Greg Rudisill became the latest small business owner to introduce Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at the Republican rally in Salem earlier this week. In the mold of Joe the Plumber, Palin named him Greg the Mechanic.
Rudisill owns a local garage, and supports John McCain for president. He was selected as the man to introduce Sarah Palin in Salem after speaking to a local politician.
He and his family also got the rare chance sit down with the vice-presidential nominee.
Afterward, he had a chat with the Collegiate Times to discuss his experience.
Q: How did your business factor in to your participation in the Sarah Palin rally?
A: Well the name of my business is Rudisill's Garage, and I do work for Dave Nutter. When he came to pick up his bill, I told him I'm like Joe the Plumber, but I'm "Greg the Mechanic." He said they contacted him and wanted to know if he knew of anyone that might be a good person to do this thing, and he said he thought of me.
Q: Can you describe your experience from the night of the rally?
A: It was very overwhelming, just to be able to meet with her. She was a really nice person. I just had a great time. It was really, really a lot of fun. Just to be able to be on stage, to even be there to hear her logic, it was really great.
Q: What are your thoughts on Barack Obama's tax plan?
A: Sen. Obama's tax increase is just going to hurt this country any way you look at it. You've got to get money from something before you can give it away.
The economy's already in bad shape now. The only people that are going to help small business people and my family are John McCain and Sarah Palin.
Obama's got it sugarcoated. He's not telling you the whole story. I don't want my wealth spread around, because I don't have much wealth as it is.
What I do make, I work hard for. If I need to give somebody something, I want to feel like I can give it to the homeless man down the street instead of the guy that is too sorry to get up and go to work the next morning because he's got a drinking problem or a drug problem.
Q: What, specifically, do you like about the McCain-Palin tax plan?
A: They understand small business. She came from fighting oil companies as the mayor of a town. She's got five children. She knows what it's like to have a family, to have to live off of a business from one week to the next. They stand for the things that I believe in. I don't believe in same-sex marriage. I don't believe in abortion, and that's what they're behind. This country's got enough problems as it is, and Senator Obama, he just wants to add to them.
Q: Does the current tax policy suit your needs?
A: No. The current tax policy needs to be changed to help me, not to help Obama.
Q: What do you plan for the future of your business?
A: I'm not looking to expand my business. I'm happy with my business now. I would like to be able to afford to pay an employee and maybe give him some benefits, and that is what John McCain and Sarah Palin will help me with.
Q: Did you get to meet with Governor Palin?
A: Yes, me and my wife and my son and daughter went back in the building. We spoke with them, had a conversation with them; it was really nice. She's not made up. She is real. She's not putting on a front for anybody. She's just who she is.
Jennifer Rudisill, Greg's wife, said she was also impressed by the genuine, caring nature of Palin.
"The first thing she said to me was that, with Joe the Plumber, everybody is putting him through the ringer," Jennifer said. "She was concerned with our family. I didn't think that would happen, but that to me, just shows her concern for my family. I told her if she can handle it, we could handle it."