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Congressman Mo Brooks

Representing the 5th District of Alabama

Congressman Mo Brooks Defends Tennessee Valley from CNN Mean-Spirited and Dumb Fake News Attack

July 31, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC— Tuesday morning, CNN’s John Berman drew Alabama’s Tennessee Valley into the President Trump versus Congressman Cummings/Baltimore fray. Today, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) responded to CNN’s mean-spirited, bad “Fake News,” and rather dumb attacks on the Tennessee Valley. While interviewing Republican Party Chair Ronna McDaniel about President Trump’s ruckus with Congressman Elijah Cummings and Baltimore, Berman ridiculously claimed the Tennessee Valley is suffering from economic “distress” worse than Cumming’s Maryland congressional district that includes extremely impoverished, crime-ridden parts of inner-city Baltimore.

Click HERE for video of John Berman’s Fake News attack.

Partial transcript of John Berman’s Fake News attack follows: “Democrats aren't the only members of congress who represent districts of distress. Mo Brooks who represents Alabama five, right, they have a median household income which is less than Maryland seven where Elijah Cummings represents, they have a median home value that is less, fewer people with bachelor degrees and the poverty level is a little bit less than Maryland 7 but about in the ballpark. my question to you is this, so Mo Brooks spends a lot of his time defending the president, why should he do that by your logic and not go home and deal with the issues in your district?

Congressman Brooks said, “Fake News CNN and John Berman get an ‘F’ for failing to do their homework. If they had, they would know the Tennessee Valley is experiencing what may very well be the best economic boom in our prosperous history. Frankly, John Berman’s attack on the Tennessee Valley is mean spirited and just plain dumb. CNN should correct the record by noting that the economic data they hit the Tennessee Valley with did not properly adjust for the roughly 25% higher cost of living in Baltimore versus the Tennessee Valley. CNN’s hyper-partisan, anti-Trump motivation blinded them to the truth.”

Brooks continued, “Berman claimed the Tennessee Valley is economically ‘distressed.’ ‘Stressed’ would be a better word. Our economy is booming so much we are ‘stressed’ to find enough workers for our vacant, high-paying jobs. We are ‘stressed’ by the need to build tens of thousands of new houses for the people who already have and will be soon moving here for jobs already created or in the works. We are ‘stressed’ by the need for more and wider roads and new schools to handle our economic boom and population explosion. If the rest of the country is as economically ‘distressed’ as the Tennessee Valley is, we should consider electing Donald Trump president for life!” 

Brooks continued, “My question to John Berman and CNN is simple: where would you rather live, in the Tennessee Valley or in the Baltimore city limits? I guarantee if you knew one twit about Huntsville, you would choose to the Tennessee Valley over Baltimore in an instant. Recent accolades for Huntsville include:

  • U.S. News & World Reports ranks Huntsville, Alabama #11 in the “Best City to Live in the U.S. in 2019” category. [1]
  • U.S. News and World Reports ranks Huntsville #1 in the “Affordable Places to Live” category for 2019.[2]
  • Forbes.com just ranked Huntsville #1 in America for engineering jobs.[3]
  • Huntsville is ranked #3 best city in America for high-tech jobs according to 24/7Wallstreet.com.[4]
  • Huntsville’s population swelled in 2018 by more people than any other Alabama city.[5]
  • WalletHub says Huntsville is among the “Best U.S. Markets for Rising Engineers.”[6]
  • Huntsville’s unemployment rate is a fantastically low 2.6%.[7]
  • Huntsville is the site for Mazda-Toyota’s joint $1.6 billion manufacturing plant, the #1 economic win by any American city last year.”[8]

“On the other hand, Baltimore (which has been governed by Democrats for decades) is a very ‘challenging’ place to live. That’s why Baltimore residents are smartly fleeing it. According to census data, Baltimore lost 7,346 people, or 1.2% of its population, during the 12 months that ended July 1, 2018, the biggest loss the city has experienced in a single year since 2001. It also marks the fourth year in a row Baltimore’s the population has fallen, starting in 2015.[9] Baltimore’s unemployment rate is 5.1%, nearly double Huntsville’s.[10] Violent crime rates in Baltimore are more than double Huntsville’s.”[11] 

Brooks concluded, “Berman claims incomes in Alabama’s Tennessee Valley are less than in Maryland District 7. Berman fails to account for cost of living differences. According to CNN Money, the cost of living in Baltimore is roughly 25% more than Huntsville’s.[12] Adjusting for cost of living, Alabama’s 5th district 2017 median household income is more than Maryland’s 7th District.[13] Berman goes on to claim Maryland’s 7th District is better educated than Huntsville, the city that sent men to the Moon. Wrong again. 41% of Madison County residents over age 25 have a bachelor’s or higher. Only 30% of Baltimore residents over age 25 have a bachelor’s degree or higher.”[14]

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[1] https://realestate.usnews.com/places/rankings/best-places-to-live?src=usn_pr

[2] https://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/slideshows/best-affordable-places-to-live-in-the-us

[3] https://www.forbes.com/pictures/fjle45leeg/no-1-huntsville-alabama-2/#5f769c4039cc

[4] https://www.al.com/news/2019/03/alabama-city-3rd-best-in-country-for-high-tech-jobs.html?fbclid=IwAR1AfjBnxMujarPCeBGxAG20qQjxYf3cmdLpl9uTvTLVp-cFjxTgV5GMrLk

[5] https://www.al.com/news/2019/05/huntsville-adds-more-people-than-any-alabama-city-in-2018.html

[6] https://spectrum.ieee.org/at-work/tech-careers/the-best-us-markets-for-rising-engineers-and-why

[7] https://www.google.com/search?q=huntsville+alabama+unemployment+rate&rlz=1C1GCEU_enUS841US841&oq=huntsville+alabama+unemp&aqs=chrome.0.0j69i57j0l4.6352j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

[8] https://www.al.com/news/huntsville/2018/01/huntsville_celebrates_toyota-m.html

[9] https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-census-estimate-population-20190416-story.html

[10] https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/al/huntsville/crime and https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/md/baltimore/crime

[11] https://www.google.com/search?q=baltimore+unemployment+rate&rlz=1C1GCEU_enUS841US841&oq=Baltimore+un&aqs=chrome.0.0l2j69i57j0l2j69i60.3030j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

[12] https://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/index.html

[13] https://www.deptofnumbers.com/income/alabama/huntsville/ and https://www.deptofnumbers.com/income/maryland/baltimore/

[14] https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/baltimorecitymaryland,jacksoncountyalabama,morgancountyalabama,madisoncountyalabama/IPE120217]