Published Saturday, March 27, 2010 | 5:07 p.m.
Updated Saturday, March 27, 2010 | 8:07 p.m.
Conservative political commentator Ann Coulter railed against government intervention in health care and blamed Democrats for making the situation worse with even more meddling.
“The main problem with health care in this country is government intervention, so rationally, Democrats propose more government intervention,” Coulter told a crowd at the Henderson Pavilion.
The pre-rally speaker on the second stop of Saturday’s Tea Party Express tour, Coulter was introduced by Gov. Jim Gibbons. Earlier in the day, about 8,000 people turned out for a noon rally in Searchlight, hometown of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Coulter spent more than 20 minutes mocking all things liberal, including Democratic Presidents Obama and Clinton and Reid, whose name was met with boos every time it was mentioned.
“It’s almost as if a guy with no executive or leadership experience got elected president and suddenly found himself in way over his head,” Coulter said of Obama.
The crowd ate up her jokes. “You’re way too enthusiastic,” she said.
Coulter also mocked former Republican presidential candidate John McCain, saying it was only thanks to running mate Sarah Palin that he lost by 7 percent instead of 75 percent. Palin was the main speaker at the Searchlight rally but did not speak in Henderson.
Coulter called on the federal government to cut taxes, secure the border and allow health insurance companies to compete across state lines.
News reporters were not allowed into the Henderson Pavilion until 20 minutes after Coulter’s speech, and by the time the official Tea Party Express buses arrived from Searchlight at about 6:30 p.m., most of the crowd that came to see Coulter had left.
Twin brothers Brett and Brady Wooten wanted to attend the Searchlight rally but didn’t make it, so they came to Henderson instead.
The 25-year-olds from Northwest Las Vegas said they came to help “take back our state” from liberal Democrats.
“I don’t appreciate what they’ve done with our economy,” Brett Wooten said. “It’s going to continue down the wrong path unless the citizens of the United States do something about it.”
Brett Wooten said he doesn’t have health insurance, so he should support recently passed health care reform legislation, “but it’s going to make the economy worse.”
Brady Wooten admitted he mostly came because of his brother. “I don’t vote,” he said. “I should have last year, but now I will.”
Ladette Lopez said she thinks the state of the economy has motivated many people to get involved in the Tea Party movement.
“I think we are not taking the proper steps and we’re going in the wrong direction,” she said.
As a commodities trader, “I’m seeing what’s going on in the markets and it’s very frightening to me,” she said.
Lopez and her daughter, from Mesa, Ariz., had planned to attend the rally in Searchlight but got stuck in traffic and missed it.
Lopez, a lifelong Republican, said that in the last year, GOP officials have started acting like Democrats, leading her to ditch the party.
“At this point I guess I’m an independent,” she said hesitantly, before stating more confidently, “I’m a conservative; that’s what I am.”