Wagner makes personal appeal for a Romney presidency

The Republican candidate likely to take over Rep. Todd Akin's Missouri seat this fall gave a pitch for small government on Saturday, charging that President Obama has "ignored or rejected" the good ideas backed by Mitt Romney.

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Ann Wagner, the Republican candidate for Missouri's 2nd district who's expected to win her race in a landslide, criticized Obama in the weekly Republican address for raising taxes, launching a "war on coal" and pushing a health care law that hampers job creation.

Her pitch for smaller government was based on her own experience working in the retail carpet business her parents started.

"I saw my father deal with every headache the government threw his way – whether it had to do with the signs on the front of the building or the prices on the showroom floor. He knew he could do better, if government would just get out of the way – and stay out of the way," she said.

Wagner goes on to state that the government needs to "fix our 72,000-page monstrosity of a tax code," repeal Obama's healthcare law and expand energy production by building the Keystone pipeline and tapping new natural gas and coal resources -- all policies promoted by Republicans this cycle.

The address gave Wagner the opportunity to introduce herself to Americans nationwide, and indicates the GOP may have high hopes for the new recruit when she joins their ranks in Congress next year. Formerly a co-chair of the Republican National Committee and a U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg, Wagner has exhibited high political aspirations from the start of her career.

She echoed the Republican line that "this election is not about President Obama the person," an attempt by the GOP to mitigate Obama's personal likeability and focus voters in on his policies instead. The president still maintains widespread personal appeal among most voters, so Republicans have focused their attacks on his "failed presidency and failed leadership," as Wagner put it, while reassuring voters it's okay to admit they made a mistake in electing a perfectly nice, but ineffective, person.

Wagner closed with a pitch for Romney based on returning the country to "the better America" previous generations have worked to provide.

"Our country is going in the wrong direction – and Mitt Romney is the only leader who can turn this economy around, get Americans back to work and build the better America our parents worked and sacrificed to make possible," she said.