Entries in John Raese (5)


Palin Rallies 'Mountain Mamas' in West Virginia

Republican John Raese is joined by former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin during a rally for his U.S. Senate campaign October 30, 2010 in Charleston, West Virginia. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(CHARLESTON, W.Va) -- Sarah Palin took to the campaign trail this weekend in a final push before Election Day, headlining a rally for West Virginia Republican Senate candidate John Raese.

"I'm seeing all these 'mountain mamas' and wondering, 'Mountain mamas? Is that anything close to the mama grizzlies?’" the former Alaska governor asked.

Palin drew big cheers from the crowd when she suggested that Raese's opponent, Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin, should keep his current job.

"It's nothing personal. I like your governor. I've worked with him before. He's such a nice guy," Palin said. "But he's such a nice governor I think that Manchin in the mansion just kind of fits, to keep him there."

Raese and Manchin are running neck-and-neck for the seat held by the late Senator Robert Byrd.

Palin made no mention of her slip-up earlier this month on Twitter, when she incorrectly urged voters to support Raese for Senate in Pennsylvania. She later corrected the mistake.

West Virginian voters aren't the only ones hearing from Palin this weekend; she is also reportedly robo-calling 8.5 million social conservatives.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


WV Senate Candidate John Raese: I "Absolutely" Want to Abolish Minimum Wage

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Republican Senate candidate from West Virginia, John Raese, is taking aim at minimum wage, first signed into law by Franklin Delano Roosevelt as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

"The minimum wage is something that FDR put in place a long time ago during the Great Depression," Raese told ABC News.  "I don't think it worked then.  It didn't solve any problems then and it hasn't solved any problems in 50 years."

Raese continued, "The minimum wage is not something that you want to stay on as a permanent basis.  For example, if you have a minimum wage job, you don't stay there 20 or 30 years.  You don't put your children through college working on minimum wage.  One of the best things I can say, when you get the government out of micromanaging the economy -- you don't want government to set price controls, you don't want government to set wage controls.  It's an archaic system that frankly has not worked."

Asked if the federally mandated minimum wage should be abolished, Raese answered, "Absolutely."

Raese has surged in recent weeks by relentlessly arguing that Manchin, who has been a popular governor, would be a "rubber stamp" for President Obama if he were elected to the Senate.

Manchin is now touting his differences with President Obama -- in one recent ad he actually fires a bullet at the President's energy policy -- but Raese is not buying it.

"I always watch what people do and not what they say and we're talking earlier about Senator Clarke Goodman, I always like to get that name correct.  And since he's been appointed by Joe, he's done 100 percent of everything certainly President Obama wants," Raese said.

Senator Goodwin's first name is actually "Carte," not "Clarke," but he has consistently voted with the Democratic leadership since he was appointed by Governor Manchin to the Senate following the death of Senator Robert Byrd.

"Governor Manchin lines up right with President Obama," Raese said.  "So if it looks like a duck, it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, 9 times out of 10, it's a duck."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Sarah Palin Endorses John Raese In Competitive W.Va. Senate Race

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sarah Palin weighed in on one of the most competitive races in the country on Monday, throwing her support behind Republican businessman John Raese in his bid for a U.S. Senate seat in West Virginia.

"The last thing Washington, D.C. needs is another rubber-stamp vote for President Obama and the liberal agenda," Palin said in a message posted on her Facebook page.  "John Raese has the courage and independence to stand up to the Washington politics of Reid and Pelosi."

Palin's contention that Raese's Democratic opponent, W.Va. Gov. Joe Manchin, would be a "rubber stamp" for Obama echoes a frequently-used GOP talking point in the Senate contest. Raese has used the same language on the campaign trail and in his television ads.

Once the presumed frontrunner, Manchin has been struggling in the matchup against Raese, who has attempted to tie the popular governor to the president at every turn.

The Palin endorsement comes on the same day that former President Bill Clinton traveled to West Virginia to campaign on behalf of Manchin.  "Don't let this guy play you," Clinton said of Raese, who recently came under fire for campaign ads that sought to portray West Virginia residents as “hicky.”

In her Facebook post on Monday, Palin wrote that after "another great week of travel across our country" she is seeing a growing "commonsense grassroots movement" taking root -- one that she is helping to seed.  In addition to Raese, Palin endorsed eight Republican House candidates from Michigan, Virginia, Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi and Utah.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Republican Senatorial Committee Pulls Ad as Democrats Demand Apology 

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is pulling its "Stop Obama" ad in West Virginia amid complaints from Democrats that it insults the state's residents. GOP Senate candidate John Raese also called the ad "ridiculous" in an attempt to distance himself from the controversy. Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The National Republican Senatorial Committee is pulling its "Stop Obama" ad off the air in West Virginia  amid a controversy over the casting call which reportedly asked for actors with a "'hicky' blue collar look." GOP Senate candidate John Raese called the ad "ridiculous," in an attempt to distance himself from the hullabaloo.

"The ad is ridiculous and I am happy to say that no one with the Raese campaign had anything to do with it. As a matter of fact, we asked that it be taken down long before it went public," said Raese's spokesman, Kevin McLaughlin. "But this campaign isn't about TV ads, it's about the 7,169 West Virginia seniors who are being told they are losing their health coverage because of Obamacare that Joe Manchin rubber stamped."

The ad's existence was first reported by Politico's Mike Allen. According to his report, the casting call for the ad asked for actors with a "'hicky' blue collar look...think coal miner/trucker looks."

The "Stop Obama" ad included professional actors and was made in Philadelphia. But it was word of the casting call's language that particularly fired up Democrats.

Gov. Manchin, whose standing in the polls has plummeted amid an anti-Washington wave, called the ad insulting to West Virginians and demanded an apology. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


A Referendum on Obama? Dems in Danger of Losing W. Va. Senate Seat

Photo Courtesy - Mark Wilson | Getty Images(W.Va.) -- The West Virginia Senate race to replace the late Sen. Robert Byrd has increasingly become a referendum on President Obama's agenda. In what could be one of their biggest upset defeats this election cycle, Democrats are fearful of losing the seat they have occupied for half a century.

When Gov. Joe Manchin won the Democratic primary in August, he was considered a shoe-in for Byrd's seat. A popular governor with approval ratings to match, Manchin, 63, won high praise for his work in the aftermath of the Upper Big Branch explosion, the biggest mine disaster in decades.

The Republican nominee, businessman John Raese, had run several times before unsuccessfully. He lost his bid against Sen. Jay Rockefeller in 1984 and couldn't defeat Byrd in 2006. Raese, 60, also ran for governor in 1988, only to lose to his Democratic challenger.

Virtually all polls had Manchin with a commanding lead two months ago. But the tide has since shifted quickly. Running on an anti-Washington agenda, Raese has attracted millions of dollars from national groups hoping to unseat Democrats in what they can then paint as a symbolic election.

The anti-Obama wave is so strong that even Manchin himself has distanced himself as much from the president as possible and as vocally as he can.

Wednesday, for instance, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for holding up mine permits, in an effort spearheaded by Manchin himself.

"I've asked our stakeholders to come together today because over the past year and a half, we have been fighting the President Obama's administration's attempts to destroy our coal industry and way of life in West Virginia," Manchin said at a news conference.

Manchin is also the first, and so far only, Democratic governor to demand a partial repeal of the health care law, even though he supported it earlier this year. He has also sought to highlight his other conservative credentials; opposing abortion and reigning in spending.

In a national political climate fraught with anti-Washington sentiment, Manchin's opponents have sought to portray the Democratic candidate as a governor who may be popular in his home state, but who will likely turn into an Obama clone once he gets to Washington.

"Joe's not bad as governor but when he's with Obama, he turns into 'Washington Joe,'" goes an ad by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, showing two men at a coffee shop talking about the differences between Gov. Manchin and "Washington Joe."

"We better keep Joe Manchin right here in West Virginia," one man says. "It's the only way we're going to stop Obama."

The West Virginia Republican party debuted campaign signs saying, "Obama Says 'Vote Democrat,'" clearly taking advantage of the anti-Washington sentiment in the state.

With Republicans viewing this race as a potential symbolic victory, money from across the country is pouring into the GOP candidate's coffers.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee reportedly plans to contribute a total of $1.3 million into Raese's campaign.

Conservative PAC American Crossroads, which was formed with the help of former Bush administration adviser Karl Rove, is planning a massive campaign to target voters that includes a "72-hour mail and phone call blitz prior to Election Day."

"West Virginia has emerged as a key state in the battle for control of the U.S. Senate and we are expanding our plans accordingly," Steven Law, president and chief executive of American Crossroads, said in a statement last week.

Democrats have launched their own attack, painting Raese as a candidate who favors corporations that send job overseas, and Manchin as a candidate who will lobby for the working class.

West Virginia has historically been a blue state; Jimmy Carter won the state both times he ran for president, as did Bill Clinton.

But the trend has shifted slowly to the right. Al Gore and John Kerry both lost the state narrowly. Obama lost by a much wider, 13 percentage point margin in the 2008 presidential election. Today, the president remains unpopular in a state where the coal and mining industry dominate and often clash with Democrats' agenda.

When Byrd died in June, he was the longest serving U.S. senator in the country's history, having been elected for nine terms.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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