"Tipper Gore met by hundreds of supporters, handfuls of protesters"
June 11, 2008 · Updated 10:50 AM
"Tipper Gore, wife of presidential candidate Vice President Al Gore, stopped in Bremerton Monday to rally support for her husband.Gore's brief visit to the Bremer Student Center at Olympic College was one of three Washington stops the would-be First Lady made this week. Several hundred supporters and a half-dozen protesters showed up to greet the campaigner.Gore touched on a number of issues during her address, but spent the most time on education and universal health care. She called the two issues the unfinished business of keeping our nation strong.In order to provide for children and the future, Gore advocated revolutionary change through universal preschool and higher wages for teachers.She also argued for expanding Medicaid and funneling surplus money toward health care programs. We should use the money that we have been able to save ... to get to universal health care for all people, she said.Gore also urged the audience to stick tight to its democratic principles into the 21st century. It's really about the power of the ideas: That's really been the strength of the Democratic Party, Gore said.Among those principles espoused by her husband, Gore mentioned support for Roe v. Wade, shrinking the wage gap and environmental conservation.Bremerton Mayor Lynn Horton said she was impressed with Gore. She's clearly a very bright and articulate woman. If the vice president is elected, she'll be a great first lady, Horton said.However, Horton stopped short of throwing her support behind the Gore campaign. She'll be at John McCain's Bremerton appearance this week, too.Her showing at Gore's event was meant more to represent Bremerton. Horton said she is pleased with the attention the presidential candidates are giving the city.I think it's very cool, just very cool, Horton said. If you're on the map and people are taking notice of your community, that's good. I'm glad they chose Bremerton as a place they want to come and spread their message.The rally was not without incident, however. Chuck Owens, a Port Angeles resident representing the Peninsula Citizens for the Protection of Whales, held a sign reading Gore legacy: dead whales outside a Bremer Student Center window.Owens said his organization holds the vice president responsible for the Makah whale hunt last October. Speaking for tens of millions of people around the world and the whales, Owens said Al Gore could have stopped the historic hunt.There's a number of reasons, but the buck stops in his lap, Owens said. He insisted that the Makah hunt was illegal, regardless of the tribe's treaty rights.The Clinton-Gore administration allowed it, Owens said. Not only did he (Gore) allow it, but he orchestrated it.Tipper Gore did not respond to the protesters. Neither did U. S. Sen. Patty Murray, who was also present, even when one protester wandered inside the student center and shouted No more whaling during Murray's speech.One woman, who had been singing loudly about gentleness and dancing solo to Fleetwood Mac before Gore took the stage, was removed from the rally.It is unknown whether the woman was affiliated with the whaling protest.At 2:50 p.m. security officials took the woman by the arms and walked her out of the student center. Once outside, they handcuffed her and escorted her away.Bremerton Detective Sue Shultz said she was instructed by superiors to decline comment on the incident. More details were not available at press time."