ROCHESTER â€“ Minnesotaâ€™s Republicans held a pep rally at the Mayo Civic Center Thursday night, a full-throated partisan crank-up for this weekendâ€™s state convention.
Barack Obama (more than Hillary Clinton), Nancy Pelosi, Al Franken, liberalism and the â€œDemocratâ€ Party were repeatedly, if predictably, bashed. â€œLook at what the Democrats
offer us â€“ Barack Obama and Al Franken are the most radical extremists this country has ever seen,â€ said state GOP chairman Ron Carey, decrying their â€œleft-wing values.â€
Surveying the conventional wisdom writings of what he called â€œthe punditsâ€ who have predicted a â€œslaughterâ€ of Republicans in November, Carey predicted that â€œthe jokeâ€™s gonna be on these folks.â€
The party trotted out a couple of its congressional candidates who are facing decidedly uphill battles in deeoly blue districts come November and gave them a few minutes in the spotlight.
Ed Matthews, who is trying to take down Rep.Betty McCollum in a district that has been held by Democrats for 60 years, mentioned â€œchangeâ€ in Washington almost as incessantly as Obama has. He said his platform is grounded on God, the U.S. Constitution and the Republican Partyâ€™s platform.
Barbara Davis-White, who is trying to knock off first-term Rep. Keith Ellison in the deeply blue Fifth Congressional District, called him “a liberal.”
â€œBOOOOOOOOOO,â€ the crowd replied.
â€œWe cannot let our country die under the influence of Democrats and socialism,â€ she said, adding that Ellison is â€œa man whoâ€™s threatening our national security.â€
Sen. Norm Coleman, whose endorsement for a second term is expected to be the centerpiece of the convention, made a brief, surprise, appearance when he introduced Sen. Tom Colburn, who gave the keynote address of the night. â€œSix more years,â€ members of the crowd roared.
â€œYou are what defends liberty,â€ Colburn told the Republicans, saying the party can â€œregain our footingâ€ if the party keeps its focus on Islamic radical terrorism and the federal governmentâ€™s deficit spending. â€œThereâ€™s a culture in Washington that kicks the can down the road,â€ Colburn said. â€œItâ€™s time that stops.â€
Officially, the convention kicks off at 9 a.m. Friday.