Pittsburgh was a political playground Friday, with the Democratic and Republican parties rallying only hours apart.
(R-Upper St. Clair), former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal stopped by Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland to show their support for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. All three spoke mainly about jobs and the economy.
Pawlenty and Jindal, both Republican vice presidential hopefuls, are touring Pennsylvania and Ohio on the tail of President Barack Obama's “Betting on America” bus tour, which stopped just blocks away on Friday at Carnegie Mellon University in Oakland.
During the rally, Murphy spoke out about the importance of this upcoming election. The congressman’s speech pushed for job creation in Pennsylvania, something that he feels Obama has not improved during his presidency since, Murphy says, 25 million Americans are still unemployed or underemployed.
“This is where Democrats and Republicans come together because we’re all concerned about the future of our families,” Murphy said. “And you can’t feed the family and you can’t clothe the family and you can’t pay for the car or for the mortgage if you’re worried about your next paycheck and if there’s going to be one.”
This is exactly why David Show of Uniontown, a prominent member of the Fayette County Tea Party, attended the event today. He considers this to be the most important election in his lifetime.
“If we continue down the path of federalizing the country as we are, it’s not going to be the same country my grandchildren get that I get,” Show said.
Murphy suggested the future of southwestern Pennsylvania’s job growth was in the energy industry—with companies like and those involved with —and the medical industry, two things that he said Obama threatened with excess energy regulations and the , also known as “Obamacare.”
This is something Show says he’s seen first hand, citing coal as Fayette County’s main industry, which he claims is hurting due to government regulations.
“Instead of working to promote our own energy, we’re working completely against it,” Show said.
Jindal also commented on the health care act.
“We just need to appeal this bad law,” Jindal said rousing cheers from the crowd of Romney supporters.
He also brought up what he considered to be the president’s broken promises for the economy, saying that instead the president has racked up a debt of $15 trillion.
“My little girl brought a note home from school the other day. It said ‘Please don’t tell the president what comes after a trillion,’” Jindal joked to the crowd.
Pawlenty was concerned about the future of the nation’s children, with what he said was half of all high school and college graduates experiencing unemployment or underemployment.
According to Pawlenty, Romney has proposals to lower taxes, encourage business and create jobs. He also said Romney wants stick with consumer-based health care and crack down on federal spending.
“That’s the kind of direction America needs,” Pawlenty said.
One attendee, Jan Kiefer of Westmoreland County didn’t think either side was offering him a direction he needed. Kiefer, who also attended the Obama rally, considers himself a true independent and disagrees with both sides. He’s against the coal industry and believes that both Republicans and Democrats are not creating a healthcare system he can agree with.
“I want the people who are frustrated with the two party system to keep getting involved ... and actually come and see it because you can’t complain unless you sit here and talk to the people,” Kiefer said.
His only solution to the political debate: a third party.
Do you agree with the Republicans' stand on energy, health care, job creation, taxes and the debt? Let us know why or why not in the comments section.
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