Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV 1), the Democratic nominee for the United States Senate in Nevada, attempted Tuesday to crash a Ryan rally held at a Las Vegas area high school.
Berkley held a hastily-organized press conference in the school’s parking lot. While the Congresswoman repeated the anti-Ryan talking points of the Obama campaign, reporters photographed individuals on the scene carrying signs for her Republican opponent, Dean Heller.
Despite Berkley’s attempt to crash the event, the day belonged to Paul Ryan, as the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported:
Tuesday afternoon’s swelter was punctuated by a parking lot appearance by Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley, flanked by sign-carrying Sen. Dean Heller supporters. Berkley warned of the dangers to the elderly and women by Ryan’s vision. But the event belonged to Romney’s running mate.
Inside the high school, the Review-Journal reported that Ryan’s appearance resonated with the hugely enthusiastic crowd:
Ryan wowed the crowd, bringing fresh energy to the GOP presidential campaign three days after Romney introduced the conservative congressman from Wisconsin as his running mate.
Supporters rose and screamed when Ryan, in shirt sleeves, took the stage inside a gymnasium where the high school band played, banging drums to the crowd’s chants.
Men, women and children banged their feet on the bleachers in approval when he reminded the crowd that Obama recently said of entrepreneurs, “You didn’t build that” without government help…
Outside the high school, the Review-Journal reported on Berkley’s attempted “prebuttal”:
More than three dozen Heller supporters surrounded Berkley with Heller signs during her news conference, which was moved at the last minute to try to avoid the GOP protesters.
Here’s how a local Las Vegas television station reported Berkley’s attempts:
News 3’s Elizabeth Donatelli spoke with Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, who is vying for the U.S. Senate seat. In her comments, Berkley targets a few key groups by attacking Ryan on issues that affect the middle class, women, and seniors — all critical votes in the upcoming election.
Jahan Wilcox, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, responded quickly to Berkley’s statement:
“It’s clear embattled Congresswoman Shelley Berkley can’t run on her record so she’s resorting to scaring seniors in the Silver State. The reality is that rather than protecting entitlements for seniors, Shelley Berkley partnered with Nancy Pelosi to raid Medicare in order to pay for bigger government and more reckless Washington spending.”
As Berkley left the parking lot, she headed towards more friendly venues where her campaign controlled who was allowed access. Later in the day, she appeared in Pahrump, Nevada to try her Medicare pitch again to an audience of senior citizens. As the Parumph Valley Times reported, her message fell flat with at least one member of this supposedly friendlier crowd:
Kevin Doyle, another senior citizen present at the event, said he was left with a few questions he hoped the congresswoman could answer after the event about the fate of his lifetime care guaranteed to him for serving in the military.
Around the country, other senior citizens are beginning to understand Obamacare is reducing benefits to current Medicare recipients by over $700 billion, while the Ryan plan offers no reduction in benefits for anyone currently over 55. As this reality sinks in, Democratic candidates like Congressman Berkley will continue to encounter increasingly skeptical senior citizens.