Presidential candidate Mitt Romney grabbed most of the media spotlight during his appearance in Colorado Springs last week – followed by GOP Chairman Dick Wadhams, who gave what was billed as a “Seven Minutes of Wisdom From Wadhams” pep talk to the audience of about 700.
And finally, Bob Schaffer – the Republican Party’s presumptive candidate for United State Senate in Colorado – was given the floor for a five-minute speech. By that time, most reporters, and many in the audience, had already left.
But those who remained enthusiastically greeted Schaffer, who used the majority of his time to talk about two newspaper clippings that he’s been carrying around with him involving Poland, a 63-year old coma patient, Ronald Reagan, food shortages, a pretty world, traveling in Afghanistan on oil and gas business and the darkness of Harry Reid. He also asked for money.
Keep reading.“I want to make my … point with the assistance of a couple news articles,” Schaffer began. “I’ve been carrying them around with me for a long time.”
The first one, he said, holding up the clip in his right hand, was a story about a 63-year old railroad worker in Poland who had been injured and, after being in a coma for 19 years, woke up.
Schaffer quoted the man’s wife, from the article: “He said the world is prettier now than it was 19 years ago.”
Of course, 19 years earlier, Schaffer noted, Poland was still under communist rule. He continued the story, saying how the man reportedly was “shocked” by all the changes – including store shelves stacked with food and products, whereas before – under communist rule – the shelves had been empty.
“I ask you to think about that think,” Schaffer said, “about what it took not only to bring the walls of communism down but free Poland and the other former Soviet Republic, former countries in the Soviet Union, [and bring them] into the modern world, where free markets and competition and freedom have made a prettier world.
“Think of what that took. Think of how much courage that took from American leaders … the Republican president, Ronald Reagan, never backed down – he never lost courage in [bringing] the Republican message of freedom, the message of strength. The message of American pride around the world helped make this story a reality.”
Schaffer then brandished the newspaper clipping in his left hand.
“I contrast this with another article,” he continued. “I was in Afghanistan about five (sic) months ago on business, in the oil and gas business…”
In the English language newspaper on April 21, Schaffer said, the headline was this: “Iraq war is lost, says U.S. Democratic leader.”
“Let me ask you to think about that,” Schaffer told the crowd. “How a message of defeat and surrender can be made on the floor of the United States Senate and projected in print into a war zone where our sons and daughters, our husbands, our wives, our brothers and sisters are doing the hard work of freedom.
“Ask yourselves how you feel about the difference between these two stories – a story of victory that is predicated on freedom, conservative Republican principles, versus a story of weakness and defeat put forward by the Majority Leader of the United States Senate.”
“We’re about to make a choice between these two directions in leadership for our state, for our country, and for the world – the message of a better future versus the message of weakness,” he said.
“With your help,” Schaffer finished, “we’re going to stand up to these kinds of folks on the floor of the United States Senate and we’re going to turn the majority party back to minority status, which is what they deserve.”
Cara DeGette is a senior fellow at Colorado Confidential, and a columnist and contributing editor at the Colorado Springs Independent. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org