Monday, November 3, 2008

Palin in Lakewood

Sarah Palin spoke this morning at the Lakewood Park bandshell, promising lower taxes and energy independence if she and John McCain are elected.

"Only John McCain has the experience, wisdom, and courage to get this economy back on track," Palin said. McCain will have a "pro-private sector, pro-business agenda" and will confront the $10 trillion federal debt with a spending freeze in all categories except defense and veterans' and seniors' benefits, she said.

The vice-presidential candidate also promised tax relief for "every American and every business" under a McCain Administration. She promised to lower income taxes, double the deduction for families and cut the capital gains tax.

As she and McCain have for weeks, Palin tried to cast doubt on Barack Obama's often-repeated pledge to cut taxes for people making less than $250,000 a year. Obama would reverse earlier tax cuts for those making more than that. "Now is the worst possible time to even think about raising taxes on you and your small business," Palin told the crowd. She claimed Obama's $250,000 figure was shifting lower, and that an Obama spokesperson recently said only people under $120,000 would get the cut. (She was likely referrring to a recent quote from New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. Here's a summary of Republican talking points on this question.) Many audience members behind her were wearing oval stickers with the name "Joe" on them, a reference to "Joe the Plumber," the suburban Toledo man who challenged Obama on his tax plan.

Palin promised to make the country energy-independent through increased domestic production of oil, natural gas, and coal. She said Obama plans to bankrupt the coal industry, citing a January interview with the San Francisco Chronicle that has gotten new attention in recent days. In the quote, Obama suggests that his proposal to limit greenhouse emissions would make new coal plants economically infeasible unless they use new clean-coal technology.

"We have the domestic solutions right here," Palin said. "We'll drill, baby, drill, and mine, baby, mine!"

The Alaska governor also pledged more federal support for education of special-needs children, while hinting at her ticket's opposition to abortion. She and McCain, she said, share a "vision of America where every innocent life counts and every child is cherished."

Warning against putting Democrats in control of the presidency and both houses of Congress, Palin attacked U.S. Rep. Barney Frank's recent call for a 25 percent cut in defense spending. "This is a time of multiple conflicts and obvious danger, still, to the homeland," Palin said. "Do they think the terrorists have changed their minds?"

Palin ended the rally with praise for McCain and swipes at Obama's eloquence. McCain, she said, "inspires us not just with words, but with heroic and trustworthy deeds."

The opening act at the rally was Shauna Carter (not sure I have the spelling right), a country singer from central Ohio, who sang heartfelt ballads accompanied by a guitar player.

U.S. Sen. George Voinovich introduced Palin and her husband, Todd. "She has energized our base like nothing I have ever seen!" Voinovich said. He said he'd talked to "lots of Democrats who say Obama is too far to the left and with no executive experience, and [they ask,] how [is] a person who was a state senator and hasn't completed his first term in the U.S. Senate qualified to be president? ... It's not a question of whether Sarah has the experience to be vice-president of the United States, it's whether Obama has the experience to be president of the United States."

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