Tales from the Trail

Inside the Tent: Rally for the Republic

September 3, 2008

Former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul drew thousands of supporters to his “Rally for the Republic” event this week in Minneapolis,  across the river from the mainstream Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.

McCain: ending offshore drilling ban eased oil price

August 15, 2008

ASPEN, Colo. – Republican presidential contender Sen. John McCain said on Thursday the recent sharp fall in the price of oil had been helped by the end of the U.S. federal offshore drilling moratorium.

Freight Train sleeps through McCain’s whistle-stop tour

August 8, 2008

DES MOINES, Iowa – Republican presidential candidate John McCain conducted a whistle-stop tour through the Iowa State Fair on Friday but Freight Train was unimpressed.
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The Arizona senator did what all politicians do at the fair. He pressed the flesh. He mounted a soapbox, actually a microphone placed behind bales of straw, and munched on some pork chops on a stick.
 
He may have won some votes when he praised the fair and its 1 million-plus visitors as true to the heartland of America. But he didn’t win over Freight Train.
 
The prize boar — all 1,259 pounds of him — stayed resolutely asleep throughout his visit, resting his enormous bulk on a bed of sand.
 
“I saw the new champion and world record-breaker boar, Freight Train. He’s in good health. I can tell you that,” McCain later said at a fund-raiser.
 
“I lament and had thought with some nostalgia about last year’s winner Big Red who is no longer with us. But perhaps I had part of him in a pepperoni pizza — who knows,” he said.

Attacks give McCain a taste of celebrity: Now he’s back for more

August 8, 2008

John McCain got his own taste of celebrity last week and evidently liked it — he’s back with a new ad ridiculing Barack Obama‘s fame. rtr20efd.jpg

McCain gets taste of freedom at biker convention

August 5, 2008

john-m.jpgSTURGIS, S.D. – Republican presidential candidate John McCain attempted to harness a powerful engine of heartland conservatism on Monday — addressing a giant rally of motorcycle enthusiasts.

Country star John Rich performs for McCain

August 2, 2008

military.jpgPANAMA CITY, Florida – Republican presidential candidate John McCain, whose musical tastes are known to include the disco band Abba, took in some country music on Friday — courtesy of Nashville star John Rich.
 
Rich, half of the star duo “Big and Rich,” staged a waterside concert for McCain in the Florida Panhandle, a traditional Republican part of the battleground state.
    
McCain’s rallies earlier this year included the tune, Johnny B. Goode, and once he got tired of that, Abba’s 1977 hit “Take a Chance on Me” was his song of choice. 
    
Music at his events are now an eclectic mix from the Rolling Stones to Tina Turner and Brooks and Dunn.
    
Rich, in between songs, declared himself a west Texas conservative who gets frustrated when he turns on the television because “I always see the other side” of the political spectrum represented.
    
So, he said, he wrote a song called “Raising McCain,” which he performed.
    
“We’re all just raising McCain,” he sang. “You can get on the train, or get out of the way, we’re all just raising McCain.”
 
At that point, McCain pulled up in his Straight Talk Express bus with his wife, Cindy, and Florida Republican Gov. Charlie Crist and his fiance.
    
Noting the military veterans in the crowd, McCain said: “We will not surrender, not in Iraq or Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world.” 
    
Rich’s musical partner, Big Kenny Alphin, was not at the Country First concert, and is reported to have given money to the campaign of Democrat Barack Obama.

McCain says he’s opposed to raising taxes

July 31, 2008

comics.jpgKANSAS CITY, Missouri – Republican presidential candidate John McCain is tangling with taxes again.
 
The Arizona senator found himself in hot water with conservatives after telling ABC’s “This Week” last Sunday that “nothing is off the table” in trying to protect the Social Security benefits system for seniors.
    
At a town hall meeting in Aurora, Colorado, McCain said: “I want to look you in the eye: I will not raise your taxes nor support a tax increase. I will not do it.”
 
He added, “I am opposed to raising taxes on Social Security. I want to fix the system without raising taxes.”
    
That statement earned the praise of the conservative Club for Growth organization in Washington, whose president, Pat Toomey, called it “exactly what the country needed to hear.”
    
McCain, at a fundraising event for his campaign, returned to the subject. “I am opposed to raising taxes. I am opposed to raising taxes,” he said.
    
“And any negotiation that I might have when I go in, my position will be that I’m opposed to raising taxes. But we have to work together to save Social Security.”
    
“This young man standing right in front — Social Security beneifts won’t be there for him when he retires. Is this right for us to lay off to the next generation of Americans a burden that we imposed on them? No. And it’s not America, it is not America,” he said.

As Obama heads to Germany, Republicans appeal to U.S. Berliners

July 23, 2008

WASHINGTON – With Democrat Barack Obama trying to look presidential abroad and soon to face friendly crowds in the German capital, the Republican National Committee has decided to strike back by appealing to Berliners closer to home.
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The party will air radio advertisements Thursday in Berlin, Pa., Berlin, Wis., and Berlin, N.H., bashing Obama’s voting record on defense issues, accusing him of choosing “Washington politics over the needs of our military.”
 
“Obama said that nobody wanted to play chicken with our troops on the ground,” an announcer intones. “But when it came time to act, he voted against critical resources: no to individual body armor, no to helicopters, no to ammunition, no to aircraft.”

Gingrich: Obama is ‘far left’ with the right smile

May 3, 2008

 INDIANAPOLIS – Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich says Barack Obama remains the best bet to become the Democratic presidential nominee and would be a formidable opponent for Republican John McCain.
   

McCain’s Veep? The clear favorite is … nobody

April 4, 2008

WASHINGTON — Speculation about who would make a good vice presidential running mate for Republican John McCain ranges all the way from party also-rans Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney to Democrat Bill Richardson. But a new Gallup survey shows the largest bloc of rank-and-file Republicans — 31 percent — are those who cannot name a candidate for the job.