Over 15,000 people stood on the state fairgrounds for four hours yesteday for a late-night chance to see and hear democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, his runningmate John Edwards and their wives. Kerry, Edwards and their wives, though, didn’t take the stage ’til nearly 10 o’clock, and by then the temperature had dipped into the 30s. But the two men offered the crowd some heated rhetoric directed at President Bush. Kerry borrowed a quote that heavy-weight prize fighter Muhammad Ali once uttered to foe George Foreman. “George, is that all you’ve got?” Kerry said. “Mr. President, after four years of falling wages, losing jobs, losing health care, is that all you’ve got, Mr. President?” Kerry said there’s only one reason Bush has spent millions of dollars on attack ads, criticizing Kerry. “(Bush) doesn’t have a record to run on,” Kerry told the crowd. “He has a record to run away from and that’s what he’s doing.” Kerry and Edwards also talked about the recently-concluded series of presidential debates and some in the crowd held signs that read “343” (three for three) while others held brooms to signal they thought Kerry had made a “clean sweep” of his three face-to-face debates with Bush. “You know, George Bush knows a little something about baseball, right?” Edwards said, referring to Bush’s ownership of the Texas Rangers. “Well, he’s been up to the plate three times. He’s swung three times and he’s had three strikes and he is out come November the 2nd.” Kerry claimed last night’s crowd on the fairground to be the largest ever to gather for a political event in Iowa. “When you guys have the State Fair here, I don’t know if you realize this, but they clean up the whole mess within 24 hours when it’s over,” Kerry said. “Now it’s going to take us a little longer to clean up the mess they’ve left in Washington…but I’ve got to tell you, we’re going to make it happen. We’re going to get the job done.” County musician Hal Ketchum played three songs to warm up the crowd before Kerry came on stage, and Ketchum made it clear he’s a Kerry backer. “If we had four more years like the last four we’ve had, that to me would be like lighting your hair on fire and putting it out with a hammer,” Ketchum told the crowd. Bush will be back in Iowa today to hammer home his competing message. He’s scheduled to speak at a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids early this afternoon. Republican governors from four other states appeared in Des Moines a few hours before democratic presidential candidate John Kerry did yesterday to praise President Bush and criticize Kerry. “We are barnstoming the country…in 14 states because we have a tremendous passion for this man, George W. Bush, who is running for re-election,” said Nebraska Governor Mike Johanns said. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty called Bush a strong, steady leader. “You know, John Kerry said that the war in Iraq is the ‘wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time,'” Pawlenty said. “John Kerry, in my view, is the wrong person running for the wrong office at the wrong time.” Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney said Kerry, who is his home-state senator, will say “do whatever it takes to win….Boy he does well in front of the camera. A silver tongue has the man. Indeed, he’s very good in front of a camera. He’s as good as an anchorman,” Romney said. Romney said Kerry has “grand aspirations,” but Romney said Kerry’s record doesn’t show strong leadership. Romney will be the keynote speaker Saturday night at a Republican Party of Iowa fundraiser in Des Moines. A few hours later, Iowa’s Governor, democrat Tom Vilsack, talked to the pro-Kerry crowd gathered on the state fairgrounds. “Now I assume these brooms here are for the sweep of the debates — is that right?” Vilsack asked the crowd. “They can also be used to sweep the bums out.”