Monday, September 10, 2012

S.C. Congressman Joe Wilson featured at Republican breakfast

Obenshein, Smith, Wilson, Goodlatte, Susan Allen, Griffith, Bolling, Bell, Lingamfelter, Stewart, Habeeb

Before Saturday’s 32nd annual Olde Salem Days kicked into high gear over 200 Republicans gathered for a lively breakfast at the Salem Civic Center. The caffeine kicked in and the rhetoric followed. They later gathered at Congressman Morgan Griffith’s Main Street office where candidates handed out campaign paraphernalia and mingled with voters.

The breakfast speakers included Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, Griffith, Bob Goodlatte, and Susan Allen the wife of Governor George Allen. Master of Ceremonies Delegate Greg Habeeb had to threaten to close the doors on stragglers lingering in the lobby to corral everyone to their appointed table.

Candidates for 2013 state offices were pressing the flesh already. Among them were Sen. Mark Obenshein, Del. Rob Bell and John Frey hoping to win the Republican Party’s nomination for Attorney General.

Bill Bolling with wife Jean Ann (left) and Susan Allen (right)

Two of the Republicans for Lieutenant Governor were also there – Del. Scott Lingamfelter of Prince William and Corey Stewart Chairman-At-Large of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors.

Bolling started things off by heaping praise on presidential candidate Mitt Romney saying that he had a unique experience in a conversation with the candidate in 2007 and was impressed with his business success. “There’s nothing wrong with being successful,” he said to cheers. “We should be celebrating it not condemning it.”

Goodlatte told the crowd that they could take nothing for granted in this year’s election and repeated his unrelenting pursuit of a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

S.C. Congressman Joe Wilson hold newspaper with jobs report.

The featured speaker at the breakfast was South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson who garnered national attention when shouting out “you lie” at President Obama’s State of the Union address. Goodlatte referring to Joe Wilson said, “this is a man who is well-known across the country as someone who will speak truth to power … I’m a big Joe Wilson fan.”

Griffith when introducing Wilson said “I did learn a valuable lesson from Joe a few years back. During State of the Union addresses I sit in the back and I mumble in the back and I learned if I grit my teeth on one side and hold my tongue down I don’t end up saying things outloud … I might be thinking them but I’m not saying them.”

At Washington and Lee University Griffith said he learned the values instilled by Robert E. Lee and the W&L honor system – “you don’t lie, you don’t cheat and you don’t steal and if you see somebody else doing it you are suppose to say something about it.”

An audience member shouted out to Wilson – “say it loud Joe” as everyone cheered him to the podium. Wilson didn’t take the bait.

“The issues – that’s how we’re going to win,” said Wilson. He held up a newspaper declaring Friday’s jobs report as economically dismal. “We passed over 40 bills which addressed the issues relative to jobs and they’ve been blocked in the Senate.” He added that by electing George Allen to the Senate it would break the blockade.

Susan Allen

Susan Allen told The Roanoke Star that she is convinced her husband, George Allen would be victorious in November and replace retiring Jim Webb in the U.S. Senate. “What we’re hearing on the [campaign] trail is similar in every community – people are hurting, they need jobs. They have young people, siblings or spouses who are out of work or they have a business they are trying to grow and the policies coming out of Washington are hindering that process. George wants to repeal the mandate of healthcare and replace it. His opponent [Democrat Tim Kaine] says it was the greatest accomplishment of this administration. There is a real clear difference for people this fall when they go to the voting booth between the two Senate candidates.”

The polls have Kaine and Allen virtually tied. The Gallop poll shows a five point advantage for President Obama following the Democratic National Convention.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2012, Elections, National, Politics, State Politics

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