ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio (CNN) - At a campaign rally designed to reflect the pastoral beauty of the heartland in autumn - with a stage set up in a red barn overlooking a sweeping field and piles of pumpkins - Sarah Palin warned the audience about the threat of terrorism, and explained that the Republican ticket should be elected because “we know who the bad guys are.”
“Help me, Ohio, to help put John McCain in the White House,” she said. “He understands. He understands you. We understand how important it is that this team be elected. For one thing, we know who the bad guys are, OK?”
That statement elicited scattered shouts of “Obama!” throughout the crowd.
“We know that in the war, it’s terrorists, terrorists who hate America and her allies and would seek to destroy us, and the bad guys are those who would support and sympathize with the terrorists,” she said. “They do not like America because of what we stand for. Liberty. Freedom. Equal rights. Those who sympathize and support those terrorists who would seek to destroy all that it is that we value, those are the bad guys, OK?”
Was Palin suggesting that Barack Obama and Joe Biden don’t understand the terrorist threat? Who exactly were the “bad guys” Palin was referring to? A spokesperson for the campaign would only say that the governor was describing “nations that sympathize with terrorists, period.”
The vice presidential nominee pressed on and pointed the finger at more bad guys - the “greedy and corrupt and arrogant” mavens of Wall Street and Washington who, she said, have pushed the nation’s economy to the brink.
“We know who the good guys are, and it is you, and we will fight for you, and we will put government on your side,” she promised. “We will end the arrogant and the selfish practices of Washington and of Wall Street because your United States government is to be of the people, by the people, for the people.”
In her remarks, Palin also appeared to acknowledge the snow-balling narrative that Republican rallies have grown increasingly hostile and angry in the waning weeks of the campaign, echoing weekend remarks by McCain himself.
“All across America, I know that there’s a lot of anger right now,” she said. “There’s anger about the insider dealing of lobbyists and anger at the greed of Wall Street, and anger about the arrogance of the Washington elite. And with serious reforms to change Washington, John McCain is going to turn your anger into action.”