In Latrobe, Palin rails against 'Obama-Pelosi-Reid' government

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LATROBE -- Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin asked supporters at a rowdy campaign rally this morning to go to the polls in four days and send her and Republican presidential nominee John McCain to the White House, warning against the danger of a one-party "Obama-Pelosi-Reid" government.

While Sen. Barack Obama gives "soaring speeches," the country needs "someone as a leader with experience and judgment and," she said, pausing for emphasis, "truthfulness." Citing Mr. McCain's bona fides as a maverick and battler against corruption, she attacked his Democratic opponent's economic plan as "socialism."

"Sen. Obama has an ideological commitment to higher taxes" -- drawing boos from the audience and cheers when she invoked the name of Joe "The Plumber" Wurzelbacher, who has become a staple in the Republican duo's speeches ever since he confronted Mr. Obama about tax policy in Toledo, Ohio, a couple of weeks ago.

"There is nothing mean-spirited at all about calling someone out on their record. It's not negative campaigning, it's in fairness to all of you," she said.

"It's the choice between a politician who believes in bigger government and a leader, John McCain, who puts his faith in all of you ... Pennsylvania, will ya hire us?" Mrs. Palin asked to loud cheers.

Mrs. Palin was greeted by about a thousand fans who started lining up around 6 a.m. outside a freezing hangar at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, more than three hours before she stepped on the stage at 9:16 a.m. She was joined by former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge and former Chicago Bears coach and southwestern Pennsylvania native Mike Ditka.

In recent days, Ms. Palin and Mr. McCain have been targeting older white working class voters, mostly -- 'Walmart women,' a campaign memo asserted this week -- women without a college degree in households earning less than $60,000 a year

Judy Lloyd, 67, of New Alexandria, spent 27 years as an employee of a Sears store in Greensburg before retiring. She's a registered Democrat who voted for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the primary.

"I think she's fantastic," Ms. Lloyd said of Ms. Palin. "She's the future for our girls and women. She gives us a chance to get inside the door and sweep the good old boys out forever. I would love it if she's the nominee in four years. We have to get a woman in the White House."

Ms. Palin then hopped on a campaign bus and headed east across the state with numerous stops planned along the way -- including Somerset, Breezewood and Mechanicsburg -- and ending with a rally in York before flying to Florida this evening.

In Somerset, Ms. Palin toured a large machine shop and met with employees.

One of the workers, Jeremy Stultz, 20, of Davidsville, said he plans to vote for McCain.

"I like the views that McCain and Palin have because they seem more realistic than what Obama brings to the table," said Stultz, who added that he specifically prefers McCain's health care plan.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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