Reporting Bob Roberts
ST. CHARLES, Ill. (WBBM) – One day after First Lady Michelle Obama came to town to help support U.S. Rep. Bill Foster’s re-election bid, the Republican Party sent its national chairman to speak at a rally for challenger Randy Hultgren.
No matter that GOP National Chairman Michael Steele arrived from Green Bay two hours late, and an hour after the initial rally had ended in the parking lot outside a St. Charles restaurant. But Hultgren and a series of speakers kept the crowd of about 200 supporters fired up.
Hultgren, who seeks to retake for the Republicans the seat once held by former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, promised that if he is elected Nov. 2, his first act after being sworn in will be to cast a vote to “fire Nancy Pelosi.”
In fact, when Steele arrived at 5:30 p.m., he was aboard a bus that served as a rolling billboard, wrapped in red, with giant white lettering saying simply, “Fire Pelosi.”
Illinois’ GOP National Committeewoman, Demetra DeMonte, suggested a party.
“How about a party — an impromptu retirement party for Nancy Pelosi,” she said. “I’m up for it!”
U.S. Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) drew a few laughs as he urged Hultgren’s backers to work hard through election day.
“Put the signs up,” he said. “And when some dirty rat steals your sign, get another one!”
Hultgren referred to the 14th district seat as “our seat.”
Earlier in the afternoon, at a brief news conference in Geneva, Foster touted his endorsement from the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Political Action Committee.
He said he had worked hard to raise military pay, improve the health care afforded to both service personnel and veterans, and had introduced a bill that would create a fund to help military families pay their bills, into which any American could make voluntary donations.
An Aurora veteran, Jim Hightower, attended the news conference and called Foster “an honest and hardworking representative for veterans and their families.”
But Hultgren said the veterans he’s seen tell him they don’t agree with the VFW PAC endorsement.