Joe Biden in Park City: excitement, traffic, protest, ‘hypocrisy’
July 13, 2012
One name that came up when Vice President Joe Biden spoke in the Snyderville Basin Tuesday evening during a fundraiser: Mitt Romney.
Glenn Wright, the chairman of the Summit County Democratic Party, said Biden mentioned the presumptive Republican presidential candidate repeatedly in his remarks to the crowd of upward of 300.
"He says he’s a nice man, with a nice family, with a completely wrong governing agenda . . . I absolutely agree," Wright said.
He said Biden described a stark difference between the philosophies of President Obama and Romney, contending that Romney’s social policies would return the nation to the 1950s and Obama has a more inclusive foreign policy than Romney would have.
"It confirmed to me how important this election is. That’s what motivates me," Wright said.
Wright did not disclose how much money he donated to Obama’s re-election bid to attend but said he had his picture taken with the vice president.
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Park City Councilman Andy Beerman also attended, saying he donated at one of the lower price points. Beerman did not attend in an official capacity. Beerman said Biden told the crowd the nation is positioned well in the global economy and that the U.S. is poised for economic growth.
"That was exciting to hear. You get so much negative news now," Beerman said, adding, "He said things are in place for the economy to get better . . . He said there’s been steady improvement, but it’s been slow."
Biden said, however, the European economy is struggling and China is undergoing a political transition that could impact that nation’s economy, according to Beerman.
The fundraiser was held at the home of Kristi Terzian Cumming and John Cumming. Terzian Cumming is well known as a supporter of Obama and was one of Utah’s so-called superdelegates to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Admission started at a $100 donation per person and climbed to $25,000 per couple for the co-chairs of the event. The co-chairs could raise $50,000 instead of making a donation.
Biden arrived in the Basin in a fast-moving motorcade of police motorcycles, police cars and official vehicles. The motorcade exited Interstate 80 at Kimball Junction at 7:30 p.m. and turned southbound. Officers put up roadblocks at S.R. 224 intersections before Biden reached the state highway, giving the motorcade a traffic-free route to the turnoff into the Cummings’ neighborhood.
A group of Republicans held a demonstration along the side of S.R. 224 outside the Sheldon Richins Building as the motorcade passed. The group, numbering about 25, held signs criticizing Obama. One of the signs read "Obama is Not Working" while another one said "Yo Biden Go Home!"
A Summit County Sheriff’s Office deputy told the demonstrators they could not approach the side of the road. One of the demonstrators sounded an air horn, prompting the deputy to order the person to stop.
Henry Glasheen, the chairman of the Summit County Republican Party, attended the demonstration, saying in an interview he would have preferred Biden be out and about while he was in Park City. He said Romney and his supporters were more visible while they were in Park City recently for a large gathering.
"Do something. It’s a resort community. Get a bike . . . I will give him a Zip Line pass," Glasheen said about Biden.
He nicked Biden for criticizing the wealthy for not paying their fair share in taxes but then visiting Park City to raise money, describing the community as a "mecca of (the) 1 percent in Utah."
"It’s huge hypocrisy that he would spend every opportunity he gets on the news to demonize the 1 percent," Glasheen said.
Biden left the fundraiser headed for Empire Pass, reaching the Old Town roundabout at 11 p.m. The motorcade went through the roundabout and then drove southbound on Marsac Avenue. The vice president stayed at the Montage Deer Valley Tuesday night. He departed Park City Wednesday evening. A small crowd watched as the motorcade passed the Marsac Building on Biden’s way out of the city. Intersections and driveways were blocked for the motorcade.
The Biden visit capped a month of high-profile political events in the Park City area. Romney was in the city in June hosting a large gathering of donors in Deer Valley featuring a roster of top-tier speakers. Another GOP fundraiser at about the same time brought Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and other name Republicans to Glenwild.