Sen. Chambliss: 'Folks Just Explode' for Palin

Wednesday, 03 Dec 2008 09:03 AM

By Kenneth D. Williams

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Newly re-elected Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., took a moment this morning to appear on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” program with hosts Brian Kilmeade, Gretchen Carlson, and Steve Doocy.

Chambliss thanked the big names in the GOP for campaigning on his behalf, said Republicans need to pay attention to what Ronald Reagan taught them, and said he can’t see Sarah Palin’s star power diminishing any time soon.

Chambliss said he “didn’t plan on being the epicenter of the political world the last four weeks, but . . . we did really have a coalescence of people all across Georgia, as well as all across America, for our campaign, and it made it much more exciting.”

Kilmeade asked, “You fought off Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and [rap star] Ludacris — they came down to fight for Jim Martin . . . In the end, what can the party learn from your win?”

Chambliss told viewers, “There are lessons that [the GOP] needed to have learned in 2006. Maybe we didn’t, but we’ve got to . . . make sure we build up towards 2010 on a foundation that Ronald Reagan told us about years ago. That is that Republicans stand for smaller government, fiscal responsibility, more individual rights and freedoms, and lower taxes. We’ve got to get back to those fundamentals. That’s what we talked about on the campaign trail, and obviously it resonated with our constituents.”

“Barack Obama really did not campaign on your opponent’s behalf," Doocy said. “Do you think it would have been a closer race” if the president-elect “had come down to Georgia and done some campaigning?”

“I have no idea why he didn’t come down,” Chambliss said. “His organization was here . . . But I do know this: If he had come down, it would have fired up our base even more.

“You want to peak on the last day, and we had John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Governor [Mitt] Romney and Rudy Giuliani. But Sarah Palin came in on the last day and man, she was dynamite. We packed the houses everywhere we went.”

Kilmeade asked, “You saw all the heavyweights in the Republican Party show up . . . tell me about Sarah Palin. Will her popularity last?”

“I cannot see it diminishing," the senator answered. “I can’t overstate the impact she had down here. All these folks did a great job, they all allowed us to add momentum, but when she walks in a room, folks just explode. She’s a dynamic lady, a great administrator, and I think she’s got a great future in the Republican Party.”

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