Rick Santorum at the Defending the American Dream Summit

Today, Americans for Prosperity held the Defending the American Dream Summit in Milwaukee in the Wyndham Hotel.

Jeff Fitzgerald on his way out. (Photo by Whitney Steffen.)

I was joined by my friend, Harriet, and we arrived at the hotel an hour after the event officially started. As we came in, we passed by Representative Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon) walking through the parking lot. He smiled and waved as we waved at him.

When we checked in, we were asked for our tickets. Harriet did not have hers. A young man at the check-in table looked it up on his laptop. I presented them my ticket, but was not required to show any ID. I was simply given a lanyard with the Americans for Prosperity’s website stitched into it and a name tag.

Videos were playing when we walked by the larger room where everyone was gathered, but we chose to check out the vendor room. There we found pro-life literature, much TEA Party merchandise, and campaign tables for candidates for retiring U.S. Senator Herb Kohl’s seat, which included former congressman Mark Neumann, Representative Jeff Fitzgerald, and hedge fund manager Eric Hovde; and a table for a candidate for the fourth congressional district, Dan Sebring. That district is currently represented by congresswoman Gwen Moore (D). An Election Integrity table sat in the corner.

Following our short trip to the vendor room, we went back to where the people had all gathered and caught the end of Representative Robin Vos’ (R-Burlington) speech. We passed by Representative Don Pridemore (R-Hartford) before we sat down. After Vos finished speaking, Nancy Milholland, events and grassroots coordinator for Americans for Prosperity, announced we would be eating lunch early.

Over lunch, they played Bill Osmulski’s MacIver Institute videos on a loop. The biggest focus of these videos was, of course, the protest and the protesters. At one point, when former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold’s name was mentioned, people in the room booed. Representative Mark Pocan’s (D-Madison) name came up shortly after, but he was not booed as loudly as Senator Feingold.

Senator Johnson, before the rush.

Halfway through the hour for lunch, I heard people talking and taking pictures behind me. I turned around at one point, and found U.S. Senator Ron Johnson standing behind me, posing for pictures with people. Harriet, who had been away getting batteries, returned just as I saw this, and I jumped up. We were able to get our picture and sit back down before others in the room realized Senator Johnson was there. His aide told us to move in closer, and he said, “Act like you like me.” He told Harriet to get her friends involved before we went to finish eating.

Also in attendance were Senators Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), Van Wanggaard (R-Racine), and Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend). Representative Michelle Litjens (R-Oshkosh) slipped out to speak to a constituent before Rick Santorum spoke, but was otherwise scarce.

But after three announcements for people to take their seats, Rick Santorum finally walked on stage and gave his speech. The crowd of people jumped to their feet multiple times, cheering for Puerto Rican statehood (as long as they speak English), Rick Santorum backing Governor Scott Walker, and him using an Etch A Sketch as a prop.

Parts of his speech are in the following videos:

Harriet and I decided to leave once Santorum finished his speech, but encountered Bill Osmulski on the way out. We discussed our media groups and the speakers and wished each other luck in our respective ventures.

Below are scans of some of the papers I picked up in the vendor room.

[frame src=”https://wcmcoop.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/a1.jpg” width=”150″ height=”150″ align=”left” linkstyle=”normal”] [frame src=”https://wcmcoop.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/a2.jpg” width=”150″ height=”150″ align=”left” linkstyle=”normal”] [frame src=”https://wcmcoop.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/a3.jpg” width=”150″ height=”150″ align=”left” linkstyle=”normal”] [frame src=”https://wcmcoop.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/a4a.jpg” width=”150″ height=”150″ align=”left” linkstyle=”normal”] [frame src=”https://wcmcoop.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/a4.jpg” width=”150″ height=”150″ align=”left” linkstyle=”normal”] [frame src=”https://wcmcoop.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/a5.jpg” width=”150″ height=”150″ align=”left” linkstyle=”normal”] [frame src=”https://wcmcoop.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/a6.jpg” width=”150″ height=”150″ align=”left” linkstyle=”normal”]

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One Comment on “Rick Santorum at the Defending the American Dream Summit”

  1. Bill Dunn March 25, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    Johnson says the same thing to his wife.
    The funny thing is that they have adopted Alinsky’s tactics, successfully to some extent.
    Did you soak in the tub or take a long shower afterward? I feel that need after going back and forth with “those people” or seeing a God Bless Scott Walker bumper sticker like I just did. Should say Godless Scott Walker.

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