Palin in Asheville: Promises tax cuts, attacks Obama as “wealth-spreader”

Before a crowd of thousands at the Asheville Civic Center arena Sunday night, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, said that she and Sen. John McCain would cut taxes and attacked Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama as “Barack the wealth-spreader.”

Palin summed up the campaign’s agenda as, “If you are ready to shake up Washington, clean up Wall Street, to get our economy on track, to win the war against the terrorists, then North Carolina, we are asking for your vote.”

To applause, she asserted that “On Nov. 4, it doesn’t sound like a whole lot of you are going to be supporting Barack the wealth-spreader. Not his plan, because you understand that his plan to redistribute wealth would punish hard work, it would discourage productivity and would stifle the entrepreneurial spirit that made this country the greatest country on earth. Our opponent’s plan doesn’t get it: bigger government is the problem. Instead of taking your money and spreading it, John McCain and I want you to keep more of it so we can help you spread opportunity.”

Obama’s proposed plan would cut taxes (or give tax credits) to Americans making under $150,000, while raising taxes on those making over $250,000 back to the levels they were in the 1990s. McCain would simply cut taxes (including corporate taxes), with those making more money getting a larger cut.

According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, most Americans would see their after-tax income rise between one-half to 2 percent under McCain’s plan, while those in the top fifth, income-wise, would see a 6 percent increase, with the top 1 percent seeing an 8 percent increase. Under Obama’s plan, most Americans would see their after-tax income rise from just under 2 to just under 6 percent, with lower income brackets seeing more of an increase. Under this plan, the top fifth would pay 2 percent more in taxes, while the top 1 percent would pay just under 11 percent more.

Palin took the stage after an introduction from Sen. Richard Burr. She received an enthusiastic welcome from the crowd and asked county artist Gretchen Wilson, who’d played a musical set earlier, to perform “I’m a Redneck Woman” and join the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to Palin’s mother via a cell phone that Palin held onstage.

Then, it was on with the speech. Palin attacked Obama as presumptuous for being optimistic about his campaigns chances and said the fight for the White House is far from over. Polls show the race tight in North Carolina.

“Elections are not decided until votes are counted, but our opponent once again seems to be getting out ahead of himself,” she said. “Just yesterday, the New York Times reported that Barack Obama’s inaugural address is already written.”

The crowd booed loudly — one of many times it did so when Obama was referenced — and one man shouted “flush it!” (Numerous attendees toted small toilet plungers, in reference to the “Joe the Plumber” theme.) She continued: “You get the feeling the Obama campaign thinks this election is just a formality. They’ve overlooked one detail: the confidence and trust they’d have to earn before you vote for them. I know by judging from the media coverage the coronation has already been set. But as for me and John McCain, we don’t take any vote for granted — we’re respectfully asking you for it.”

The Times article reported that the head of Obama’s transition team, John Podesta “has already written a draft Inaugural Address for Mr. Obama, which he published this summer in a book called The Power of Progress.” However, the address in the book is for a hypothetical progressive president. The Obama campaign has called the claim that there’s already a written inaugural address “completely false.” When Podesta submitted the book to publishers in March, Obama was not yet the Democratic nominee, and Podesta was working for the campaign of his rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Many in the crowd stood for hours in a line that wrapped around the block.

Brenda Harris drove an hour from Chesnee, S.C., to attend the rally. Standing outside in the line that snaked around downtown before the event, she expressed full support of Palin. “We’re very proud of Palin, and think she’s very qualified. She set a great example in Alaska.” Asked what she thought the consequences of an Obama victory could be, she said: “I fear for an attack on our country from the outside. I think that Obama will sell us out to those who hate us.”

Pan Perkins, from Hendersonville, was standing across the street from the Civic Center with a crowd of pro-Obama demonstrators that grew as the afternoon wore on. Waving a sign that read “Working Families for Obama,” she said she was attending “with some of my friends with the postal-workers’ union, and to show my support and impress people to vote early. She said she’s helped register hundreds of new voters this year, and that she believes North Carolina is in Obama’s camp. “I feel real strong,” she said. “I think we’ve got the momentum and that we’re on the way to victory.”

Asheville resident John McKewn, enthusiastically waving an Obama/Biden sign, said “we’re not necessarily against the other people, we just want them to open their eyes before reality.”

On the arena floor, Joy Thylander, also from Asheville, had a very different outlook.

“We don’t trust Obama, we don’t feel like he’s been vetted,” she told Xpress. “We don’t feel like they’ve checked him enough as far as his radicalism, his associations with William Ayers, Rev. Wright, the undermining politics of Chicago.”

Acknowledging that the country was facing “tough economic times,” Palin described McCain as “tough, with a bold plan of action” for addressing the problem. She promised to “clean up the corruption and the self-dealing on Wall Street” and guarantee savings and investments, while cutting the national debt by imposing a spending freeze on “all but the most vital functions of government and balancing the budget by the end of our first term.”

The crowd could trust she and McCain, Palin said, because they’d both tackled corruption and “special interests” in the Senate and in Alaska.

She also said that their energy plan would lead to energy independence for America by encouraging increased oil drilling along with natural gas and coal production as well as other new energy sources.

“We’re going to end this failed policy,” Palin said. “We’ll develop new sources and we’ll tap into what we’ve already got, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs right here in the U.S.A. It’s nonsense that we’re sending our Energy Secretary [and] our own president over the Saudis to ask them to produce more energy for us. We need to adopt an ‘all of the above’ approach.”

Parts of the crowd started chanting “Drill, baby, drill!”

“We will ‘drill, baby, drill,’” Palin replied with a smile. “And ‘mine, baby, mine!’”

She ended the speech by saying, “Our opponents are claiming that they’ll fight for you. But since my running mate won’t say this on his own behalf, I’ll say it for him: There is only man in this race who has ever really fought for you.”

The crowd went wild, and Palin continued. “Only one man has the courage to keep fighting for you, and that’s John McCain. God bless you and god bless America.”

Palin, there with her husband, Todd Palin, shook hands with supporters as she made her way out of the arena.

(Click below to see video of Palin at the rally; and click here to see a photo gallery of images from in and around the event.)

— David Forbes, staff writer



Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

27 thoughts on “Palin in Asheville: Promises tax cuts, attacks Obama as “wealth-spreader”

  1. PatD

    excuse me yall…there is not much to say other than, looking at the Palin support crowd today, outside the Asheville Civic Center, a display of America’s lowest common denominator, I am just a bit busy suppressing this urge to vomit.

    The good news is, it was only a bunch of narrow minded, scared and uninformed dumb people.

    I can’t imagine how they are going to feel when a ‘BLACK’ man, obviously a Muslim terrorist, with a name like that, will be the next President of the USA.

  2. nuvue

    Well, PatD Those are the people that work and live in your neighborhoods….We all need to live together.

    As far as the article above, I still don’t get the vitriol of which they spit out “spread the wealth”. It is not a cuss word. The current admin. just did the biggest spread of OUR wealth to the very people that caused the stock mess. We will be paying for that for years.
    I do believe in helping Main street (yes even the clientele at the rally) and let the a-holll&%# that caused this economic mess jump from a high window.

  3. dave marks

    PatG:”looking at the Palin support crowd today, outside the Asheville Civic Center, a display of America’s lowest common denominator, I am just a bit busy suppressing this urge to vomit.”

    What is your problem Pat? Why do you hate folks who disagree with you? I just don’t get it. Most of my friends are liberal, but they don’t go to your extremes. Listen up. We are all Americans. We do not always agree on political views. Do not HATE people who disagree with you. Just disagree. Can you do that?

  4. LOKEL

    Does the McSame health plan have coverage for all the babies born from those who are raped or from incest that Ms Failin’ wants to “save” from abortion?

  5. PatD

    Dave Marks
    Where do you read anything about hate in my post?
    Dislike is not hate and can I dislike people who want to take away other people’s rights.
    Do you have a problem with that?

  6. Ken Hanke

    We are all Americans. We do not always agree on political views. Do not HATE people who disagree with you. Just disagree. Can you do that?

    Can you? Didn’t you pen the sentence, “Artsy-lefty ‘cool’ big city people often deride their own country and it’s traditions. Thereby, they are often not real Americans.” That seems a lot like “just disagreeing,” doesn’t it?

  7. Chad Nesbitt

    Best article in the local media! You can always count on the Mnt X to print the truth with no spin. You guy’s need to go national and give the networks a run for their money. Your paper always quotes you word for word and shows both sides of an issue. Great reporting.

    Chad Nesbitt

    Ashevegas’s blog – is the funniest. We figure he is an Obama supporter in his personal life but that’s ok his writing has a great dry sense of humor.

    Forbes – is not afraid to ask anything. A very good investigative reporter that tells the truth and likes to be accurate.

    Nelda – God you can piss me off! But you are my favorite liberal. I’m with you on the environment by the way.

    Hanke – Ready to see that new Star Trek review.

    Ellison – I would hate to have your job. If your paper reports about what the liberals are doing the conservatives get mad. If your paper reports on what the conservatives are doing then Hooligans, Bug, Sinclair, Trans, WNCnative, you name it the liberals are pissed.
    Thank you for being fair.

  8. Jimbo

    I’m not sure what there is to discuss surrounding her visit. She delivered the same exact, tired, word-for-word speech she’s given at every other venue. If you missed the live show you can catch it in progress every couple of hours on CNN and the other channels. I don’t understand the following, but to each his own. Looks like a Rocky Horror Picture Show/interactive performance kinda thing to me.

    Anybody feeling the need to reinvigorate their bashing against Palin or her supporters after this event should just remember to keep quite and give them more rope. They’ll do the rest.

  9. Eat at Joes

    The whole downtown was shut down with thousands upon thousands of Palin supporters. I was shocked.

  10. dave marks

    Jimbo & Eat, ain’t it great that there are so many Palin supporters in town? To read these forums you’d think everyone in town is drunk on Obama koolaid.

    My prediction: WNC and North Carolina will go to McCain. Period. It is only retired conservatives, and liberals who hardly work days, who post here. So reading remarks here are pretty skewed. Most conservatives are out working, and then with family in the evening. THEY are the ones voting for McCain/Palin. -:)

  11. dave

    I am usually convinced by statements that end with a one-sentence word like “Period”. Dangling-Modifier.

  12. PatD

    Ah, I get it.
    Liberals are people without jobs and the backbone of America are hard working conservatives.

    For your information Mr. Marks.
    I own a company with several employees and basically work 7 days.
    Not all freethinkers are hippies or artists.
    Being a business owner does not interfere with my believes in such far fetched things as freedom and human rights. Not exactly something the republican ticket, with it’s fear mongering religious zealots, stands for.

  13. tatuaje

    WNC and North Carolina will go to McCain. Period. It is only retired conservatives, and liberals who hardly work days, who post here. So reading remarks here are pretty skewed. Most conservatives are out working, and then with family in the evening. THEY are the ones voting for McCain/Palin.

    So posts one of them hard-working “backbones” of our country in the middle of the afternoon…

    Like PatD, I’m working my tail off as you read this…Since I work on the computer most days, I like to nip on over here for a few quick laughs every now and again…. My favorite is hearing what a socialist, un-american, lazy perverted terrorist I am…

    But it was the things I heard whilst in line for the Palin spectacle yesterday that make me cringe. Sentiments uttered when these people thought they were amongst “friends”…rascist, misinformed, hateful conversation from such “God-fearing” folk…

    I’m not an Obama supporter, but I hope he wins so these people have to live their lives under the thumb of this Muslim, Arab, Socialist terrorist…

  14. Ken Hanke

    Most conservatives are out working, and then with family in the evening. THEY are the ones voting for McCain/Palin.

    Gee, then what’s a guy like me who works two jobs doing not voting for McCain? Moreover, I voted on the first day of early voting and the parking lot was a sea of Obama stickers — not a McCain sticker in sight — and I was one of the younger voters (and I’m 54), so there must be a few non-conservative retirees out there, too.

  15. Jimbo

    I don’t want to get into the gross oversimplifications or generalities the some have, but I do feel the need to restate an observation made by several educated people who get paid much more than me.

    The people most invigorated by the republican tactics of the last 10-15 years, and the staunch supporters of republican policies like trickle down economics, capital gains tax reductions, and tax breaks for those making over $250,000 are the very same people being victimized by those policies. Many of these people cheer at the talk of lowering taxes on the rich as if they are the rich.

    The “conservative and Christian values” professed by the Republicans is simply a ploy to reach these people and get their support for policies that insure their own continued poverty and/or ignorance. If people had a realistic sense of the actual class structure in this country, and where they stacked up in it, they would see how they are their worst enemy. It’s unfortunate, but true.

  16. nuvue

    Man Dave Marks
    Are you baiting me??? Why would you say such a thing. I would like to see your lazy ass keep up with me working one day. You ever get ready for a big concrete pour, then have to pour it on an 87 deg. day?
    I got some projects for you whenever your ready, course mostly these days its immigrant labor that does this kind of work…..could you come off your high horse and work beside us??

  17. September Girl

    Two jobs for this girl (one of them had me at the Palin Show last night) AND I managed to early vote for Obama. And I have three daughters, three dogs and two hamsters. How DO I do it all? Technology, baby, technology.
    BTW, the MX coverage is spot on. I appreciate the fact checking of the pre-written inaugural address comment. I LOVED the “Barack the wealth-spreader” line. I had to bite my lip not to laugh out loud. It just sounded so Bush-y.

  18. Dionysis

    Funny. Palin running around criticizing Obama’s remarks, yet no one seems to note that Palin herself governs what has been called “the only socialist state in the country.” Consider this:

    “Conservatives in the media have echoed Palin’s sentiments, insinuating that Obama is a “Marxist” and referring to his tax plan as “welfare.”

    But Palin’s criticisms of Obama’s “spread the wealth” remarks are ironic, as she recently characterized Alaska’s tax code in a very similar way. Just last month, in an interview with Philip Gourevitch of the New Yorker, Palin explained the windfall profits tax that she imposed on the oil industry in Alaska as a mechanism for ensuring that Alaskans “share in the wealth” generated by oil companies:

    “And Alaska—we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs. … It’s to maximize benefits for Alaskans, not an individual company, not some multinational somewhere, but for Alaskans.”

  19. September Girl

    Wow, she used three of the key socialism buzzwords in that quote: share, collectively and benefits. Hmmm.

  20. evolved

    God forbid spreading the wealth to poor people–

    No, really, Jesus forbids it…..

  21. nuvue

    Dave, I do love the wealth concentrator thing….can I steal it and use it??
    It is obvious they want to concentrate the wealth, did you see the Exxon profit from lately???? Tell me we don’t need a little spreading…..

  22. PatD

    This one is great.
    Not sure if I can embed here. If not, sorry guys.

    <object width=”425″ height=”344″><param name=”movie” value=”″><embed src=”″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”425″ height=”344″></embed></object>

  23. dave

    newview-Feel Free to spread that phrase around a bit! I was very pleased with myself when it occurred to me. :-)

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.