Political roundup: Whitman, Fiorina absent at Palin rally in Calif.; Angle defends TV ads

Saturday, October 16, 2010; 9:56 PM


Palin to voters: Don't let up

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin urged Republicans at a rally in California on Saturday to work 20-hour days over the next two weeks to take back the state - and the country - for the "little guy."

"The momentum is with us, but now is not the time to let up, now is not the time to celebrate - not quite yet," she said in Orange County, a conservative stronghold in a state where Republicans hope to make gains this year.

The event was the culmination of a three-day promotional and political swing for Palin through California, a state where she gets mixed reviews.

A recent Field Poll found that, although she remains quite popular among Republicans, 58 percent of the state's registered voters hold a negative view of Palin. In addition, two-thirds of independent voters would be less inclined to support a candidate endorsed by her.

The state's two most prominent Republican candidates this year - gubernatorial hopeful Meg Whitman and Senate candidate Carly Fiorina - were absent from the rally, citing scheduling conflicts. At a campaign stop in Chico, Whitman said she appreciated Palin's support, without embracing Palin's views.

Palin isn't the only big-name politician to visit California in the run-up to the election. Former president Bill Clinton spoke at rallies for gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown and Democratic U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez on Friday and will campaign in San Jose and Napa on Sunday.

President Obama will visit Los Angeles this week to support Brown and Sen. Barbara Boxer.

- Associated Press


Angle defends TV ads

U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle defended a series of campaign advertisements that use images of sullen, dark-skinned men and a map of Mexico to blast the immigration record of her Democratic opponent, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid.

The ads have been denounced by national pro-immigrant organizations as race-baiting attacks, but Angle was responding Friday to criticism from a different group: Hispanic high school students.

"I think that you're misinterpreting those commercials," said Angle, a tea party favorite who has rallied for stricter border enforcement.

Angle told the students she was "not sure that those are Latinos in that commercial" and appeared to suggest that the ad seeks to draw attention to the danger of potential terrorists entering the country from Canada.

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