October 18, 2018 Press Releases and Announcements

AUDIO: Dave Brat belittles the struggles of Virginians facing the opioid epidemic

by DPVA Press Office

AUDIO: Dave Brat belittles the struggles of Virginians facing the opioid epidemic

Richmond, VA – In a recent visit to an addiction support group at a local Chesterfield County facility, Republican Congressman Dave Brat likened his campaign for re-election to the struggles of a female support group attendee facing the opioid epidemic.

In the exchange, after the woman explained the difficulties she faces upon relsease, the Congressman stated: “You think you’re having a hard time--I got $5 million worth of negative ads coming at me...How do you think I’m feeling? Nothing’s easy. For anybody.”


Dave Brat's remarks comparing the struggles of a tight race for re-election to that of a citizen facing the harsh reality of the opioid epidemic are not only insulting, but are deeply troubling coming from a sitting Congressman whose job is to help alleviate the opioid epidemic.

Following the widespread criticism Congressman Brat has received concerning his offensive remarks, Brat only doubled down on the controversy this morning - when asked what keeps him awake at night, the Congressman stated: “$5 million worth of...negative nonsense and falsehood against me.”


Abigail Spanberger, Democratic candidate for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, tweeted the following last night after Brat’s comments surfaced:

Dave Brat’s comments disregarding the opioid epidemic also reflects the way he has voted when it comes to the issue in Congress. Earlier this year, Congressman Brat voted against H.R. 1625 which would have "appropriated $20,000,000... to help address the opioid epidemic in rural America."

DPVA Communications Director Jake Rubenstein made the following statement regarding Dave Brat's remarks on the struggles of the opioid epidemic:

"While too many people toss and turn at night concerned about themselves or their loved ones suffering from addiction, the matter that keeps the Congressman awake isn’t the struggles facing his constituents, but merely his own re-election. How can Virginians trust Congressman Brat to deliver on such an important issue as the opioid epidemic, if he cannot even take the issue seriously? Like Dave Brat’s time in Congress, Dave cannot stop to think about anything or anyone else other than himself, including the issues that matter most to hardworking Virginians."