Sarah Palin: Salem Civic Center, Oct 27th

Sarah Palin’s rally in Salem on Monday has been moved to a larger venue, McCain-Palin campaign officials said today. Officials decided to move the event from the Salem Civic Center to the nearby Salem Football Stadium because of an overwhelming interest in the Republican vice presidential candidate’s visit, said campaign spokeswoman Gail Gitcho. She would not say how many tickets have been issued, but said it was thousands more than they had anticipated.Carey Harveycutter, director civic facilities in Salem, isn’t sure how many people the campaign is expecting at the rally, but he said it was more than the civic center’s capacity of 8,000. The stadium can hold more than 20,000 people, he said.

Tickets are available online at virginia.johnmccain.com Please click here to RSVP online for this event or at the following offices from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Monday: Roanoke, 3904 Franklin Road S.W., Suite E, (540) 725-7445; Blacksburg, 302-A N. Main St., (540) 577-4335.


There’s a short clip of local coverage at YouTube which mentions Palin’s advocacy for special needs children.

Coverage by the Richmond Times Dispatch:

Palin kicked off the last full week of campaigning in Leesburg, talking taxes with “Tito the Builder” at her side.

Tito Munoz, a Colombian immigrant who rose to own a construction company in Prince William County, fired up that audience estimated at 8,000 in forested J.R.’s Festival Lakes.

“Everything we stand for is in danger by higher taxes and less freedom,” Munoz said.

After contrasting the tax plans of Obama with those of McCain, Palin said the choice for voters should be clear.

“You can either do the math or go with your gut,” she said, “either way you draw the same conclusion, and that’s that Barack Obama is on the side of bigger, more controlling government.”

The crowd chanted, “Use your brain, vote McCain.”

Obama has proposed raising taxes on Americans earning more than $250,000 a year and cutting capital-gains taxes for small business.

Del. Kristen J. Amundson, D-Fairfax, said in a statement from the Obama campaign, “Governor Palin again proved she’s good at distorting Barack Obama’s positions, but what she didn’t do today is provide an explanation for how John McCain’s economic policies would be any different than George Bush’s.”

Palin’s message resonated with voters such as Claudia Hinger of Purcellville, who said her vote comes down to the economy. Hinger works in a grocery and wants to be assured she’ll keep more of her paycheck under a new president.

“I’m scared; my family’s scared. I don’t want to be in a 12-year Depression,” Hinger said. “I feel if Obama became president, we’ll be in trouble.”

When the crowd started chanting “I am Joe,” Palin remarked, “That’s good, you betcha.”

At midday, Mother Nature rained on Palin’s rally in Hurkamp Park in downtown Fredericksburg, soaking the faithful to the skin, but not dampening their enthusiasm for their candidate.

“This election is going to be close. It’s going to come down to the wire,” Palin told the crowd.

“Virginia, are you ready to help us carry this state to victory?” she said to enthusiastic applause.

Signs in the crowd included: “Change is Coming,” “No Redistribution, “Sarahcuda rocks,” “Keep Virginia Red” and “Dudes 4 Sarah.”

Former Gov. Jim Gilmore, the GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate, addressed the crowd, appealing to an underdog spirit that he well understands.

“John McCain has been written off in this election many times, and here he stands and he’s going to win,” Gilmore said.

As blustery winds and a biting cold settled in under gray skies, Palin promised that she and McCain would “shake things up in Washington,” cut taxes, win the war in Iraq and get the economy back on track.

“By the way, I love this weather, because it reminds me of home,” the Alaska governor said.

Palin capped her swing through Virginia last night with a third outdoor rally, before 12,000 bundled-up supporters at Salem Stadium.

In this election “it’s the choice between a politician who puts his faith in government and a leader who puts his faith in you,” she said.

“If you don’t want your dreams dashed by the Obama tax increase,” Palin said, “then you are Joe the Plumber, too, and we are all in this together, Virginia.”
Contact Rex Bowman at (540) 344-3612 or rbowman@timesdispatch.com.


Coverage in the Roanoke Times:

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin blew in and out of Salem on Monday night like a brisk Alaskan wind, calling on Virginians to vote her and presidential running mate John McCain into the White House next week.

On an evening where the wind chill approached freezing, Palin fired up an estimated crowd of 16,000 with a half-hour speech that focused largely on taxes and energy policy.

“I love the weather because it reminds me of home,” the Alaska governor said.

This is the first time that McCain or Palin has visited Western Virginia since the general election campaign began. The pair did make a stop in Virginia Beach earlier this month, and Palin appeared in Richmond at a NASCAR track. Their opponents, Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden, have visited Southwest and Southside Virginia five times since June.

The most recent Mason-Dixon poll shows the two campaigns in a dead heat in Virginia, which hasn’t voted for a Democrat since 1964.

Though she acknowledged a close race in the state, Palin said Monday that based on the crowd in Salem, it didn’t sound like that trend would change.

“It doesn’t sound to me like many of you are supporting Barack the wealth-spreader on Nov. 4,” Palin said, referring to Obama’s comments to Ohio plumber Joe Wurzelbacher that “when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

Palin said that those comments to Wurzelbacher, better known as “Joe the Plumber,” showed Obama’s true intentions to take money away from hard workers and redistribute it elsewhere.

She told the crowd that if they worked hard and believed in the American dream, “then you all, you’re Joe the Plumber, too. And we’re all in this together, Virginia.”

Obama’s plan calls for a tax cut for those who make less than $250,000 annually, but Palin said that would hurt small businesses and instead touted McCain’s tax plan, which includes cutting the corporate tax rate, maintaining the 15 percent rates on dividends and capital gains, simplifying the tax code and banning Internet and new cellphone taxes.

Palin played on the blue-collar “Joe the Plumber” theme throughout the night, entering and leaving to the tune of Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5.”

She introduced her husband, Todd Palin, as “Alaska’s first dude” and she asked the crowd at one point, “So, Virginia — will you hire us?”

Palin touted the McCain campaign as one of reform. She said times have been tough economically, requiring someone with “experience and courage and good judgment and truthfulness” as president. Palin said the McCain campaign offered “a bold and a fair and a free plan to take this country in a new direction.”

She said that if elected they’d “shake things up” and promised to have a balanced budget by the end of McCain’s first term.

Palin also endorsed McCain’s “all-of-the-above” energy plan, particularly its calls for new domestic oil drilling and coal mining. The crowd responded, chanting “Drill, baby, drill.”

“And mine, baby, mine,” Palin added.

She also defended her sharp criticism of Obama and Biden, saying that drawing distinctions helps to inform voters.

“It is not mean-spirited and it is not negative campaigning to call someone out on their plans and their record and their associations,” Palin said to cheers. “It is not negative campaigning. It is in fairness to you, the voters, so we’re going to call them out.”

Many people in Salem Stadium had been waiting much of the day for Palin’s arrival, but it was the third event of a busy day for her, following appearances in Leesburg and Fredericksburg….

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