The day after the United States House of Representatives passed the controversial healthcare reform bill, President Obama announced that he would return to Iowa to discuss the bill’s effect on small business with Iowans. The president will be at the Field House in Iowa City this afternoon at 1 p.m. It was in Iowa City where candidate Obama announced his healthcare plan before the Iowa caucuses.
As quickly as the Obama Administration announced the President’s visit to Iowa, the Republican Party of Iowa, in conjunction with the University of Iowa College Republicans, planned and organized a rally that was held last night. According to a number of people who attended the event, 300-500 people stood outside on the Pentacrest on the University of Iowa campus to hear speeches from four congressional candidates, RPI Chairman Matt Strawn, and Indiana Congressman Mike Pence, who was Skyped in.
Due to a previous commitment, TheIowaRepublican.com was running a little late and missed the speeches. We did chat with National Committeewoman Kim Lehman, Chairman Strawn, and 2nd District Congressional candidate Chris Reed.
RPI Chairman Matt Strawn told TheIowaRepublcian.com that last night rally wasn’t about Republicans, Democrats, or Independents, but rather it was about the everyday Americans who Congress ignored. Strawn said, “We have to show America this is not freedom.”
Chris Reed, one of four candidates running for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District, was pleased with how the event turned out. Reed told TheIowaRepublcian.com “It was booked as a generic Republican event; that our liberty is in jeopardy. There wasn’t much stump speaking going on. It was more [like]we have the right message. There are four of us to choose from, and we want you to vet us all and figure out which one of us is the best one to represent you.”
Reed also mentioned that he spoke about the need for term limits. When asked if he thought term limits would have made it more difficult to pass the healthcare bill, Reed agreed. Reed has an interesting twist on term limits. Instead of applying terms on how long you can serve in a particular chamber, Reed wants to limit legislative service to 20 years.
“If you’re fortunate enough to be elected to the House and Senate, you should be limited to four terms in the House and two terms in the Senate or a total of 20 years,” Reed said. “People say all the time, ‘there are some really good people in Washington, we can’t get rid of them.’ My argument to that is, I’ve served in the United States Navy. Every division in the ship had that one guy that was really good at his job. Everyone thought that when he would transfer or retire, the whole division would go down. Yet, someone new would come in, and low and behold, he was just as good as the guy before him. What I’m asking is, in a nation of over 300 million people, do we really believe that there is really only 535 people capable of doing that job? No,” Reed stated.
In addition to turning people out to protest against the healthcare bill, Strawn and the Republican Party of Iowa used the event to raise money. The Iowa GOP launched a new website called, Stand 4 Freedom. The site collected more than $10,000 in contributions in less than two days.
The event was successful for another reason, too. By holding the rally the evening before Obama’s visit, the event was well covered by traditional media. Tomorrow, most media will have to be inside the Field House early, making it impossible to cover any protest that takes place. TV stations from the Quad Cities came to Iowa City to cover last night’s event.
This is not the only rally taking place. There is a Tea Party rally tomorrow at the Cedar Rapids Airport. Protesters will stand in front of Casey’s, the Country Inn and Suites, and Dr. Ahn’s clinic on Wright Brother’s Blvd.
Below is the news story from WQAD in the Quad Cities.
Photo by Dave Davidson
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