Rove blasts Dems. at Republican state conventionby Mark Zdechlik, Minnesota Public Radio
Repubican delegates have adjourned their state convention after meeting for the past two days in Rochester.
Before they left they heard from Governor Tim Pawlenty and President Bush's former top political advisor Karl Rove. While Pawlenty said Republicans need to be hopeful and optimistic, Rove harshly criticized democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
St. Paul, Minn. — Delegates to the GOP convention disagreed often over the weekend, but they joined together to warmly welcome Karl Rove.
Rove praised Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Sen. Norm Coleman, and he lashed out at Democrats.
"They think any day is a good day, rainy day, sunny day, spring day, fall day, summer day, winter day, any day, is a good day to raise your taxes, and our answer is no it's not," Rove told the delegates.
Rove spent much of his speech ripping likely Democratic presidential nominee Barrack Obama. He reserved his harshest criticism for Obama's positions on foreign policy.
"Without pre-condition he said 'I will meet with the leaders of North Korea, Iran Syria, Venezuela and Cuba.' You know, that's the sort of world traveling tyrant tour," Rove said.
Rove ridiculed Obama for speaking in generalities, and he said the Democrat should use the rally he's planning in the Twin Cities on Tuesday to start talking specifics.
"You know we are the change we've been waiting for, I mean wait a minute, wait a a minute. We've been waiting for ourselves? We've been late? We've been keeping ourselves waiting. The people who don't want change are on time, but the people who do want change are late. I mean what is that? I mean who is that. I mean the time for that has passed. Now is the time to spell it out," Rove said.
Rove called on Republican activists to unite behind John McCain and to search out like minded undecided voters in hopes they can be convinced to vote with the GOP.
In his speech to the convention earlier in the day, Gov. Tim Pawlenty made an impassioned plea for Republicans to get behind McCain.
"Fact of the matter is you look at his record over the lifetime, he has been a stalwart for our party, and as president he's going to do a number of things, but it's going to include. He's going to win the war; he's going to hold the lid on spending, and he's going to get us a conservative Supreme Court. That's a pretty good start," Pawlenty told the convention.
Pawlenty said Republican activists need to do a better job getting their message out to voters.
Like Ronald Reagan did in the 1980's, Pawlenty says today's Republicans must convince Democrats the Republican agenda more closely matches theirs than the Democrat's.
Pawlenty said the GOP has its work cut out for it in competing with the Democratic message, which he says seeks to appeal to Americans by offering handouts.
"It's you now, you got a problem? We got a program," Pawlenty said. "In their parlance it won't cost you anything, and so they get to go out and give away free stuff. It's hard to compete against a competitor that gives away free stuff. Now you and I know it's not free. We got a little higher burden to kind of get over in terms of getting our message and our values across but we can do it because ideas and values matter."
Off to the side of the stage, Pawlenty fielded numerous questions from reporters about the possibility of him running for Vice President with McCain.
"I don't know how all of this is going to shake out. Obviously there's a lot of speculation about who's being considered, and who isn't," Pawlenty told reporters. "And a lot of that will just clarify itself over the next few months, and I'm sure the campaigns will kind of reveal their decision and process down the road here."
Next weekend Minnesota Democrats meet in Rochester for their state convention. They will take up the task of endorsing a candidate to run against Senator Coleman. Al Franken is believed to be the frontrunner for that endorsement over Democrat Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer.