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Anger Is Crowd's Overarching Emotion at McCain Rally
Noting Obama's connections with Ayers, she said that "if it was a Republican, it would be nonstop," referring to what she said was the media ignoring the controversial acquaintance.
"I can't stand to look at him, I don't trust him. I don't like the circle of friends he keeps, I don't like his policies," Schmitz said of Obama. "I'm pissed off by it. I'm beyond mad. How is he climbing up in the polls?"
On the way into the event, the Republican Party of Wisconsin handed out fliers reading "Your Vote Is Being Stolen," an anti-ACORN leaflet that concluded, "Why is vote fraud allowed? Vote fraud is allowed since it benefits Democrats."
The crowd showed equal disdain for the media, fueled by comments from Palin, who encouraged the Republican supporters to take the campaign's message around the media. "I can't pick a fight with those who buy ink by the barrel," she said. "It's dangerous territory whenever I suggest the mainstream media isn't asking all the questions."
That message was clearly shared among the crowd. Mike Payne, who traveled from Madison, Wis., for the rally, rejected the idea that McCain's supporters are angry, preferring to use the word "frustrated."
"It might have something to do with you guys," he told a reporter.
"It's not anger at all. It's frustration. There's millions of people around the country that think like we do. You guys refuse to acknowledge that, and you insult our intelligence by misreporting the information. You are treating [Obama] like he's Britney Spears and covering him like he's Paris Hilton, instead of the next president of the United States, potentially."
McCain advisers dismissed the crowd's angry tone as an exception and not representative of most of the campaign's events. And they noted that those gathered seemed most upset by the media's handling of the contest, and simply wanted McCain to be more aggressive.
They also noted that many of McCain's events are attended by liberal protesters, who often yell epithets and hold angry signs as McCain's bus drives by. And they recalled angry words from Obama at a rally in Las Vegas last month, in which he urged supporters to talk to their friends and neighbors, saying "I want you to argue with them and get in their face."