on the way.

Barletta, a four-term Republican congressman from Hazleton, Luzerne County, is running to unseat the Democratic incumbent, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, in the Nov. 6 midterm election.

Casey's challenger joined the Rotary Club of York for lunch Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the Country Club of York, in Spring Garden Township.

"I do believe that this one seat is very, very important," Barletta said.

Barletta told the story of how he got into politics, first running for Hazleton City Council, then becoming mayor and eventually being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

He said that when President Donald Trump asked him to run for the Senate against Casey, he didn't know if he would say yes.

Then, Barletta said, the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed when then-U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., voted against the move.

"I thought to myself, 'You know, if I was there instead of Bob Casey, 'Obamacare' would be gone,'" Barletta said. "How many more times will one vote make the difference in the country?"

In his Wednesday speech, Barletta listed several statistics about the national economy, including 4.2 percent GDP growth in the second quarter of 2018, 3.7 percent unemployment overall and record-low unemployment rates for African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans. 

"This is just the beginning of what we can do, so I don’t want to stop that," Barletta said. "I think it’s important that we continue with the policies that are putting people back to work, giving people hope again that had given up on government."