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GOP criticizes Obama record at pep rally
Ninth District U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith takes up a guitar at Fieldale Antiques during a campaign swing through the area on Friday. (Bulletin photo by Paul Collins)
Sunday, October 28, 2012
By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer
At a local Republican pep rally Friday, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling criticized President Barack Obama for “failed leadership,” and 9th District U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith said the hope that some people had in Obama four years ago has not borne fruit.
Both criticized Obama’s performance in a variety of other areas as well.
Nearly 60 people attended the rally at the Henry County-Martinsville Republican headquarters south of Martinsville.
Bolling, chairman of the Virginia Romney-Ryan campaign, said millions of Americans are unemployed, the federal government continues to spend more than it takes in, and the national debt has grown to $16 trillion and is on path to reach $25 trillion by 2022, which is unsustainable. He said Obama has had an “assault on liberty” and has been “almost an imperial president,” issuing executive orders to achieve what he can’t get accomplished through Congress.
Obama promised four years ago to think about Henry County and Martinsville’s poor economy and high unemployment every day, but he hasn’t been back to Henry County and Martinsville in this campaign, Bolling said.
In the last few weeks, Bolling said he has seen a “passion” among Republicans not only for defeating Obama but for electing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Romney has a plan to get the U.S. economy moving again and to create 12 million jobs in the next four years, Bolling said.
He described Romney as “one of the most impressive” people he has ever met — good, decent, smart, with conservative values. Romney is the “right person, with the right experience, at the right time” to help America, Bolling added.
He also urged support for Republican candidates George Allen for U.S. Senate and Griffith and 5th District U.S. Rep. Robert Hurt, both of whom are seeking second terms in the House.
Griffith asked for a brief moment of silence for Tucker Watkins, past chairman of the 5th District Republican Party, who died recently. Griffith said he read Watkins’ last Facebook posting, which said, “Today I voted for three great Americans: Romney, Allen and Hurt.”
Griffith said during the rally and in interviews that as the 9th District representative his No. 1 priority is jobs. He said he has worked to try to create an environment for businesses to thrive, thereby creating jobs, enabling people to spend more and pay taxes, providing revenues for the government to operate, which will help the federal government reduce the deficit.
But the Democratic-controlled Senate has failed to act on dozens of bills passed by the Republican-controlled House, he said.
Also, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency needs to be reined in because its policies are killing jobs, Griffith said.
Jeff Williams, chairman of the Martinsville Republican Committee, said the national debt was $10.3 trillion in October 2008. It now is $16 trillion. He said the average share of the national debt per American has increased tens of thousands of dollars under Obama.
As of 12:25 a.m. Saturday, the U.S. Debt Clock put the national debt at $16.2 trillion, the debt per citizen at $51,513 and the debt per taxpayer at $141,445. It also showed federal spending at $3.55 trillion and the federal budget deficit at $1.1 trillion.
Among those attending the pep rally were Dels. Danny Marshall, Don Merricks and Charles Poindexter; Jeannemarie Davis, who is seeking the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor; Jack Morgan, chairman of the 9th District Republican Party; and Pete Snyder, chairman of Virginia Victory 2012, Virginia’s GOP coordinated campaign.
Earlier Friday, Griffith spoke at a Dutch-treat lunch at the Sirloin House in Martinsville. Among his points was that there has been a “very modest” reduction in deficit spending, but he will continue to attempt to get the federal government to control spending and reduce the national debt. He also said he will continue to work against environmental regulations that are killing jobs in the coal industry and will cause electricity prices to go up.
He said he strongly supports a state constitutional amendment that would further restrict eminent domain, the taking of private property for public use. Del. Rob Bell of Albemarle County, who is seeking the Republican nomination for attorney general, spoke earlier during the lunch and urged people to vote for the amendment.
In response to questions and in an interview, Griffith said he will do everything he can to support the Interstate 73 road project, and he favors repeal of Obama’s health care reform.
On another matter, Griffith said although he signed the Grover Norquist no-tax pledge, he supports making the tax system simpler and fairer. He said he does not support increasing taxes just because the federal government can’t control its spending.
But, he said, “if someone is trying to invade us,” he would do what he had to do in terms of taxes because that would be a national emergency.
Also Friday, Griffith went to Fieldale Antiques where, among other things, he held a guitar that is said to have once belonged to Grandpa Jones, listened to the weekly mountain music jam and admired some of the antiques.
He said he learned to “horse trade” going to antique shops, and Congress needs to horse trade. But he feels the Democratic-controlled Senate is not willing to do that.