Sarah Palin Heckled At McCain Event…She Angrily Responds… Protestor Roughed Up…(VIDEO)

Palin Heckled At McCain Rally, She Responds (VIDEO)

by Dan Nowicki
Mar. 27, 2010
The Arizona Republic

The maverick and the rogue teamed up one more time in Mesa on Saturday to rally support for Sen. John McCain’s re-election campaign and slam President Barack Obama’s landmark health-care overhaul.

When not sparring with hecklers, Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and best-selling “Going Rogue” author, heaped praise on McCain’s “maverick” Republican style.
Palin called her former 2008 presidential running mate “a man of honor,” “a man of faith” and “a man of the people” who isn’t afraid to “shake things up in Washington” and fight corruption and wasteful pork-barrel spending in Congress.

Unlike two years ago, when McCain lost the White House race to Obama, Palin predicted “this guy’s going to win this time.”

“One thing that hasn’t changed since the 2008 campaign, though, is the deep respect and admiration I have for Senator John McCain, a true American hero,” Palin told a full gymnasium of about 2,500 people at Dobson High School. “It’s an honor to stand beside him today and ask you, Arizonans, please, for the sake of our country and for your good state, send him back to the United States Senate.”

Few would have predicted the scene in 2008, when McCain, the Republican Party’s presidential nominee, picked the little-known Palin as his vice-presidential choice.

But now, McCain is in a spirited primary fight in his bid for a fifth Senate term and he is relying on Palin to help him convince Arizona GOP voters that he’s not too moderate. Palin is a possible Republican 2012 presidential contender.

“Isn’t she magnificent?” McCain asked after Palin introduced him. “I predict to you that Sarah Palin will be around for a long, long time.”

Palin, who stumped for McCain on Friday in Tucson, is a favorite of the “tea party” movement.

The two-day McCain-Palin offensive indicates that McCain is not willing to cede the fiscally conservative and anti-Washington tea-party voters to his challenger in the Aug. 24 primary.

J.D. Hayworth, a former six-term Republican congressman who entered the Senate race on Feb. 15, also is working to round up the tea-party vote. Hayworth has attacked McCain from the right as too liberal on issues such as illegal immigration, saying McCain is part of the problem in Congress.

“We welcome Governor Palin to Arizona and look forward to her support after the August primary,” said David Payne, Hayworth’s campaign manager.

Hecklers interrupted Palin at two points during her remarks. Their shouts were largely inaudible, but McCain campaign aides later said at least one yelled profanities and started throwing elbows.

After they refused to quiet down, both were removed from the gym to the cheers of others in the audience.

“Young man, stick around and listen to what we’re going to say,” Palin told the first heckler. “Sir, maybe you’ll learn something.”

After the second disruption, Palin took an opportunity to chastise the “lamestream media” for suggesting that she and other conservatives are encouraging violence against Democrats who supported the health-care bill.

She warned the audience not to be distracted by that “bunch of bunk.”

“If there was any fairness in the mainstream media today, perhaps they’d look at that and condemn that as a little bit of violence,” Palin said of the second scuffle in the audience.

Outside the gym, one of the ousted protesters loudly complained about his treatment and told Channel 15 (KNXV) that “I just don’t like John McCain.” Brian Rogers, a McCain spokesman, said the campaign didn’t intend to pursue any charges.

Back inside, Palin and McCain ripped “Obamacare,” the far-reaching but politically divisive health-care reform legislation passed by the Democrat-controlled Congress.

“By the way, doesn’t something tell you something’s wrong if (Cuba’s longtime leader) Fidel Castro comes out and says this is a good thing,” Palin asked. “We don’t like it. Castro likes it. What a crock.”

McCain repeatedly chanted a mantra of “Repeal and replace!” in reference to the health-care law, which he called “a monstrosity.”

Tony Tice, a Glendale Republican, said he went to the Mesa event mostly to see Palin, but “for the most part” likes McCain, too. He characterized the rally as “very uplifting.”

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