Bush Speaks to Heller Fundraiser

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Besides singing the praises of Dean Heller, the President's speech covered a broad spectrum of topics, from the war on terror to taxes to healthcare.

The President and -- Republicans in general -- know now is the time to shore up support for their candidates in this intense midterm battle.

15 minutes ahead of schedule, Air Force One glided onto the runway at Reno-Tahoe International. After descending the stairs, President Bush was met by a handful of local and state dignitaries. He was then whisked away across the tarmac to the fundraising event at the Mercury Air Center.

After a brief introduction from Dean Heller, President Bush took the stage:

"Ladies & Gentlemen, my fellow nevadans, please welcome the President of the United States, George W. Bush."

Throughout the President's 25 minute speech, his tone varied widely: from lighthearted and joking.

"I wasn't Dean's first choice. He wisely put in a request for Laura."

To more serious and pointed and about the issues that are core to the admisistration's agenda: homeland security and the war on terror.

"I want you all to remember when you go to the polls what political party supported the president to make sure we had the tools necessary to protect the American people and which political party didn't."

The President's crowd of a hundred plus was made up of party loyalists who paid as much as 250 dollars to attend the fundraiser. Dean Heller is battling Democrat Jill Derby for conservative congressional district two, long held by the G-O-P.

"I call on the grassroots activists and those who have been participating in campaigns to put up the signs, go to your houses of worship or your community centers and say, "We got a good man in Dean Heller. He loves his family, he loves his country, he loves the people of the second Congressional District. Let's send him to Washington DC."

Earlier Monday, News Channel 8 asked Dean Heller if the president's low approval rating worried him or if it could be a detriment to his campaign. He answered "not at all."

He said he's flattered that as a kid growing up in Carson City, he never thought the President of the United States would be stumping for him.