Rep. Phil Roe speaks during a rally in Kingsport on Saturday. Photo by Hank Hayes.
KINGSPORT — Speakers encouraged a small group of conservatives and Tea Party members to work toward electing Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney during a rally at Memorial Park Saturday.
“On November 6, we are going to win,” U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., promised at the event organized by Freedom 4 All, a Kingsport Tea Party Group.
Freedom 4 All used the rally to recruit volunteers to work in phone banks calling voters in battleground states split between Romney and incumbent President Barack Obama.
“We know that ‘Hope and Change’ was a seductive message, but three years later, with unemployment high, take home pay receding and fuel prices more than doubling, it is time to realize that Obama’s policies sound good, but they simply do not work,” rally organizer Britt Buehrig said.
Roe praised Romney’s Wednesday night debate performance and said the presidential election boils down to a choice between big and small government.
“I knew he would do a good job,” Roe said of Romney. “I just didn’t know the president would do as bad of a job that he did. I hope he does another bad job in two weeks (when the second presidential debate will be held).”
Roe criticized the federal health care reform law and federal regulations holding back the coal industry.
“I went there to try to work with both sides, be a team player and move this country forward,” said Roe, a retired physician who was first elected in 2008. “There were nine doctors in our (Republican) caucus, and not one of us was asked anything about the health care bill.”
Roe was pleased Romney and Obama debated his legislation to repeal an Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) written into the health care reform law to rein in Medicare spending.
“It is a rationing board,” Roe said of IPAB.
Other rally speakers included state Rep. Matthew Hill, who noted Tennessee lawmakers need to decide whether to set up a state health insurance exchange called for in the reform law.
“I don’t think anybody at this gathering would say they are for Obamacare or the implementation of Obamacare or socialized medicine .. .but if we do not set up the health care exchange at the state level, the federal government comes in and runs it. ... We need to make sure we elect someone to repeal Obamacare,” Hill, R-Jonesborough, said.
State Rep. Tony Shipley, R-Kingsport, did an imitation of Clint Eastwood’s empty chair conversation with Obama from the Republican National Convention.
“You’re entitled to that airplane, Mr. President. You need to get on it and leave. In Tennessee, you’re not welcome,” Shipley told the gathering.
House District 6 GOP nominee Micah Van Huss, a military veteran, spoke out against Agenda 21, a United Nations initiative to hold human beings accountable for their impact on the environment.
“That’s not the freedom I fought for. ... If I am elected, I will work hard to protect Tennessee from the United Nations,” Van Huss said.
For more about Freedom 4 All, go to: http://www.meetup.com/freedom4all.