Rep. Duffy To Constituent: Your Only Rights "In Our Constitution" Are Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit Of Happiness

June 10, 2011 11:02 am ET — Matt Finkelstein

During a town hall meeting earlier this week, one of Rep. Sean Duffy's (R-WI) constituents argued that health care is a basic right and asked, "Does your program guarantee every single American the right to have access to health care?" Duffy responded by articulating the extremely limited view that Americans don't have any rights beyond "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

CONSTITUENT: With all due respect, sir, I think that health care is not like buying bananas. Health care is a right ... [crosstalk] ... Does your program guarantee every single American the right to have access to health care? [crosstalk]

DUFFY: I believe that we have in our Constitution the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That's what I think our rights are. I want to work to make sure that we have health care that's affordable — that people can actually access. And that's what I'm working for right now. 

Somebody should remind the Tea Party congressman that "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" comes from the Declaration of Independence — not the Constitution

Duffy also offered a weak defense of the House-passed budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), arguing that it's not "radical" because, despite its drastic cuts, it takes a whopping 30 years to eliminate the deficit. As another astute audience member called out in response, "That's because it cuts rich people's taxes." Watch:

(h/t: Americans United for Change)

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