McInnis shows his pride in America |

McInnis shows his pride in America

A host of Republican lawmakers mixed with their constituents Friday night in Glenwood Springs at the annual Lincoln Day Dinner.

Rep. Scott McInnis drew early applause with his praise of the country’s new surge of national pride.

“The country is back on track with its patriotism,” he said.

Among the elected officials attending were Sen. Jack Taylor, Rep. Gregg Rippy, Garfield County Commissioners John Martin, Larry McCown and Walt Stowe, county assessor Shannon Hurst, and county clerk and recorder Mildred Alsdorf.

State director of technology Marc Holtzman also attended.

Governor Bill Owens was scheduled to attend but did not make it due to bad weather in Denver.

McInnis spoke to the group of about 200. He welcomed White into the newly redrawn District 56, which now includes part of western Garfield County.

To Rep. Gregg Rippy of Glenwood Springs, he said. “Gregg, we’ll miss you in the west end.”

Rippy’s District 57 now extends south to parts of Summit, Lake and Hinsdale counties as well as the east end of Garfield.

McInnis also had high praise for the Republican administration.

“Since Sept. 11 I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard my Democratic friends comment, `Thank God we have George W. Bush as our president,'” he said. “I think about this experienced team, if we had a sneak attack, who better than Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush” to defend the country.

He spoke about his experience of Sept. 11. He was in his Washington, D.C., office that day, and one of his staff came in to tell him a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers.

On television the plane looked like a missile when it came out of the building, he said.

After the second tower was hit as well as the Pentagon, the military was put on the highest alert ever called, he said.

All the military, all over the world, understood that the nation was under attack.

“Everyone around the world went into alert instantaneously. Not one military person overreacted. No one pushed the wrong button or gave the wrong order. It proves our system works,” McInnis said.

He also contrasted two events that were reported in newspapers across the country last week, which underscore the patriotism, and lack of, in America these days.

A Navy seal killed in the fighting in Afghanistan last week left a letter for his family in the event he was killed.

“It talks about what a privilege it was to serve his country. It really makes you think what a wonderful country we have,” McInnis said.

In contrast to the serviceman’s patriotism was a move by the Stanley Works tool company to reincorporate and place its assets in a Bermuda bank, saving $80 million in taxes this year.

“We provide Stanley Tools the finest country for their operations,” McInnis said.

A company spokesman reported that “patriotism had to take a back seat to profits,” McInnis said.

“That’s such a callous remark to make in the same week we lost those soldiers,” he said.

Friday afternoon McInnis spoke to students at Palisade High School. They asked why they could not pray before football games, and why someone could speak in an assembly about pornography but could not “use the name of God,” he said.

“They also asked what they can do for the country. I walked out of there feeling really high,” McInnis said.

McInnis also poked some fun at Al White, after welcoming him to the new part of his district.

He described how White had life-sized photographs of himself mounted on posterboard and cut out. These he propped up along roadsides, and at the end of the row there he was, in the flesh, waving at people.

“Talk about cloning,” McInnis said.

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