Romney, stars stump for McCain in Carson City
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer
Two Hollywood stars and a former rival pumped up more than 100 John McCain volunteers in Carson City and pushed them to get out to vote and get their neighbors to as well.
Former GOP contender and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney joined Academy Award winning actor Jon Voight and television star John Ratzenberger of “Cheers” and “Made in America” fame on Friday thanking the Carson City folks who have manned the phones and knocked on doors for the Republican nominee and encouraging them to do even more.
The three men, along with U.S. Rep. Dean Heller, who is running for re-election to the 2nd Congressional District and Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, posed for pictures and signed autographs after addressing the crowd at the GOP campaign headquarters on California Street.
Heller got the largest response from the volunteers, whose numbers spilled out into the street, thanks in part to his mother, Janet, leading the cheers.
Each of the out-of-state guests wished the volunteers “Happy Halloween,” and all three received the response, “It’s Nevada Day, too.”
Romney, in shirt sleeves and traditional red tie, told the crowd that Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama’s plans would force middle-class American’s to trade jobs for government checks.
“He wants to raise taxes on employers,” he said. “That will kill jobs. The American people want a good job more than they want a check from Barack Obama.”
He said some of the claims Obama made in his recent half-hour infomercial were untrue.
“He said under his plan health costs will go down by 25 percent,” he said. “He pulled that figure out of the air.”
Romney said Obama wanted universal heath coverage provided by the government and quoted writer P.J. O’Rourke, that “if you think health care is expensive now, wait until the government runs it.”
He criticized Obama’s lack of experience, saying that the Illinois senator only spent 150 days in the U.S. Senate before running for president.
He said McCain wanted to keep taxes low and become energy independent. “I want McCain’s program to build more jobs,” he said. He described the world situation as having four competing philosophies: the American philosophy of free enterprise with freedom; the Chinese model of having free enterprise without freedom; the Russian plan of holding the world hostage to energy; and the jihadist plan of attacking everyone.
He said McCain was the most experienced and best man to lead the war effort and face challenges abroad.
“I want the troops to come home too,” he said. “Barack Obama will bring the troops home no matter what. John McCain will bring them home with victory.”
Romney encouraged everyone to talk to friends and neighbors and offer others rides to the polls, adding that McCain had the momentum going.
“We’re four days away, and Tuesday is going to be huge,” he said. “McCain/Palin can win this thing.”
He praised vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, and said comments on conservative blogs alleging that his supporters were demeaning her were not believable.
“Anonymous sources reporting on anonymous people,” he said, adding that he and his supporters have worked hard for McCain and raised more than $20 million.
“My team is working tirelessly,” he said.
Many in the crowd sported photos of loved ones stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan, including Jim Bristow, a Vietnam veteran whose son is in Iraq and daughter is getting ready to join the Army.
“I want them to be victors,” he said, adding that he believed the U.S. would have been victorious in Vietnam had they stayed three more months.
“Their leader has said he was ready to surrender,” he said.
Also at the rally were relatives of Joshua Rodgers of Carson City, who was killed in Afghanistan when his CH47 Chinook was shot down May 30, 2007.
The war was one reason Ratzenberger was supporting McCain.
“We are at war with people who want to destroy us,” he said. “I want a warrior in the White House. McCain has been there, done that, seen it. He has the experience, and I want him at the helm of my ship.”
Ratzenberger said the Democratic Party had changed over the years and were no longer the party of the working man.
“There’s no Tip O’Neill in this Democratic Party,” he said. “This is not the Democratic Party of mom and dad. These are angry, bitter old hippies that got suits and haircuts. They got into the media, entertainment, education and little by little they have been chipping away at what made this country great.”
He told a story about being a carpenter at the 1969 Woodstock music festival, helping the build the stage, and listening to the speakers and entertainers blast the government.
He also said the event wasn’t quite as full of peace and love as its reputation, and it took the National Guard to save the day. “I saw people having a fist fight over a peanut butter sandwich,” he said.
He said there was not enough food, medicine or portable toilets at Woodstock, and though every speaker lambasted the government, it was the National Guard that came in with food, medicine and portable facilities.
“Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton wanted to put a statue out at Woodstock,” he said. “It should be a statue of a national guardsman holding a crying hippie.”
Ratzenberger was more than optimistic about the GOP’s chances, despite the polls.
“Call me a dreamer, but I think McCain and Sarah will win in a landslide,” he said.
After telling a story about his current TV show, “24,” Voight said he supported McCain because he was concerned about the nation maintaining its values.
“If we get the wrong people in, we are going to have real problems,” he said. “This Democratic Party is a long way from what it was. This is more a socialist party now.”
He also warned that if Obama is elected, he, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will have too much power.
“Reid and Pelosi have been quite disappointing,” he said. “If Obama is elected, we will enter an era that will be very, very hard for us to come out of.”
Voight said the United States had liberated Europe and Iraq, and always came to the rescue of other nations when freedom was at risk.
“If we go under, who is going to rescue us?” he asked.
Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at firstname.lastname@example.org or call