BISMARCKâ€”The head of the nationâ€™s Republican Party crossed North Dakota on Tuesday to energize the party exactly three weeks before Election Day.
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele brought the Fire Pelosi bus tour to Bismarck and Fargo to thank volunteers for their work and spread the message that new leadership is needed in Washington, D.C.
â€œThis is an unprecedented time for us. It is my honor and my pleasure to be chairman at a time where we can actually turn the elephant, as we like to say, and have an opportunity to go out and win and to go out and do some things because we believe in them and to take the concept of â€œwe the peopleâ€ and elevate it,â€ Steele said during a pep rally at GOP headquarters in Bismarck.
Steele praised the Republican leadership in North Dakota, particularly U.S. House candidate Rick Berg and U.S. Senate candidate John Hoeven. He urged volunteers to continue their efforts seeking party support.
â€œDonâ€™t take anything that youâ€™ve done so far as the last step to victory,â€ Steele said. â€œThe last step is done when the polls close on election night, three weeks from tonight. Thatâ€™s when youâ€™re done. Thatâ€™s when you have my permission to relax.â€
Steele said heâ€™s taking the bright red bus to 48 states and more than 117 cities. The tour is at the halfway point now. Along the way, Steele said heâ€™s heard anger, frustration and fear about the countryâ€™s direction.
Republicans want to move in a new direction, and itâ€™s time to work to make that happen, he said.
â€œWednesday (Nov. 3) is when the sweetness comes. Wednesday is what itâ€™s all about,â€ Steele said.
â€œElection Day is part one. Part two is the best part, when you get up in the morning and you turn on your TV and watch all those liberal talking heads choke down that Republican victory. Thatâ€™s what itâ€™s about,â€ he said to applause.
North Dakota Republican Chairman Tony Clark said the get-out-the-vote effort this year is the best heâ€™s seen.
Wednesday, the Democrats will host a rally in Bismarck for Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., who is facing Berg in the election.
Sens. Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad, both Democrats, will endorse Pomeroy at 6:30 p.m. CT at the Elks Club. Former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp will serve as host for the rally.