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GOP Reaches Out to Ethnic Groups in Northern Va.

By Christopher Twarowski
An ethnic unity rally, hosted by Northern Virginia Republicans and featuring former U.S. senator George Allen among the speakers, attracted several hundred supporters to an Alexandria high school Saturday.

Allen discussed what he considered the pillars of a free society: "Freedom of religion, freedom of expression, private ownership of property, and the rule of law: They're our God-given rights and protected. And, in fact, my friends, that's what unifies all of us here," he said to cheers.

Allen, who is also a former governor and the son of former Washington Redskins coach George Allen, compared the immigrant experience to growing up in a "football family. Where you have a level playing field and you didn't care ... what their ethnicity was, where they were from, their race. It didn't matter, as long as they could help that team win. And all of you all here are part of Team Virginia or Team America."

As he came to the lectern to speak, Allen was greeted by a shrieking whistle and two women screaming: "George Allen is a racist! Shame on the Republican Party for having him speak!"

The outburst referred to an incident in Allen's 2006 reelection campaign, when he referred to one of his opponent's campaign volunteers, a college student of Indian descent, as "macaca." The remark, which the student had videotaped, dogged Allen through his narrow loss to James Webb.

Never breaking his smile, Allen raised his arms Saturday to quell the ensuing boos and chants from the audience as the two women were escorted out.

The rally was an attempt by Republicans to increase their appeal with Northern Virginia's large minority population. Ethnic dance troupes performed, and members of the Vietnamese, Filipino, Chinese and Korean communities, among others, introduced GOP officials. About 500 people attended, estimated Jim Hyland, chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee. Organizers had predicted a turnout of 1,000.

Other speakers included former Virginia governor James S. Gilmore III, a candidate for the state's other U.S. Senate seat, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and Joe McCain, brother of GOP presidential candidate John McCain.

By Post Editor  |  September 20, 2008; 8:16 PM ET
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I am voting for the John McCain ticket. It is a good sign for the Republicans to include traditional performance for this program. I worry very much about the pressure upon traditional cultures that accompanies socialist movements, that always destroy integrity of traditional culture and religion. The socialists pretend they care about the traditions of small groups of people to get into power, but they hate the traditional religions and ways of life.

The socialists only want to replace them with the state and government, and use these traditional culture images for their propaganda. This is how the socialists make their war upon the peasants and old ways of life, to take away the heart of their religion and culture.

Posted by: auralmarge | September 22, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

From Xuan Thai and Ted Barrett
CNN Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Joe Biden planned to spend Wednesday focusing on his official announcement that he was running for president, but the Delaware Democrat instead found himself defending remarks he made to the New York Observer about his Democratic opponents.

In the article published Wednesday, Biden is quoted evaluating presidential rivals Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-New York, former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois. His remarks about Obama, the only African-American serving in the Senate, drew the most scrutiny.

"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," Biden said. "I mean, that's a storybook, man."

Posted by: Scott | September 22, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

« Learning From Israel | The RCP Blog Home Page | Shades of Stephen Glass? »

July 06, 2006 RC Politics
Political Video of the Day
Mid last month, Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) made the following unfortunate remark to an Indian-American supporter:

"You CANNOT go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent ... I'm not joking."

Posted by: Scott | September 22, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Obama's Social Security Whopper
September 20, 2008
He tells Social Security recipients their money would now be in the stock market under McCain's plan. False.
In Daytona Beach, Obama said that "if my opponent had his way, the millions of Floridians who rely on it would've had their Social Security tied up in the stock market this week." He referred to "elderly women" at risk of poverty, and said families would be scrambling to support "grandmothers and grandfathers."

That's not true. The plan proposed by President Bush and supported by McCain in 2005 would not have allowed anyone born before 1950 to invest any part of their Social Security taxes in private accounts. All current retirees would be covered by the same benefits they are now.

Obama would have been correct to say that many workers under age 58 would have had some portion of their Social Security benefits affected by the current market turmoil – if they had chosen to participate. And market drops would be a worry for those who retire in future decades. But current retirees would not have been affected.

In our "Scaring Seniors" article posted Sept. 19 we took apart a claim in an Obama-Biden ad that McCain somehow supported a 50 percent cut in Social Security benefits, which is simply false. Then, on Saturday Sept. 20, Sen. Barack Obama personally fed senior citizens another whopper, this one a highly distorted claim about the private Social Security accounts that McCain supports.

What Obama Said

In Daytona Beach, Florida, Obama said in prepared remarks released by the campaign:

Obama, Sept. 20: And I'll protect Social Security, while John McCain wants to privatize it. Without Social Security half of elderly women would be living in poverty - half. But if my opponent had his way, the millions of Floridians who rely on it would've had their Social Security tied up in the stock market this week. Millions would've watched as the market tumbled and their nest egg disappeared before their eyes. Millions of families would've been scrambling to figure out how to give their mothers and fathers, their grandmothers and grandfathers, the secure retirement that every American deserves. So I know Senator McCain is talking about a "casino culture" on Wall Street - but the fact is, he's the one who wants to gamble with your life savings.

That's untrue. All current retirees would be covered by exactly the same Social Security benefits they are now under what the Obama campaign likes to call the "Bush-McCain privatization plan," which Bush pushed for unsuccessfully in 2005.

Who Would Have Been Affected

As the White House spelled out at the time, on page 5 of the document titled "Strengthening Social Security for the 21st Century," released in February 2005:

Bush Plan: Personal retirement accounts would be phased in. To ease the transition to a personal retirement account system, participation would be phased in according to the age of the worker. In the first year of implementation, workers currently between age 40 and 54 (born 1950 through 1965 inclusive) would have the option of establishing personal retirement accounts. In the second year, workers currently between age 26 and 54 (born 1950 through 1978 inclusive) would be given the option and by the end of the third year, all workers born in 1950 or later who want to participate in personal retirement accounts would be able to do so.

Nobody born before Jan. 1, 1950 could have participated, and anyone born on that date would be 58 years old now. The earliest possible age for receiving Social Security retirement benefits is 62, for early retirement at reduced benefits. Full retirement age is currently 66, and scheduled to go up to age 67 in coming years.

It is certainly true that the stock market carries risks, as recent events remind us. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down nearly 17 percent for this year, for example, and despite gains in other years it is still barely above where it was at the start of 2000. But historically there have also been rewards for those who make diversified investments and hold for long periods. When Obama spoke, the Dow Jones average still stood 305 percent higher than it had at the start of the 1990's.

Disappearing nest eggs?

Also worth noting here:

The private accounts would have been voluntary. Anybody fearful of the stock market's risk could simply stay in the current system.

Obama's reference to "casino culture," disappearing "nest eggs" and gambling with "your life savings" are also misleading exaggerations. Only a little over one-fourth of any workers' total Social Security taxes could have been invested (a maximum of 4 percent of taxable wages, out of the total 15.3 per cent now paid, split equally between worker and employer.)

Speculation in individual stocks would not have been permitted. Workers would have had a choice of a few, broadly diversified stock or bond funds.

While McCain has voted in favor creating private Social Security accounts in the past, and endorsed Bush's 2005 proposal (which never came to a vote in Congress), he is not making a strong push for them as part of his campaign. In fact, a search for the term "Social Security" on the McCain-Palin Web site brings up the following: "No documents were found."

Footnote: When we contacted the Obama campaign for comment, spokesman Tommy Vietor defended Obama's remarks as accurate:

Vietor: You don’t have to be retired to rely on Social Security. Millions of people who will one day retire rely on Social Security as they plan their future. Senator Obama's bottom line is absolutely true. If McCain got his way and we had private accounts . . . people who are relying on that money for their retirement would be in a very difficult situation.

We would grant Vietor a point if Obama had made any mention of workers being fearful of their future retirement (although this would apply only to those who had chosen to participate in private accounts, and not to everybody.) But Obama did not say that. Instead, he referred to "elderly women" in danger of poverty. He spoke of families "scrambling to figure out how to give their mothers and fathers, their grandmothers and grandfathers" a secure retirement – not to families worrying about their own retirement. If Obama did not mean what he said to be a reference to current retirees, he could say so clearly and amend his words.

-by Brooks Jackson
The White House, "Strengthening Social Security for the 21st Century," Feb 2005.

Dow Jones & Co. "Dow Jones Industrial Average Historical Performance" Spreadsheet accessed 20 Sep 2008.

Related Articles
Scaring Seniors
An Obama-Biden ad says McCain supports "cutting benefits in half" for Social Security recipients. False!
Bush Proposes Slowing Growth of Social Security Benefits for Future Retirees
Democrats call it a "cut." Compared to what?

Posted by: Scott | September 22, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

If "macaca" is such an evil word - why do all of the white people - including dems - continue to use it in articles and blogs? I dont see the same people using "oriental" to describe East Asians or the "N" word to describe black people. So why is it okay to keep using the word "macaca" if it so offensive?

Posted by: Carl S. | September 22, 2008 7:08 AM | Report abuse

To quote HRC- No MCCain, NO Palin No how-no more morons in the whitehouse.

Posted by: jan | September 21, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

with George Allen ?

lmao. Might as well have asked the KKK . Oil and water.

who's loony idea was that ?

Posted by: ripley | September 21, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Drill macacca drill!

Posted by: lauren m | September 21, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: brock101 | September 21, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

LOL Baby this is too funny for words. Macaca calling for diversity? that's like Exxon Mobile pushing for the electric car cause its "so good for the environment". Heck if Macca played his cards right he could have been VP instead of "Plain- Lyin'.
By the way jr or whoever you are.. isn't it weird that you were named after some crap soap opera ? Why don't you make like Dallas and get cancelled.. or maybe get an education son.

Posted by: sunnyside | September 21, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Republicans need more irony in their diet. They are getting a little anemic.

Posted by: Chuck | September 20, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Your argument lacks substance. I'll saying NO to more republican incompetence.

Posted by: Charles | September 20, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

The real problem is republicans are gang raping the economy, the country and the world, and with Palin the economy, the country and the wolrd will have to pay for their own rape evidence kits.

Posted by: Charles | September 20, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

George "Mecaca" Allen? Speaking at a minority rally? Does it get ant better?

Palin should be ashamed of the way she parades her poor infant son around. Never mind that the kid is retarded, does she have to subject him to the noise of political rallies?

Posted by: Hilarious | September 20, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Say NO to Barack Hussein Abdul Azeem Farooq Obama.

Posted by: jr


You are a sick little (in more ways than one no doubt) pig aren't you. With our without lipstick.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 20, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Karen wrote -

"The 20-year-old son of Tennessee Democrat Rep. Mike Kernell is believed to have hacked her email."


For all you know the kid is a republican or apolitical. Has he been charged with anything? Do you have inside information about the investigation you'd like to share?

Something you might be ignorant about is he might have been set up. A hacker can use an infected computer to launch an attack to so it can't be traced back to them. They leave the person who owns the computer holding the bag. For all you know the kid was set up.

Yes sir, guilty until proven innocent. So then I guess Palin does have something to hide by your interpretation of the legal system. She is blocking the investigation into her abuse of power so she must be guilty.

Posted by: NoOBAMA | September 20, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Say NO to Barack Hussein Abdul Azeem Farooq Obama.

Posted by: jr | September 20, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

It's disgusting how the Obama supporters attack Gov. Palin. They spread lies about her and her family. The 20-year-old son of Tennessee Democrat Rep. Mike Kernell is believed to have hacked her email. Obama supporter Sandra Bernhard threatened that Gov. Palin would be gang raped by blacks in Manhattan. As a woman of three, I admire Gov. Palin.

Posted by: Karen | September 20, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

So how many non-whites were in attendance (rather than at the lectern)? Was it more or less than the 26 black delegates at the GOP national convention? After all, if you call something an "ethnic unity" rally, it would be pertinent to mention just how "ethnic" it really was.

And selecting Sen. Macaca to address the crowd was the crowning touch. It shows just how tone-deaf the Republicans truly are.

Posted by: whatmeregister | September 20, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

What was it Rev. Wright said?

Posted by: Sick of pying more taxes! | September 20, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

You had me at school vouchers.

Posted by: brock101 | September 20, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

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