MINNEAPOLIS — Two of the Republican Party's most potent and polarizing stars hit the stage in downtown Minneapolis on Wednesday afternoon and basked in the adulation of thousands of supporters.
Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was headlining the rally to lend a hand to Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
"Let's do the rest of the nation a favor and re-elect Michele Bachmann," Palin said.
"Let me ask you, Minnesota, do you love your freedom?" Palin boomed to a rapturous response. "Voting for Michele … is the belief that the government that governs least governs best."
She got an equally loud response when she asked, "Are there any tea party Americans here today?"
"The tea party is growing and steaming," having enlisted "people who are deeply concerned about the path our country is on," she said.
Palin and Bachmann hit the stage to an explosive roar of approval and stood before a massive American flag, facing a sea of waving blue Bachmann campaign signs.
Speaking of the upcoming midterm election, Bachmann said, "There is hope, there is change — real change coming to this country this November. This is our country. We own this country!"
Bachmann and Palin shared the stage with Gov. Tim Pawlenty, several GOP luminaries and conservative media star Sean Hannity, who was on hand to sign his new book and broadcast his television show.
The Democratic National Committee furiously attacked Palin and Bachmann through e-mails and Web videos.
"Like peas in a pod, these two darlings of the extreme right-wing fringe not only spout the most hateful and incendiary rhetoric in the public discourse today, but are also the faces of the new Republican Party," read one e-mail. "From these two we have heard nothing but fear and lies — from death panels to warning of a coming apocalypse — and today's rally shouldn't be any different. If these two represent the 'gold standard' of the Republican Party, the only apocalypse the GOP should be concerned with is their own."