Sen. Barbara Boxer speaks to Roseville Democrats

Talks about big issues in November presidential election
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Sen. Barbara Boxer urged local Democrats to help get President Barack Obama re-elected during a speech before a standing-room-only crowd at Woodcreek Golf Club in Roseville on Monday.

Although California isn't a battleground state, residents can still make financial contributions and encourage those disengaged to vote in November's presidential election, she said.

"The stakes are so high we cannot sit on the sidelines," Boxer said.

The senator posited the election as about "choosing between two fundamentally different visions for America." She rattled off a series of yes or no questions during her 30-minute speech, seeking participation from the audience of about 300 people, most of them members of Sun City Democrats.

Boxer asked whether the crowd wants a president who embraces trickle-down or Clinton economics, or who champions the rich or middle class. She asked if the audience prefers a president who will wage a war on women or one who "stands up for women, for our health, for our lives."

Boxer called the treatment of women in the United States one of the most pressing issues to be determined by November's election, describing Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan as representing "the most anti-choice Republican ticket in memory."

She said the Republican Party is attempting to overturn Roe v. Wade and defund Planned Parenthood, which spends 97 percent of its budget on women's health. She also referenced the recent televised comment by Republican Rep. Todd Akin that women's bodies can prevent pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape."

"I don't need to tell you how vile that statement is," Boxer said.

Republicans are pushing Akin to withdrawal from the Missouri Senate race because of the comments. Boxer said Akin's statement is not an aberration but reflects Republicans' clampdown on women's reproductive freedom.

The middle class is another key issue, according to Boxer, who expressed concern that if elected Romney would shift more jobs overseas and suggested he's done the same with his money. Boxer asked attendees to sign her online petition demanding Romney release his tax returns. The petition currently has 85,000 signatures.

Boxer described Romney's vision for the future as tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, the end of Medicare, Social Security privatized and Planned Parenthood defunded. She criticized Romney's decision to recruit Ryan as his vice presidential nominee who she called "Robin Hood in reverse."

She talked about Ryan's co-sponsorship of the Sanctity of Human Life Act, a federal personhood bill that would criminalize abortion and many forms of birth control. He also co-sponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which originally used the term "forcible rape."

"I mean these people have lost their minds, and we don't want to lose our country," Boxer said.

She said Obama has the courage to lead the country forward, despite having inherited the "toughest set of issues since FDR," including two wars, Osama bin Laden, American car companies on the brink of collapse and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs a month.

Boxer was introduced by California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton, who called on Placer County Democrats to "take back red counties" by beginning with city councils and school boards. Burton made blunt statements about his feelings toward Republicans, saying they dislike government, while working jobs on the government payroll.

"Talk about biting the hand that feeds you," he said.

Burton's response to an audience question about what will happen at the Republican National Convention next week drew loud laughs.

"You'll see a lot of Tea Partiers, you'll see a lot of enthusiasm, you'll see a lot of people who think the world is flat," he said.

Sun City resident Lorraine Talbot was part of the organizing committee that brought Boxer to Roseville.

"I think she represents Democrats and what we stand for," Talbot said. "We're really pleased she selected Roseville to make an appearance."

Fellow Sun City resident Tricia Garcia attended because she wanted to find out how Democrats can counteract Conservative activist Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge.

"Government is terrible if you're very rich or you want to run the world," Garcia said. "I've never been afraid for my country until I see the power the Republicans have."

Sena Christian can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.