Bright pays visit to Greenville High students

Published 5:53 pm Monday, March 8, 2010

On Monday afternoon, Congressman Bobby Bright finally got the chance to visit “the good-looking school” he had passed many times driving down Interstate 65.

The freshman congressman for Alabama’s Second District got quizzed by some of Greenville High School’s best and brightest during his visit and tour.

Bright spoke with a group of Advanced Placement students in the school’s media center.

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“If you want something in life, go after it. Don’t wait for someone else to give it to you. If I could do it, you can do it,” Bright, the 13th of 14 children born to a sharecropper, said.

He also encouraged all students who had turned 18 to register to vote.

“Voting is a privilege many countries do not have, so take advantage of it,” Bright said. “Open your eyes and ears and investigate, research and talk with candidates whenever possible so you can make the best decisions.”

When asked by a student if he thought he was leading by example by running on a Democratic ticket but voting pro-Republican on certain matters, Bright quickly responded.

“Yes, I do. I’ve said this again and again. Labels do not matter. The Democrats said I could be independent and they’ve given me that freedom,” Bright said.

When asked how he felt about being called a “Blue Dog Democrat,” Bright said, “I like it. A yellow dog democrat is one who always votes Democratic on every bill and that’s not American. I see myself as more middle of the road and more conservative when it comes to spending.”

Bright said while extremists at each end of the spectrum tended to get the most attention, “the vast majority of Americans are in the center.”

When the hot-button topic of healthcare came up, Bright said he had voted against the president’s plan because it is “too much, too soon.”

“We need access for all to healthcare, but we can’t afford this plan. Let’s bring it back in a bi-partisan way in small steps. Let’s see more jobs first,” Bright said.