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Obama unified foes — with a 9-0 court loss, Gowdy says

U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy speaks to an overflow crowd at the 'Faith and Freedom' raly for Mark Meadows at the WNC Ag Center on Tuesday. U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy speaks to an overflow crowd at the 'Faith and Freedom' raly for Mark Meadows at the WNC Ag Center on Tuesday.

U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy challenged the crowd at a Mark Meadows campaign kickoff rally to do something to change things if they believe the country is going in the wrong direction.

Gowdy said on flights into Washington that he often gazes down at the National Cemetery at Arlington and imagines the voices of those who gave all. If he asked whether it was worth it, they might say yes but ask what he's doing. He imagined their response: "What are you doing to change it, Gowdy? I served, I sacrificed it, I did what I was asked to do. What are you doing?"
"So ask yourself, What does it mean to be an American?"
Gowdy drew a standing ovation after keynote remarks during which he did not mention the topic that has brought him national media attention and adulation from the right. The chair of the House Select Committee on Benghazi instead focused on the widely held view among Republicans that President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, the IRS and the other parts of the administration are flouting the law.
"For me, if you ask me what it means to be an American, my mind goes straight to the law. It is what separates us from other countries," said the former prosecutor from South Carolina, speaking into a microphone labeled "Our respect for the rule of law. It is the most and greatest equalizing force in our culture, it is the most and greatest unifying force in our culture.
"What else makes the richest person in North Carolina drive the same speed limit as the poorest person in North Carolina but the law? The rich have to pay their taxes on exactly the same day the poor have to pay their taxes.
"We're a nation of laws. So what are we to do when we have an executive that doesn't follow the law? And you may say, 'What are you talking about?' Just look at the last week — 5-4 (on the Supreme Court) on the HHS mandate. That's not just the law that's a constitutional principle. And you're playing games for political expediency perpetuating this mythological war on women that unfortunately some of our fellow citizens will buy into."

Unifying the Supreme Court

"I do want to give the president credit for one thing. He said he was going to unify the country and bring people who didn't disagree together. And doggone if he didn't do it with a nine-to-nothing ruling by the Supreme Court. He got all of them together. So congratulations, Mr. President. Nine to nothing that you can't make appointments when the Senate breaks for lunch. He's supposed to be a constitutional expert and I am amazed at how often he is wrong. The question is, Is he negligently wrong or intentionally wrong, and the question is, Are we going to do anything about it?"
"When we're on the floor of the House and the president walks in and says, 'I'll do it with or without you. I'll do it with or without this branch of government' — and half of our colleagues stand and clap ... If we're ever trusted to lead again and we don't hold our president to a higher standard than they hold theirs, you need to get rid of us."

Meadows 'is already leader'

Gowdy praised Meadows for his ability. Most freshmen, he joked, should be assigned to the back row and barred from voting.
"But your congressman, in a short period of time, in the committee that I serve with him on, is already a leader," he said. "Watch the hearings. And he does all of that without having to spend three years of his life in law school. He's not a lawyer. But he questions people like one."
In "off the books" strategy huddles about the IRS, Fast and Furious or "whatever scandal you want to name, we invite your congressman because he's smart and he's prepared."
The first "Faith and Freedom" event drew 560 people, said Deputy Chief of Staff Wayne King.
"We were planning for 300," he said. "We had almost double that. It exceeded our expectations."
Earlier, Meadows and Gowdy hosted a fundraising reception at Champion Hills that drew 150 supporters, "so it was a phenomenal day in Henderson (County)," King said.
"Thank you for fighting the fight with me to take back our country," Meadows said. "This is the first annual faith and freedom gathering. You order a banner and they say we can put a patch that says this is the second or third because as fiscal conservative you don't want to ever buy anything that you can't reuse again. So I've been assured we can do that. I want to focus our attention on the faith part of that."