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Tea Party has messages for both candidates

| Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, 9:04 p.m.
Rose Somma Tennent of the Quinn and Rose radio show speaks at the tea party rally on November 3, 2012 at St. Clair Park in Greensburg. Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Joe Lentz of Shaler attends the tea party rally on November 3, 2012 at St. Clair Park in Greensburg. Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Carrie McClain, 13, and her father Scott McClain of Canonsburg attend the tea party rally on November 3, 2012 at St. Clair Park in Greensburg. Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review

Tea Party speakers used strong language during a pre-election rally in Greensburg while preaching their anti-Obama message, but they also mixed in a warning to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney that he must keep his promise to slash government spending and taxes or he will feel their wrath as well.

With the election just three days away, Darin Donnelly, a leader of the Westmoreland County-based Southwest Tea Party, told more than 500 people at St. Clair Park that President Obama has failed miserably and his bid for re-election must fail as well.

“He (Obama) is disgraceful. He has no honor. His time is done,” Donnelly told the crowd that braved cold weather for the 90-minute rally.

Obama came in for harsh criticism for his administration's handling of the fatal terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the death of Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans, and for what some Tea Party called a subsequent cover-up.

“For that, he should be in front of a military tribunal,” Donnelly said.

To so-called liberals, socialists and communists who Donnelly claimed never knew the concept of America, “we will trample right over them on Nov. 6.”

As much they want to defeat Obama, conservatives “can't let Nov. 6 be the last we hear of the Tea Party,” said Kurt Brown, Pittsburgh regional coordinator of Heritage Action, the political action arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington.

“This election is halftime. We must hold the politicians accountable” on taxes, the economy and other issues, said Brown, a Mt. Lebanon native.

Donnelly agreed, vowing to hold all politicians, regardless of party, accountable for their actions.

A strong Tea Party supporter, Rose Tennent, a Pittsburgh radio broadcaster and co-host of the show, “The War Room with Quinn & Rose,” said the party is “certainly never going to go away from our conservative values.”

“We're not just anti-Obama. We're not so much pro-Romney as we are against big government,” Tennent said.

Among those supporters at the rally, Bill Eger, a Greensburg councilman, said he believes in what the Tea Party wants to accomplish — “to get the government to reduce spending and just follow the Constitution.”

“It's funny how some people see that as radical,” Eger said.

Eger said it is apparent to him a change is needed because “the current president tied to what he thought would work and it did not.”

Romney, he said, has a better grasp of business and how to create jobs.

Another Romney supporter, Charles King, 70, of Greensburg, said he wants Romney to win because he wants to see spending reduced.

A younger member of the audience, Stephanie Seilhamer, 24, of Lowber, said she supports the Tea Party and Romney because he is a better choice for her future.

“He can get us the jobs and bring the country back,” said Seilhamer, who manages group homes.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or

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