Newspaper article

The Patriot Listeners and Party Faithful Bond over GOP Debate

Newspaper article

The Patriot Listeners and Party Faithful Bond over GOP Debate

Article excerpt

The Republican presidential race came to The Mermaid in Mounds View Wednesday night, as about a hundred GOP faithful gathered to eat, drink, watch three hours of debate on TV, and bond over their shared anger at President Obama and distaste for Democrats in general.

The viewing party was sponsored by the local The Patriot radio station and its parent company the Salem Media Group, "the exclusive radio partner of the CNN (GOP) debates this year" (per the event's press release) and the Christian media conglomerate whose holdings also include Twin Cities-based radio stations The Mission and The Fish.

While a couple hundred politics-oblivious Minnesotans took to the boisterous bar and bowling alley a few feet away, MinnPost went to the debate viewing party, an oddly quiet affair that felt more like an underground meeting of a secret society than a radio-sponsored political rally in an election year. In words and photos:

Lee Becker, Stillwater: "I'm hoping that all across America that people in general that are planning on voting understand that there's a lot at stake right now as far as how to handle this country. I'd love to see a strong Christian conservative politician get in office if at all possible because I do feel that they best can serve the country the right way. I don't think the Republican candidates need to beat each other up. They're the most elite group of candidates running as is, and I think that 90 percent of a lot of the stupid people, and that's a lot of the left, are going to use that against them to try and get Donald Trump unelected just from stupid things he might comment on. I would vote for Donald Trump, but any one of the Republican candidates can do 10 times better than any leftist individual or Democrat, especially Obama, who has to be the worst president we'll ever have in this country."

Katie and Shelah Driver, Richfield. "I came with Mom, because we listen to talk radio a lot together," said Shelah. "I feel like I'm learning a lot from Mom. I feel like I grew up with it in the background all the time, and I'm an educator now and I feel like a lot of the educators out there are super Democratic and don't have the same values or belief systems that I do or grew up on. I'm going to keep listening to it, because it's encouraging who I want to be, and I hope I'm influencing my kids and my students."

"I teach motorcycle riding for the state of Minnesota and work with my husband who has a painting business, and I like to listen to The Patriot when I'm doing stuff around the house," said Katie. "It's a conservative view of politics, life, culture, and it's my values, Christian values."

Mitch Berg, radio personality, The Patriot: "Our show was basically started by a bunch of bloggers who basically got together to have fun, do radio, and meet babes, and we have fun getting people together. …

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