Republican Clubs Hold Rally

From the Georgetown Times- January 18, 2008
By Clayton Stairs

If you are undecided about which candidate to support for the upcoming “Grand Old Party” (GOP) primary election on Saturday, you are not alone.

More than 200 local Republicans packed the Tara Theatre at the Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort Wednesday evening at the Grand Strand Presidential Primary Rally, many to receive some last minute guidance during the event. It was organized by the Waccamaw Neck Republican Club (WNRC) and the South Strand Republican Club.

Surrogates spoke on behalf of six of the seven GOP presidential hopefuls: Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, Rudolph Giuliani and John McCain. Unfortunately, former S.C. Governor David Beasley, who was scheduled to speak on behalf of Mike Huckabee, was unable to attend.

“No matter which candidate you support, you and I have to make a decision on Saturday,” said WNRC President Jim Jerow of Litchfield during the meeting. “Saying you support one candidate or another doesn’t mean a thing until you vote.”

Howard Ward of Pawleys Island, who is vice-chair of the WNRC and treasurer with the Georgetown County Republican Party, agrees. He says that he is encouraging everyone he knows to vote.

“I am even going to pick up some people on Saturday morning and take them to the polls,” Ward said. “I want everybody to get out there and vote.” He says all of the candidates have “great leadership abilities.”

“We’ve got the best slate of Republican candidates we’ve ever had and there are enough variations to step up and make a decision,” Ward said. “It is important to voice your opinion on these candidates. The worst thing is to complain about who won when you had a chance to vote and you didn’t.”

Each of the surrogates for the six candidates running for the Republican ticket made good points to consider for those who are still undecided.

Ron Paul
Chris Panos, a political consultant who worked with the staff of President Ronald Reagan and worked on 31 successful campaigns, spoke for Ron Paul. He stated that illegal immigration is one of the biggest topics of concern for Paul.

“We are being invaded and no one is doing anything about it,” Panos said. “These people are taxing our schools, our hospitals and our services. We can’t tiptoe through the tulips.”

He also pointed out that Paul has received more money from the U.S. military than any other candidate running for president.

“I think it is interesting that the military is backing Ron Paul,” Panos said. “That is because he wants to bring the troops back. There is no reason for them to be over there when there are no troops on our borders.”

Paul will also work to eliminate the Federal Reserve, Panos said.

“We have a 14 percent inflation rate now,” he said. “We need to do away with the Federal Reserve and go back to a system based on precious metals.”

Mitt Romney
Susan Chapman of Conway, who is a veteran campaigner and has served as an outreach person for Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), spoke on behalf of Mitt Romney during the event. She said as a mother, grandmother and business woman, Romney is the best choice for the highest office in the country.

“When you choose who you would like to be the next president, look at all of the candidates, their values and their thoughts on the issues,” Chapman said. “I believe Mitt Romney has the character and leadership abilities to make America safe at home and abroad.”

She said Romney believes in combating nuclear terrorism and reducing the spiraling cost of healthcare. Other issues she agrees with him on are taking care of illegal immigrants and repairing the national deficit.

“Mitt Romney has run a large business,” she said. “He founded Bane Capital and got many companies that were struggling back on track, including Staples, Dominos, Sealy, Brookstone and Sports Authority among others.”

Duncan Hunter
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Brigadier Gen. Terry L. Paul, who is with Cassidy and Associates in defense security in Washington, D.C., spoke for Duncan Hunter. A long-time friend of Hunter’s, Paul stated that Hunter feels that the focus of the issue of illegal immigration should be on containment.

“Duncan Hunter says that the first thing to do is stop the bleeding.” Paul said. “We need to build a fence to make good neighbors. It will be a double-walled fence 20 feet high.”
He said that the illegal immigrants coming across our borders are not just “people wanting to make a living.”

“It is hard to make something right if it started out wrong,” said Paul.
He also pointed out that Hunter served in Vietnam because he wanted to do the right thing, not because he was drafted.

“Duncan Hunter is a good man who is compassionate and is a sportsman,” Paul said. “Don’t take him out of the race because he doesn’t have a lot of money.”

Rudolph Giuliani
Randall Wallace, a Myrtle Beach City Councilman, spoke on behalf of Rudolph Giuliani. He stated that Giuliani has several commitments that he will tackle as president. These include providing access for quality education, preparation for a natural disaster, imposing responsibility in Washington, cut Washington spending, identify all non-citizens and keep the U.S. on the offensive in the War on Terror.

He reminded everyone attending that Giuliani inherited New York, a city that was crime-ridden and bankrupt, and he turned it around. He also handled the tragedy on Sept. 11 and displayed his leadership skills for the world to see.

“America has the wonderful ability to find the right man at the right time, like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan,” Wallace said. “Rudy Giuliani is what our country needs. The right man at the right time has stood up.”

Fred Thompson
Former Virginia Governor George Allen, who also served on both the House and Senate in the U.S. Congress and on the Virginia General Assembly, spoke for Fred Thompson. He says that he is an authentic, consistent conservative and a “100 percent pro-life voter.”

“Fred Thompson wants to reduce taxes and give the death penalty to the death tax,” Allen said.
He added that illegal immigration reform is a top priority for Thompson.

“He will veto any amnesty bill,” Allen said. “Fred Thompson has stood strong for high fences and wide gates. If you pay taxes and work for a living, I welcome you to choose Fred Thompson as the next president of the United States. Thank you for standing strong for freedom.”

John McCain
James Woolsey, former director of central intelligence and head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) spoke on behalf of John McCain. He stated that he has known McCain for 30 years, ever since he heard of the man who would not give in to his captors in North Vietnam, even when he was being tortured.

“I met men who fought with him and they said they would follow him anywhere,” Woolsey said. “Every morning, (McCain) would make them drag him shouting and kicking all the way down the corridor to where he was being tortured. Then he would do the same thing as he was being brought back.”

He said McCain did that so the men in neighboring cells would know that he was being tortured, but he was not talking.

Now, Woolsey says, we are in a war again, a war against Islamic radicalism, which is fanaticism rooted in religion. Since we may be fighting this war for years and even decades to come, we need a leader like McCain to show us the bravery and dedication we need to succeed.

“We need a commander-in-chief who understands how to deal with that, how to fight a war for that period of time,” Woolsey said.

Marshall Bryant of Litchfield, who attended the rally with his wife, Nina, says they were impressed with the caliber of the speakers, although they were a little disappointed none of the candidates appeared themselves.

“I really think sometimes it is easier to talk about someone else than to talk about themselves,” he said. “We recognize the demands on the candidates and we understand it was necessary for them to make a decision that didn’t include being with us.”

Joanne Quantz, who attended with her husband, Ted, says the speakers were very convincing.
“I learned a few things that I hadn’t known before,” she said. “It was a very worthwhile event.”

Maxine Tache of Pawleys Island agreed. She says that she is most concerned about the judges for the U.S. Supreme Court that the more liberal candidates might choose.

She is planning to vote Saturday and urges anyone else who is voting Republican to get out and vote.

“By all means, get out there and vote,” she said.