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Importance of presidential election stressed

| Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

Dubbing this year's presidential election the most important since the year that Abraham Lincoln was elected, Congressman Bill Shuster addressed about 170 people at the Fayette County Republican Committee fall dinner on Thursday night.

“If Romney is not elected, we will see an economic calamity the likes that we've never seen before,” he said.

But the congressman said he has every confidence that Romney will be elected, especially after the first debate on Wednesday night.

“Fifteen minutes into the debate, Obama rarely raised his head up anymore,” he said. “It was like the same thing that happens to a dog when he puts his tail between his legs. He knows he's whipped.”

Shuster added that spending is out of control in Washington and if the country is to remain the greatest nation in the world, legislators need to make some changes, including keeping taxes low and reducing the regulatory burdens on businesses.

“The only way we're going to get out of the situation we're in right now is by making some tough decisions,” he said. “We have to make cuts somewhere.

“But we as Americans will be able to do the tough things that we have to do to make sure America is not only the greatest country today, but also the greatest country in the history of the world.”

Also attending the dinner was Robert Gleason Jr., chairman of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania.

He said Southwestern Pennsylvania, a historically Democratic region, has made great strides over the years, with more and more individuals registering with the Republican Party.

“Twenty years ago, I probably wouldn't have come out to a dinner here, but Fayette County has really turned a corner,” he said. “It all started with Ronald Reagan and we have kept that ball rolling.”

Shuster agreed.

“Folks in Southwestern Pennsylvania and Fayette County are conservative people,” he said. “They believe in God and the Second Amendment — they hunt and fish and go to church on Sundays. They know the importance of coal and gas and they don't want the federal government coming in and telling them what to do or taking more money out of their pockets.”

Gleason was happy with how Fayette County responded in the last presidential election, where Sen. John McCain garnered more votes than Obama for the presidency.

“There's a change in the air down here,” he said. “We're slowly building up the Republican Party.”

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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