Friday, Sept. 5, 2008 | 2 a.m.
Remarks by Sen. John Ensign
Sun Expanded Coverage
One sure way to whip the crowd to a roar at the Republican National Convention is this: Talk about freedom, throw in Ronald Reagan and invoke impassioned responses to yes-no questions.
Nevada’s Republican Sen. John Ensign used it Thursday night to great success.
“Are you as fired up as I am?” he said on stage.
The hall was only half-filled. But the crowd responded with authority.
This was no downer speech, like the history lesson Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid delivered about the country’s dangerous mixing of oil and warfare during the Democratic convention last week in Denver.
Ensign began with the story of his political life; he was elected to Congress as part of the Republican revolution in 1994. And the first big line was right behind it.
“Our inspiration was a man whose vision will forever guide our nation — President Ronald Reagan,” he said.
“Ronald Reagan was a true champion of freedom,” he went on. “When we stand for freedom, we always win.”
Then he talked about Elko High grad Jacob Fogel who, after building bridges in the Navy in Iraq, “knows the price of freedom.”
Just like Sen. John McCain, his party’s presidential candidate.
Now for the power chords.
“Do you want a government-run health care system that takes the choice away from patients?”
“Or do you want a system that gives you control over your own health care?”
“Do you want bigger government and higher taxes?”
“Or do you want to eliminate wasteful Washington spending and keep more of your hard-earned money?”
Finally, the money line — literally. Ensign asked for help getting Republicans elected to Senate this fall, his job at the party campaign committee.
“I ask each of you to give everything you have to this cause in the months ahead.
“On Nov 4th,” he said in a voice now hoarse, “freedom is on the ballot.”