by Andie Diemer
Oct. 16, 2008
After Sen. Elizabeth Dole and country music star Hank Williams Jr. kicked off the “Road to Victory Rally,” Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin joined them on the stage around 2:45 p.m. Thursday at Latham Park.
As thousands of people crowded the stadium and perimeter, the “straight-talk express” thanked the community for welcoming her before paralleling the Elon Phoenix to her running mate, Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
“I hope you all got to watch last night’s debate because the man from Phoenix proved once again that he is our best choice to be our next president,” Palin said. “Last night everyone in America got a look at the choice we face.”
This choice, she said, is between a politician in government and a true leader who puts his faith in the American people, McCain.
“It’s a choice between a candidate that will raise your taxes and the other choice is a true leader,” she said. “John McCain is going to Washington to work for Joe the Plumber and so many of you that own small businesses.”
She said people like Joe the Plumber and other small-business owners are the backbone of the American economy and that is why a McCain-Palin administration would be the best choice for America.
“Our opponent wants to raise taxes because he thinks like that other Joe,” she said, referring to Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden. “They think government is the solution. I disagree with that. Government too often is the problem and we need government put back on your side.”
Only then, she said, will businesses and families can keep more of what they produce and earn.
“That’s how jobs are created and our economy [gets] moving again,” Palin said.
She said the election is a race between two tickets, one of inspiring words and another of trust-worthy deeds that come from McCain. To Palin, the deeds are greater than empty words and promises.
“Now, North Carolina, the choice is yours to make,” she said. “I’m here to ask you, are you ready to help us carry this state to victory? Are you ready to make John McCain the next president of the United States? And are you ready to send us there to shake things up in Washington?”
TAKING ON OBAMA
After a chant of “USA! USA! USA!” erupted, Palin urged the audience to look toward the future and keep a McCain-Palin administration in mind.
“So North Carolina, there is so much at stake in this election,” she said.
Her campaign is for the kids in the audience and the next generation of Americans. Obama’s campaign only looks to the past and points fingers, Palin said.
“But John McCain and I are joining you and looking to the future because that’s where we find solutions,” Palin said. “They look to the past because they think they’re running against the current administration.”
If Obama wanted to run against President Bush, he should have run for office four years ago, she said.
“This year the name on the ballot is John McCain and America knows John McCain is his own man,” Palin said. “He is a maverick.”
She said McCain is the only man who talks about the wars that America is fighting and isn’t afraid to use the word victory. Obama, she said, goes on in every speech about the wars America is fighting but does not express a desire to win them.
“It would be nice for him to say he wants to win,” Palin said.
Through the adversity in McCain’s life he knows how to overcome tough challenges, she said.
“He is exactly the kind of man I want as commander in chief,” she said before taking a moment to honor audience members who have or are currently serving the country.
Because she and McCain have been able to do this in the past, it will be possible to allow tax relief to every American and every business, she said. In turn, this would allow small-business owners to produce more, keep more money and provide more jobs.
“We don’t just talk the talk, we can walk the walk,” she said. “It’s not mean-spirited and not dirty campaigning when you call someone out on their record.”
By eliminating taxes and other wasteful spending Palin said she was able to pour some money back into the Alaskan economy.
“You gotta do what you gotta do to best serve the people that have hired you,” Palin said.
She said the same methods would work for the country: getting spending under control, going back to the basics and getting the government back on the side of the people.
“In a McCain-Palin administration I promise you we will never forget that we will be there, in Washington, D.C., working for you, the people of America,” Palin said.
She said so many people living in America in communities like Elon are not asking for much, they simply want a good job in their hometown, a pro-growth agenda and spending control in Washington. That is how the economy gets moving again, she said.
Palin said someone with experience, courage, good judgment and trustworthiness is necessary to bring America to its feet.
“Now more than ever we need someone tough who is ready to lead on day one,” she said. “We need a leader with a bold plan of action to take this country in a new direction and that person is John McCain.”
It is in these times of great hardships and worry that McCain will institute a plan for American families to keep their homes and help retirees keep their savings.
Palin said she plans to do something about those “other” people who have been greedy and corrupt and who have lost the money of hard-working Americans.
She said a McCain-Palin administration would have a plan to help students pay for college and ensure that all Americans are able to afford health care.
“Together, John McCain and I will complete the work of education reform so that every child in America has a chance and every parent in America has better and more choices in how we educate our children,” she said.
John McCain has the backbone and guts to confront the $10 trillion debt that has been accumulated by the federal government. It’s not fair to pass that onto the next generation, Palin said.
This includes putting a spending freeze on everything except the most vital aspects and balancing the federal budget by the end of their first term.
“You have to do that in [your] business and homes, why does the federal government doesn’t think it has to?” she said.
STANCE ON ENERGY
Palin said McCain will also work to end 30 years of failed policies that have been set for energy independence and will work to develop new as well as tapping into old sources.
McCain would adopt an “all-of-the-above approach,” which would include not just gas and oil, but wind, hydro, geothermal, biomass, clean coal and nuclear forms of harvesting energy. These would create new jobs, where they are needed most, along the way.
She said drilling safely in America and offshore is what needs to be done.
“You’re right, drill baby drill and mine baby mine,” Palin said. “You betcha!”
Spending billions of dollars into other countries, some of which use energy as a weapon against America, is not what the administration should be doing, Palin said.
“That money needs to be circulated right here creating jobs for all of you,” Palin said. “It is for the sake of our national security and economic prosperity that we have American energy resources brought to you by American ingenuity and brought to you by American workers.”
ASSISTING SPECIAL NEEDS
Aside from energy and government reform, Palin said another large portion of her time in office would be spent helping families with special-needs children.
“Children with special needs can inspire a special love. We can learn more from them than they can learn from us,” she said. “They are not a problem, they are priority.”
After commending a sign in the crowd that read “Extra chromosomes means extra love,” Palin talked about the special challenge in her life, her son Trig, who was born with Down syndrome.
“Even before Trig was born I have sought for more funding for our students with special needs, understanding too that they deserve the opportunity for special education,” she said. “[I’ll] make sure these families have a friend and an advocate in the White House because John and I have a vision where in America every child is cherished.”
As security was escorting a rowdy protester out, Palin exclaimed that “Maybe he doesn’t need to go, but maybe he needs to stay and learn a little bit from all of you.”
NORTH CAROLINA’S ROLE
“North Carolina, on Nov. 4, it’s gonna come down to what we believe in and the choice that we have to make comes down to what we believe in,” she said.
She said she and McCain have a similar vision to what Ronald Reagan believed in.
“We believe in the forward movement of freedom, not the cost and expansion of government,” she said. “The best of America is not all gathered in Washington, D.C., it’s found here in the kindness and goodness and courage of real town America, where the families ask the government to be on their side, not in their way.”
She said the people who grow food, teach children and protect freedom for America is where the kindness, goodness and wisdom of the country is found.
“We believe in the promise of this country and all the opportunities we wish for ourselves,” she said. “We believe that America is not the problem, it is the solution. We don’t have to apologize for being Americans. We’re not a perfect nation, we learn form our mistakes.”
She said there is man who is inspiring, ready, willing, and able to lead the nation.
“There is only one man in this race who has ever really fought for you,” Palin said. “He understands that the virtues of freedom is worth fighting for and he has the courage to keep fighting for you. Help me elect John McCain.”