Outcry over the perceived failings of the Obama administration and a determination to win back the White House in 2012 dominated the rhetoric at the Friday Dinner Banquet of the California Republican Convention in Burlingame.
Three speakers—Republican National Committee Co-Chair Sharon Day, California Congressman Darrell Issa and California Congressman and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy—touched on varying topics, but all stuck to the themes of helping America by winning back Washington and ousting President Barack Obama.
“Just imagine the fun that we’re going to have in a short time,” said Day, referring to a January election of a Republican President. “It is in taking over the Senate, it is in taking over the House [of Representatives], it is in taking over the White House that we’ll save America.”
Day, along with her fellow speakers, focused on attacking President Obama’s administration for what they called loose adherence to the constitution, encroachment on religious freedom, expansion of government and economic policies with ineffective pay off.
Day scoffed at legislation passed while Obama had a Democratic majority in Congress as failed policies, such as the federal stimulus and the Affordable Health Care Act.
“We do have a do-nothing Congress in Washington,” Day said. “But it’s not a Republican led Congress.”
Congressman Issa, who sits on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said President Obama has repeatedly disregarded the constitution while governing and resisted oversight, a problem he does not foresee with any of the Republican Presidential candidates.
“The difference of majority and oversight in our country is everything,” he said. “These are people who strongly believe in the constitution.”
After expressing their disagreements with the current administration, the speakers turned their focus to building unity within the Republican Party. They spoke of the necessity to come together around the eventual nominee, even if it is not the first choice of some Republicans.
“Any single one of these individuals at the end of the day is miles better than Barack Obama,” Day said. “When we have our candidate, we have to join together.”
Congressman McCarthy emphasized not only the belief that a unified party could win the White House and a Congressional majority in 2012, but that it could win in California, as well.
He compared the Republican standing in California to that of Republicans nationally in 2008. He said people at that time were fed up and wanting change. Time Magazine went so far as to question the future relevance of the Republican Party.
Congressman McCarthy said he sees a similar situation in California and is confident that Republican leaders can rebound, just like they did nationally in the 2010 mid-term elections. However, he said, to stay relevant, Republicans need to fight.
“Let’s be very clear about what we’re fighting for, and let’s be very clear what we’re going to gain from it,” he said. “We take our conservative principles and we don’t say no. We find a solution using our conservative principles; just saying no is what the Democrats do.”
He said taking California in both state and national elections would prove Republicans can win any state, and he believes if they work together using their original policies and principles, they will persevere. The Republican Party in California is still relevant, as long as members don’t give up the fight.
In expressing his confidence in the party’s ability to rebound in California, he invoked a plaque that sat on former President Ronald Reagan’s desk.
“[The plaque said] It can be done,” said McCarthy. “The question is, do we agree with that?”