OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts hosted the fifth annual Nebraska Steak Fry on Sunday afternoon to celebrate Nebraska’s biggest industry – agriculture.
The event, which still includes leaders outside the state, hosted several Republican leaders who have gained national strength in recent years.
Governor Ricketts was joined by former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
Hundreds of Republicans from across the state joined leaders at Arbor Lodge State Historic Park in Nebraska City for the opportunity to listen to the message from some of the loudest leaders in the GOP.
“As you all know, agriculture is what we do here, it’s the heart and soul of our state,” Ricketts said at the start of the event. “It stimulates our economy, about 20% of our economy, and about one in four jobs is linked to agriculture. “
DeSantis, Cruz and Pence also all touched on Nebraska’s accomplishments.
“It’s amazing to think that over the past seven years here in Nebraska, the lowest unemployment rate in the country, you’ve stood firm on Tory tenets, stood up for jobs in town and on the farm, Governor Ricketts, you made Nebraska and America proud. “
In addition to recognizing Nebraska’s booming agricultural activity throughout the pandemic and celebrating the Rickett’s decision not to implement the statewide mask and vaccine mandates, leaders Republicans have criticized the Biden administration for handling the withdrawal from Afghanistan and Biden’s vaccine tenure. for federal workers.
“It is a stain on our nation, we are not leaving the Americans and their allies behind and yet this is what this administrator did,” Governor Ricketts said.
“If he spent a little less time talking about Florida and more time doing his job as Commander-in-Chief, we might not have 13 servicemen killed in action in Afghanistan for his incompetence and his dereliction of duty, ”Governor DeSantis said. .
“Do you know why this vaccination mandate took place this week? Asked Senator Cruz. “Because they wanted to change the subject from Afghanistan. “
Other topics discussed in depth by leaders included the crisis on the southern border.
“If you wanted to come back from Afghanistan as an American, you had a lot of trouble with that, but you’re crossing the southern border illegally here, they’ll put you on a plane and take you anywhere you want,” DeSantis said.
Governor Ricketts also celebrated Texas’ new virtual abortion ban, which passed earlier this month, and has not shied away from adopting Nebraska’s proposed sex education standards, which have now filed with the State Board of Education.
Outside of what looked more like a political rally than a salute to agriculture, a handful of Democrats in Nebraska scoffed at the Republican leadership.
“Pete Ricketts is becoming an expert in creating mass-market events that not only spread COVID but also reckless rhetoric that creates divisions across the state,” said the Democratic Party chairperson of the Nebraska, Jane Kleeb, in a statement to 6 News.
“Ricketts won’t even make COVID data public for everyone except a handful of Nebraska’s 93 counties. Our intensive care units are almost full. Instead of addressing this public health crisis, which doctors and nurses are begging him to take seriously, he’s throwing a party. “
Ultimately, the goal Republicans wanted to share was very clear.
“I think 2022 is going to be an amazing election,” Senator Cruz said.
“Nebraska, it’s time to say enough, enough is enough, it’s time to make a good decision and here now we’re going to reclaim Congress in 2022 and reclaim America in 2024,” Pence said.
Many who attended the event told 6 News they felt energized by what Governor Ricketts and the other speakers had to say.
“I appreciate everything the governor is doing in the state of Nebraska, he is doing an incredible job, and all three speakers today reiterated all that we need to do as a country to defend our freedoms,” said Barbara Hart, originally from Wahoo.
“So grateful to have been able to come and hear their message and I think the future can be very bright despite many challenges in our country right now, I feel there can be unity, there can be positivity and we can get stronger from all adversity, ”says Omahan Susie Prucha.
Participants also told 6 News that they are hopeful Gov. Ricketts will consider running for another political office, either in the state or in a national capacity.
Although it has been a suspicious subject in recent months, Ricketts has denied the idea of another political post and said he remains focused on the end of his last term as governor of Nebraska.
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