Meadville Tribune

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October 16, 2008

Palin says God blessed America with oil and gas

ELON, N.C. (AP) — Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said Thursday that God blessed the nation with oil and gas resources and other forms of energy that should be tapped to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign suppliers.

The Alaska governor told supporters at Elon University that she and GOP presidential nominee John McCain will develop new energy sources.

“God has so richly blessed this land, not just with the oil and the gas, but with wind and the hydro, the geothermal and the biomass,” Palin said. “We’ll tap into those.”

Palin said some of the countries the U.S. relies on for energy use their resources “as a weapon.” And she said the billions spent each year on oil imports should be circulated within the country “for the sake of the nation’s security.”

“We need to drill here and drill now,” Palin said as the crowd chanted “drill baby, drill.” A protester at the back of the crowd shouted “No blood for oil.”

Palin has visited North Carolina twice in the past two weeks as McCain’s campaign ramps up efforts to defend the state, which has not voted for a Democrat for president since 1976 but is trending toward Democrat Barack Obama this year. Obama is counting on his heavy investment in the state and its bloc of black voters to help turn the tide on Nov. 4.

But Palin remains an asset to McCain in the South, where GOP voters had remained skeptical of him until he put her on the ticket. She appeals to Southern voters by talking about God, gun rights and abortion — shoring up aspects of McCain’s lacking Southern credentials.

“She’s a hunter. She opposes abortion. She’s religious,” said John Shirley, 63, of Pittsboro, who cited those issues as among his top concerns. “She reflects a lot of the values we have here in the South.”

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