Congressman Bill Young tells supporter to "Get a job"

11:34 PM, Jul 6, 2012   |    comments
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Rep. CW Bill Young (left) tells a man to "get a job" after being asked about raising the minimum wage.



St. Petersburg, Florida-- It's the video that's gone viral -- Congressman Bill Young captured on tape in a terse vocal volley with Pepe Kovanis, who attended Young's 4th of July rally to ask a question.  

The following is a transcript of the exchange.

Kovanis: "There's a new bill introduced by Jesse Jackson Jr.  that would raise the minimum wage to 10 dollars an hour, would you support it?"

Young: "Probably not."

Kovanis: "To give people a living wage?"

Young: "How about getting a job?"  

Kovanis: "I do have a job."

10 News asked the congressman about his answer.

"I misunderstood the question, but the no answer would have been the same because a 35 percent increase in the minimum wage would destroy many small businesses."

Young explains he misunderstood the question because of the loud music, but still stands firm on his answer to not support a minimum wage increase because it's bad for American business.  

Kovanis didn't like the congressman's answer.

"Very disappointed. Dismissing me. Telling me to get a job.  Almost refused like he refused to hear what I had to say."

Kovanis says he voted for Young during the last election, but is reconsidering his support.

"Congressman Young might not be the man to represent me anymore. I think he's out of touch with people like me, who are struggling to get by."

The controversy comes at a bad time; Young is being challenged by Democrat Jessica Ehrlich, who says this about the video:

"Well, I wasn't surprised, but I was deeply saddened.  I was born in St. Pete. The people deserve someone who advocates for them, and that's why I'm running for office."

Young's curt response has led some to believe he is out of touch with his constituents, and to that, the Congressman says, "They would like to assume that. I'm not out of touch with my constituents. I'm gonna run on what I have done, because what I have done is an indicator of what I will do."

Related story: 

Rep. young on Minimum Wage hike: 'Get a job'

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