King of Prussia — Pennsylvania Democrats got Friday night what they had in surplus in 2008. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick delivered a rousing speech that brought party leaders to their feet as he implored them to boldly campaign for President Obama and the party.
“The values that inform my choices are the values of the Democrats. And the values and the choices of the national Republican party and their nominee for president are very, very different. And we better be crystal clear about that coming into the 2012 elections.”
He said his own background, working his way from an impoverished childhood to a successful adult career – thanks to a strong public education – guided his views.
The address came as activists sought to shake off the residual shell-shocked feeling that has lingered since the shellacking of the 2010 election.
Patrick earned several standing ovations and loud applause as he insisted that Democrats have the right solutions for the country, and said his predecessor, Mitt Romney, would move the nation backward.
“After you cut through all their slogans and sound bites, all that today’s Republicans are saying is that if we just shrink government, cut taxes, crush unions and wait, all will be fine. Of course you know, history has proven that thesis wrong over, and over, and over again…Just think George W. Bush and the policies that got us into this mess in the first place.”
Patrick encouraged his fellow Democrats to stand up for their convictions and show voters how their policies have been more successful for the everyday person than Republicans’.
“Get out there and remind people what we all know to be true, and that is that when the American Dream is at stake, you want Democrats in charge.”
After his speech, he defended Barack Obama over the President’s recent gaffe. During a speech Friday where he emphasized the problems of public sector employees Obama said, “The private sector is doing just fine.”
“I think it’s uncertain, and I think it suffers from a certain amount of the politics of uncertainty,” he said of the private sector. But he cast the blame on the GOP. “I think congressional Republicans have quite publicly announced their intention to bring everything to a halt, and shown their willingness to drive the economy over a cliff if that’s what they believe it takes to defeat this President.”
Asked specifically about Obama’s remark, Patrick emphasized the uncertainty.
“The private sector is strong but the attitude is uncertain. And the President would agree with that maybe, but you see it in the markets, you see it in the fact that there’s a tremendous amount of capital on the sidelines.”
The speech was an attempt at distraction, said Romney’s PA Communications Director Kate Meriwether.
“If Governor Patrick wants to talk about records, we should look to President Obama’s. Under President Obama, unemployment is at 8.2 percent, and government spending at an all-time high,” she said. “The over 474,000 Pennsylvanians struggling to find work know that the economy is not ‘doing fine.’”
And she defended Romney’s record, saying, “Governor Romney left Massachusetts with a 4.7 percent unemployment rate, has a proven record of sound leadership and has a plan that will get Americans back to work.”
The Governor dodged a potential protest Friday afternoon. A local Tea Party group called for a last-minute pro-Romney rally outside the Valley Forge Casino Resort, but the handful of would-be demonstrators were thwarted by hotel security who noted that they were on private property.