Senator Tom Harkin used his speech at his annual fall fundraiser to both spur his fellow Democrats to “get to work” and to ridicule Republicans as roadblocks to progress. 

About 1,500 attended the 33rd annual “Harkin Steak Fry” on Sunday afternoon in Indianola. “Now friends, let me be clear about one thing — they ain’t gonna to give it to us,” Harkin said. “We’re going to have to fight and we’re going to have to work our hearts out.” 

Harkin spent part of his nearly half-hour-long speech outlining a variety of issues like new financial regulations for Wall Street, extending unemployment and rescuing U.S. automakers where Democrats had to “clean up” after Republicans.

“Folks, there’s a clear choice in this election,” Harkin said.  “It’s either the clean-up crew or the wrecking crew.  That’s you choice and let’s stick with the clean-up crew and let’s keep this country moving forward.”

Harkin delivered a defense of Democratic Governor Chet Culver, too. “Folks, I’ve been in this business quite a while.  I’ve seen a lot of ups. I’ve seen a lot of downs and I’ve been a lot of polls and stuff,” Harkin said. “You take it from me:  Chet Culver is going to beat Terry Branstad like a rented mule on November 2.” 

Branstad is a four-term Republican governor who is seeking a fifth term this November.  Branstad’s campaign spokesman says Culver’s management of state finances has been a “train wreck,” and he argues Branstad has a track record of managing during tough times.

Listen to Harkin’s speech:  Harkin2010Fry 22:40 MP3