Camp Hill — Republicans from around Pa. gathered Friday for a last-minute party pep talk before the sprint to the general election. With little on the agenda, activists and committee people heard familiar criticism of President Obama.
“I really only have two criticism of the President of the United States. The first, is that he is most liberal President we have seen in office since Jimmy Carter was President back in the 1970s. The second criticism I have is that he is the most incompetent President since Jimmy Carter was in the White House,” said Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, the evening’s keynote speaker. “And I mean no disrespect to Jimmy Carter by saying that.”
“When the Europeans are telling you you’re spending too much, you know you’ve got a spending problem in Washington, D.C.”
Jindal was elected in 2007 and re-elected in 2011; a rising national star in the GOP, he was discussed as a possible vice presidential pick for Mitt Romney and even in 2008 for John McCain.
For weeks, most polls have shown the presidential race in Pa. slipping away from Romney. His campaign has not aired television ads in Pa. at any point during the general election, and a few weeks ago conservative super PACs left the state.
Over the past few weeks, the Pa. Republican Party has pushed back against that narrative. They were bolstered Friday when Romney visited Pa. for the first time since July. Party leaders sought to energize the regulars to maintain high energy – not just for the top of the ticket, but for local candidates as well.
Indeed, Chairman Rob Gleason boasted of an internal poll commissioned by the party showing the race separated by just 1 point and of the fact that the PAGOP was airing a television ad, the only state party in the nation to do so.
Speakers also gave Tom Smith, the GOP Senate candidate who’s risen in the polls over the last 10 days, hearty praise. The state committee had endorsed his primary opponent in a contentious process during the primary.
“Tom, coming from the private business sector, not only does he pass a budget every year in his company, he balances that budget. He’s been doing that for many, many years. That’s the kind of private sector, practical sense, common sense leadership we need in Washington, D.C.,” Jindal declared. “Let’s elect this man as your next United States Senator.”
“The gap is closing, he’s moving on Senator Casey,” Corbett said.
Smith received a hero’s welcome at the committee – the loudest applause of any speaker – and a sustained standing ovation. He kept his speech basic, thanking party leaders.
“Let’s keep up the fight. This November, what I am hoping for – we will hold down the House – we will have Harry Reid sitting just another voter in the back of the corner, back of the room,” he said to cheers.
The party also played a speech by Rep. Mike Kelly, on video from a U.S. House floor speech in July which was recently named by the Huffington Post (his office boasted) among the 15 Most Passionate Rants and Speeches of the Obama Presidency.
Kelly later praised Smith, specifically his family’s decision to adopt a family of 4 disadvantaged children, and dismissed recent polls showing him at a disadvantage.
He went on to compare Smith and Romney to the Oakland Raiders, who, despite trailing the Pittsburgh Steelers for most of their recent matchup, ended up winning the game.
“So when people tell you we’re down, and we’re not running a very good race and we’re not able to come out of the huddle and we’re fumbling the ball and we’re doing all these crazy things, I say, you know what? See me at the end of the game,” he said.
There nothing wrong about operating a bulldoser, frontend loader, backhoe, etc. I’ve been there done that. I’m talking about coming clean on your ads that is deceaving to voters. I’m not talking about if he was successful or not just come clean…
It is a sign of desperation when someone attacks a persons character because they are hard working and successful like Tom Smith. I have now seen it all, class-warfare against a farmer and coal-miner who risked it all to realize the American dream. And to those who are sneering at Tom Smith because they have an ideological fixation with shifty politicians like Casey (aka Senator Zero), I’ll have you know that my brother is an Operating Engineer who proudly operates a rubber-tired front-end loader, an off-road rock truck, a D-9 dozer and an earth-mover scraper.
When you are a US Senator you have to know how to read law and understand it. If you don’t you will be inaffective as a US Senator and not help your constituent. With that said Smith is not the person we need in Washington DC with a GED in his pocket.
By point he has others doing his farming and the picture he uses in his ads is not his farm. And for the picture he used as showing him inside the mine as a union coal miner is false. Again he ONLY ran a frontend loader outside the mines he is deceaving the public.
This is for (John P) Mr. Smith is obviously brighter than yourself, no matter the level of education he may or may not have! He nor his staff are sitting around brewing in the past. It is that obvious! If you keep shoveling dirt, you will eventually fall into your own hole!
John P: A wise president once wrote, “….the world is filled with educated derelicts….”
With Casey, he truly believes J.D. stands for Justifiable Deity.
If we fired every representative with JD following their name and replaced them with the local butcher, shop keeper, accountant, etc. I suspect we would be far better served than we are today.
Your “facts” are completely false. Smith does not lease out his land—he farms it, though he does have people working for him. Also, he worked in/around mines and his time with Pat Perry was only one stop along the way. Finally, he owns/owned several mines, a trucking company, and other ventures. If you believe Casey is more intelligent b/c he has a bunch of diplomas on his wall, you are sadly mistaken. Casey’s never held a real job and has only classroom knowledge, which is only go as long as one never leaves a classroom. We still live in a Capitalist economy and one measure of success is the wealth one builds. Tom Smith is far smarter than you give him credit for and win or lose, he has accomplished more in his life than you and/or just about anyone you will encounter. Fact.
Need more like divine intervention and a resurrection…raising the dead!
@Tim Thats right I’m not running for office we are talking about the US Senate race idoit. The question is still not answered, what is Smith’s education???? You Tea Party people would vote for a morroon just because he has an R by his name, If you don’t already know it he was registered D for 42 years.
@Marcia First of all he doesn’t farm his land he leases if out to someone now farms it. Fact.
Second, He ran a front end loader outside the mine loading Perry Trucking trucks with union coal he never worked inside the mines as a worker. Fact.
Third. he ran an energy company? It was just one mine. Fact.
@TS Brumbaugh I’m still waiting for Smith’s education background from you.
This Smith guy is out of his league. I know him well….
John P, based on your litmus test, I can see whay your not running for office after reading your post!
It takes a lot of intelligence (and brawn) to farm the land, mine our coal, and to run an energy company that employed scores of people. I’d be proud to have Tom Smith as my US Senator.
@TS Brumbaugh At least Casey graduated from High School and College. He even has a law degree to me that’s pretty smart. Check out the education of Smith and you will find out that he is not too smart. Then get back to me and tell me his education. Now don’t forget to get back to me.
I see Tom Smith signs all over Western PA. He has strong support in Westmoreland County as well as the adjacent counties. I believe this support continues thru central and eastern PA. Very few people have anything good to say about Casey and most see him as another shifty politician. Best of luck Mr. Smith!
Sure John P, lets reelect the good senator do nothing, empty suit Casey, who voted to continue to fund Acorn, even after, all their illegal activities made national news. He is obviously so smart, and bright and insightful!
Smith has no idea how to turn the economy around. He will follow the polices that got us into this mess. His top down economy will take everything from the working people and give it all to the top 2%. He is in this for one reason and one reason only so he doesn’t have to pay his fair share like all the other millionaires. His message is to change the tax code only to have everyone pay more so he doesn’t have to pay, plain and simple. TEA PARTY TOM is for himself only, period. Just ask him why everything is on the table like Medicare, Social Security, which he is in favor of privatizing, etc. and tax break for the top 2% is not on the table…
U. S. Senate Candidate Tom Smith can’t possibly please everybody, but, he will please the majority because his listens to everyday people and asks for their opinions. This country is facing great financial ruin because too many “nice to have” projects have been funded by us taxpayers. Tom Smith knows how to turn our sinking econmy around.
If anybody follows your advice he’ll QUIT his position just like you QUIT the Indiana School Board. Smith can’t handle the pressure either…just like you couldn’t, so you should not be giving advice to anyone…with friends like you how needs enemies…and again your WORD is no good.
It seems like Tom Smith is closing fast, like a race horse hitting its stride. Something is brewing, could Mitt Romney be riding Smith’s coattails?
The race between Tom and Casey is a choice between a machine politician and a statesman. Tom is the statesman. Casey . . . well, you know.
Great article on catholicvote.org. “Lessons from the East”. The author has just returned from a two week tour of many formerly Communist countries. She voices the startling parallels between the current Administration here in the US and those of Communist times.
Let’s send Mr. Smith to Washington! Tom Smith has my vote!
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