Right Nation 2010 came to Hoffman Estates this weekend, bringing Glenn Beck, Andrew Breitbart and about 300 anti-Beck protesters to the Chicago suburb.
Speakers at the event, which was meant to unify Tea Partiers, Republicans, Independents and other conservatives in a "massive rally for victory in November," also took the opportunity to rip Illinois and Chicago for its history of corruption.
"Will you raise your right hand and swear you will stop sending politicians to the rest of us, until you get it right?" Beck said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Beck received a standing ovation from the Sears Center crowd when he took the stage, the Chicago Tribune reports. With his chalkboard behind him, Beck discussed many of his usual topics--Thomas Jefferson, the Constitution and God, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. He also made fun of First Lady Michelle Obama's anti-junk food campaign:
The Sun-Times reports:
. . [Beck] ridiculed first lady Michelle Obama's campaign to get people to eat healthier snacks like apples or carrots.
"Get away from my french fries, Mrs. Obama," Beck warned. "First politician that comes up to me with a carrot stick, I've got a place for it. And it's not in my tummy."
Also present at the event was Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady. Though he has seen a substantial and consistent lead over Democratic Governor Pat Quinn in the polls, Brady implied that the city of Chicago could "steal" votes from him.
From the Sun-Times:
"We're doing well in the polls, but we want you to think we're down," Brady said, before referencing Chicago's history of vote fraud. "There's one city that might steal four or five points from me on the night before the election. . . . We need your help."
Last week, a Brady spokeswoman told Crain's Chicago Business he wouldn't be attending the Right Nation event due to scheduling conflicts. Some Tea Party supporters took that as an insult, which may have made him rethink his other commitments.
Also present outside the Right Nation event--about 300 protesters. The Tribune reports that religious leaders from Chicago and suburbs gathered to denounce Glenn Beck's "hateful" rhetoric, and accusing Beck and his supporters of "hijacking Christianity."
"There are a lot of religious leaders in the Chicago area who are beginning to feel Mr. Beck and others are hijacking Christianity," Kerrie Rosenthal, 50, of Palatine told the Tribune. "They are being divisive and filling people with fear and paranoia. I think the mainstream of American people don't want to have hate in the debate."