GOP Can Win Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Corbett Says

Harrisburg Patriot-News

Gov. Tom Corbett rallied a subdued gathering of the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee Friday, urging them to work equally hard at electing state level candidates as they will to electMitt Romney president.

Corbett, appearing at the state committee’s spring meeting in Hershey, tried to fire up the somewhat reserved crowd and was able to generate smatterings of loud applause.

“Don’t let these races get lost in the clutter of all the commercials on TV,” he told the gathering of the state’s leading Republican Party operatives.

But the governor’s most enthusiastic lines came when he called for hearty support of Romney.

“With your help I know we can win, we can win Pennsylvania for Gov. Romney,” he said.

“I can tell you that from my conversations with Gov. Romney, he’s focused on jobs just as we are here in Pennsylvania,” Corbett said. “This is in stark contrast to the present occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue who seems to be focused in my mind on doing everything he possibly can to discourage and obstruct job creators from opening or expanding their business.”

He said some of the concern Obama has fostered in the business community will be addressed next week when the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of the president’s Affordable Care Act.

“We are waiting patiently,” he said. “Hopefully we will have that decision sometime next week. So we will know where we’re going with health care.

“Make no mistake about it, we all agree that we need to improve the health care system, but we do not need to do it at the stake of individual rights of what they should or should not purchase,” Corbett said.

As attorney general, Corbett added Pennsylvania to the class action suit challenging the legality of Obama’s health care act.

Corbett also dismissed suggestions that Pennsylvania can’t be won by a Republican presidential candidate.

“There are many pundits out there saying with this red and blue map stuff that Pennsylvania was a blue state and Republicans can’t win the state,” he said. “Well if that were the case, I wouldn’t be standing here.”

State GOP Chairman Rob Gleason read a letter from Romney.

Corbett also teased the crowd with the imminent passage of a state budget that is balanced and will not raise taxes for the second year in a row. And even though he said cuts to education he’d proposed would be softened, he cautioned that some budget details could change.

“We’re coming to the conclusion with the budget in the next week. So far we’ve agreed upon a framework,” he said, noting that revenues are better than he first projected.

“But things could change as we go through the last couple of days,” he said. “So it’s my pleasure that [we] are going to be able to put back in money that I didn’t think we could put in. It’ll go to certain areas of the budget such as education.”