CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Gov. Mary Fallin flew behind enemy lines to help Republicans counter the messages at the Democratic National Convention here, but some Oklahoma Democrats shrugged her off Wednesday as an ineffective tool for the GOP.
Fallin came here Tuesday night and went down on the floor of the Time Warner Cable Arena during the opening night speeches.
Wednesday, she participated in a news conference with a small-business owner and other elected Republican officials who criticized President Barack Obama and Democrats on a number of fronts.
If the president is re-elected, Fallin said at the news conference, “What we will see is another four years of the same policies that haven't worked for America. And it is time for a change.”
Wallace Collins, chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, said, “I personally think she ought to be back in Oklahoma earning her salary.”
Collins said the state is paying her salary as governor while paying Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb to be governor in her absence.
Moreover, he said, the state is paying for her security detail, which travels with the governor.
Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz said the presidential campaign of Republican Mitt Romney paid for the commercial airfare for the governor and Weintz, who accompanied the governor.
The campaign also paid for lodging for the governor, Weintz and her security detail. Oklahoma taxpayers paid for the travel for the security officers.
Fallin was a prime-time speaker at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., last week and made the media rounds — something she also made time for here.
Making an impact?
Anna Langthorn, an alternate delegate here from Edmond, expressed little concern about Fallin's impact.
“I don't think Mary Fallin is a strong voice for the Republican Party,” Langthorn said.
“I feel like she's fed talking points and she repeats them willingly without question.”
Democratic state Sen. Jim Wilson, of Tahlequah, said Fallin's visit here is “an in-your-face kind of thing. Lord knows we did it in Tampa,” when Democratic officials appeared to criticize the Republican message.
“The people who are going to be impressed with (Fallin) are the people she's already got. But I don't think she brings anyone new into the fold.”
Fallin said the administration's policies have a huge impact on the state, and “the people of Oklahoma want me here to do whatever we can to get our nation back on track.”