Las Vegas — Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R-NV) revved up a conservative crowd today, even as she denied her pre-primary win statements on phasing out Social Security.
Addressing the conservative convention RightOnline at the Venetian casino this afternoon, Angle was hailed for pledging to “permanently repeal the death tax” and for saying she stands with Arizona’s new immigration law. She has become a conservative darling in her bid to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).Angle repeated her desire to shut down the Department of Education, saying that it and other federal functions should be left to the states. She also said if elected her vision is, “One nation under God, not one nation under the government.”
Angle’s remarks on Social Security were the most likely to be new political fodder in an increasingly competitive race. The TPM Poll Average is Reid 44.0% to Angle 43.1%.
During Angle’s less-than-10-minute speech, she outlined her philosophy to cut the deficit and talked of her “simple” campaign plan she calls “Pay back, cut back and take back.” To start with she said the government should pay back the $2.5 trillion that’s been “raided and pillaged out of the Social Security fund.”
“I’ve never said I want to eliminate, I always said I want to save Social Security by paying back. But to do that we have to cut back,” Angle told the crowd of more than 1,100 attendees to mild applause.
Of course, it takes just a few seconds to find video of Angle’s now-famed quote on Nevada’s “Face to Face” television show that, “We need to phase Medicare and Social Security out in favor of something privatized.”
Angle said the government could use leftover stimulus funds and money paid back from the TARP program and “put that money into that Social Security fund that would send a clear message, not only to seniors that we’re acting in good faith, but also to our businesses that we really understand we need to go in a different direction and that different direction is not charging up on an already maxed out credit card.”
Angle said lawmakers should take a look at the Constitution and “re-read the part that says the federal government has enumerated powers and says everything else is for the states.”
“Pay attention to our founding fathers, they knew what it takes to be a free nation,” she said.
Angle said that since winning she’s received many small donations from across the country, adding, “I get the sweetest notes.” She closed with “We have the right angle to defeat Harry Reid.”
I shot some video as Angle was introduced and when she took the stage. Watch:
Last night I spoke with a California member of the tea party who explained why she believes Angle is an “icon.” Watch:
Reid speaks to the progressive event Netroots Nation this afternoon. Follow our coverage here.