Game's not over, Clinton says at Temple, urging Democrats to get out the vote

Senate candidate Joe Sestak listens as former President Bill Clinton exhorts a young crowd at Temple University to remember all the good things that Democrats have done for the country. "It's not too late" to get the message out on the social networks, he reminded them.
Senate candidate Joe Sestak listens as former President Bill Clinton exhorts a young crowd at Temple University to remember all the good things that Democrats have done for the country. "It's not too late" to get the message out on the social networks, he reminded them.
Posted: October 29, 2010

The Democratic pep rallies in advance of Tuesday's big partisan game kicked off yesterday with Cheerleader-in-Chief Bill Clinton barnstorming the state to help his party's candidates for governor and the U.S. Senate.

Clinton is one-third of a big-three Democratic Party draw, with President Obama due in Philadelphia tomorrow for a rally, followed by first lady Michelle Obama on Monday.

At Temple University last night, Clinton stood with U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate. Sestak served in Clinton's White House as director of defense policy for the National Security Council.

Clinton accused Republicans of "bait and switch" politics, complaining that Obama's administration is being blamed for problems started by President George W. Bush. Clinton made several references to the budget surplus he left Bush, which became a yawning deficit by the time Obama took over.

"The tea party ought to be for us," Clinton said. "We have given you smaller government, reasonable taxes, booming economic growth and a balanced budget."

Clinton urged a crowd of hundreds, mostly students, to take this message to online social networks like Facebook, and said "it's not too late" to help Democrats win on Tuesday.

He compared Republicans to a football coach fired after several losing seasons who demands his job back after the new coach posts a winning record but still hasn't won a championship.

Three times he chided a small band of supporters of former U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey, the Republican nominee, standing in the back waving anti-Sestak signs.

The crowd was quiet as Clinton turned wonky on issues but livened when he mentioned Democratic initiatives to help students spread out college loan payments and to allow young adults to stay on their parents' insurance policies until age 26.

The Republican National Committee yesterday derided Clinton's visit as "a fourth-quarter 'Hail Mary' for vulnerable candidates across the state who have consistently placed the interests of their party's liberal agenda before the interests of the people of Pennsylvania."

Earlier in Norristown, Clinton urged a crowd of about 200 supporters for Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, the Democratic nominee for governor, to talk up his campaign. Clinton complained three times that Republicans are getting away so far with a "fact-free election."

Clinton said voters have a right to be angry about the economy, unemployment and their mortgages but asked them not to put the government back in the hands of Republicans.

"One thing I learned a long time ago, and I've lived long enough to admit it, is anytime you make an important decision when you're mad, there's about an 80 percent chance you'll make a mistake," Clinton said. "And I'm not just talking about voting. And you know I'm right, don't you?"

Clinton and Onorato hit state Attorney General Tom Corbett, the Republican nominee for governor, on a key campaign issue - a proposed tax for natural-gas drillers tapping the enormous Marcellus Shale reserve that spans much of the state.

"People who do this work expect to be taxed," said Clinton, recalling his experience with the industry as governor of Arkansas.

Onorato hit Corbett with a quote from former Gov. Tom Ridge this week in the Allentown Morning Call. Ridge, who endorsed Corbett last year and now is a paid adviser to natural-gas drillers, said a tax would not harm the industry or state taxpayers. That is close to Onorato's stance on the issue; Corbett refuses to consider the tax.

Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley said his boss "respects and admires Gov. Ridge; however they disagree on this issue."

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