The argument: who better represents Rhode Island's middle class

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Democratic Party is questioning whether Republican congressional candidate Brendan Doherty can understand the challenges of middle class.

Republican congressional candidate Brendan Doherty cannot identify with the middle class as he claims to because he's too wealthy. That word from Bill Fischer, a spokesman for the state Democratic Party. "Average Rhode Islanders are not making $260,000 a year. Average Rhode Islanders do not have a vacation home on Cape Cod. And so this is about his posturing. It's not about his income."

Doherty campaign manager Ian Prior dismisses the criticism, saying Doherty grew up in a middle class family that struggled like any other. "They're simply trying to distract from the issues that the economy in America is at an 8.3% unemployment rate, the economy in Rhode Island is stagnant and Congressman Cicilline has simply not done the job over the past two years."

Democratic incumbent David Cicilline isn't a poor man either. According to his 2010 financial disclosure forms he's worth in the half million to one-and-a-half million dollar range. When he ran for mayor of Providence he reportedly owned a Porsche, a Jaguar and a Rolls Royce.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.