Biden to Oklahoma Dems: "I'm flattered you'd be seen with me"
Vice President Joe Biden made a fundraising stop at a private home just a day after Texas Governor Rick Perry visited the Tulsa Press Club.
Biden arrived in the late afternoon of Aug. 30, and was joined by a group of senators and special guests at the private fundraiser. Those in attendance included State Senators Roger Ballenger, Earl Garrison, Randy Bass and Tom Adelson.
After being introduced to a room of roughly 75 people, Biden joked, "I'm flattered you'd be seen with me."
In 2008, all 77 counties in Oklahoma went for McCain.
Tulsa Democratic Committee president, Mike Whelan was in attendance and provided the UTW with a transcript of Biden's speech at the exclusive fundraising event.
Biden discussed President Barack Obama's decision to go after Osama Bin Laden. "When he decided, it was to risk not only the lives of our special forces but risk his very presidency on getting Osama Bin Laden. He was prepared to follow him to the gates of hell," Biden said.
The vice president also said Obama's administration "owns" responsibility for the economy. "We're the ones who were put in charge to fix it. We were put in charge to restore the middle class in this country. And that's what the American people expect us to do," Biden said.
Biden addressed the need for a strong Republican party. "Senator [Adelson], I know you're going to think I'm crazy but we need a strong Republican party. Democrats and Americans need a strong Republican party because we need to have somebody with whom we can make a reasonable deal."
He told the assembled group of Oklahoma legislators and politicos that "the Tea Party is in control. There's no one [in the Republican party] willing to take them on."
And as for next year's re-election campaign, Biden mentioned a saying his grandfather told him, "You've got to have somebody to beat somebody," Biden said. "I think we have the strongest guy at the top of the ticket."
Governor Rick Perry arrives, collects
The day before Biden's visit, Governor Perry arrived in Tulsa for a news conference with Senator James Inhofe, who announced his endorsement of the governor in his run for the GOP presidential nomination.
Perry said if elected he would focus on job creation, lowering taxes and reducing red tape and regulations for small business owners.
"Americans should be free to be able to live their lives as they want," Perry said.
The Oklahoma GOP Chairman Matt Pinnell said the group will remain neutral until after the primaries. "We have a deep field of candidates that I think could be the nominee, and a lot if not all of those could beat Barack Obama," Pinnell said.
Perry was greeted by supporters, media and also a group of protesting Democrats, who held signs across the street from the Press Club.
Tulsa County Democratic Party Vice-Chairman Mike Whelan said Perry's ultra-conservative background would provide good fodder for Obama's campaign but would be bad for the country if he won.
"As far as the Democratic Party is concerned, we've moving forward and I think that Rick Perry is somebody who will keep holding us back," Whelan said.
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