Discontent with the country’s current economic malaise and unbalanced federal budget were among the predictable themes of a Tea Party Express rally on the Village Green.
“American families are not better off than they were four years ago” when Barack Obama was elected president, Amy Kremer, chairwoman of the Tea Party Express, told several hundred people at a noon rally Wednesday.
The rally was part of a 21-day tour of 25 battleground states that began last week in Orlando, Fla., and is scheduled to end Oct. 2 in Fairfield, Calif.
Two identical buses arrived a few minutes before noon for the well-orchestrated event, which was part of the “Winning for America” tour that is focusing on states that tea-party organizers believe are key to conservative victories in the Nov. 6 general election.
“Fire the worst administration in our country’s history” and replace it with a Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan administration, Kremer urged. “Take back America. Put us back on the path to prosperity so we remain the greatest nation on Earth,” she urged.
She also urged replacement of Ohio’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown with the tea-party-endorsed Republican challenger, Josh Mandel.
“Sen. Brown votes with President Obama 95 percent of the time,” Kremer said.
“We are borrowing too much money. The spending is out of control. We do not have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem” in the federal government, she said.
“This is not only the most important election of our lifetime, it’s the most important election in our nation’s history. This is about the fundamental direction that America is going to go,” Kremer said.
The Obama administration is leading the country down a path of “redistribution of wealth, which is socialism and leads to Marxism,” she added.
During the rally, Obama supporter Harold Liller of Canfield, who stood on the edge of the crowd, became embroiled in a verbal argument with tea-party supporters, which was followed by the arrival of two city police officers.
“I think he’s the only hope to keep us from the plutocrats,” Liller said of Obama. “Mitt Romney’s a plutocrat, and he gets his money from other plutocrats,” Liller added, using a term that denotes a member of a wealthy ruling class.
“When billionaires and millionaires decide to become president, that’s not democracy. That’s plutocracy,” he added.
Liller objected to the tea party’s reference to socialism, which he said describes a system in which the government owns the means of production and does not accurately reflect this society.
Ginny Rudolphi of Campbell, a real-estate sales agent, was attending her first tea- party rally.
“I’m interested in the tea party. I’m a registered independent, actually, and leaning more towards Republican tea party views, so that’s why I’m here,” she said.
“They’re more independent in their thinking. I think it’s going back to the basics of what our country stands for,” Rudolphi said of what attracts her to the tea party.
“I am supporting Romney, but, to be honest with you, I really don’t see either one [Romney or Obama] doing a majority of what the people want,” she said.
“What they want are jobs in this area. We do have jobs with Lordstown, but everything else is kind of falling to the wayside. You know, it’s a shame,” she said. “So many jobs were sent overseas,” she lamented.