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president obama in portland, people protesting obama (left) President Barack Obama speaks at a fundraising event in Portland, Oregon, on July 24. (Photo: AP Photo/Susan Walsh); (right) Kid Reporter Jacob Schroeder interviews protesters before the President's speech. (Photo courtesy Jacob Schroeder)

Election 2012: Obama Campaigns in Oregon

Supporters and protesters greet the President in Portland

By Jacob Schroeder | null null , null

President Barack Obama's reelection campaign brought him to Portland, Oregon, last Tuesday. It was his first visit to Oregon in a year.

The President's campaign event was a fundraiser held at the Oregon Convention Center. As he took the stage, the crowd chanted "Four more years!"

After joking with the crowd of supporters, Obama began his speech. He talked about creating jobs, as well as the differences between himself and his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney.

President Obama spoke for 45 minutes. His speech addressed issues like job creation, tax cuts, and health care reform.

He said the majority of Americans make less than $250,000 a year. Romney wants to increase taxes on the majority while cutting taxes for the country's richest citizens, Obama said. The President added that he wants to cut taxes for the middle class so that they will spend more money, which will help the economy recover. He also defended his health care reforms, talked about the problem of out-sourcing work overseas, and how he created 4.5 millions jobs during his term in office.

The President admitted there were a lot of problems facing the country. But he said it would take more than one year or one term as President to turn the nation around.

"But we are going to fight for the kinds of changes that ensure we got back to that basic American promise" that if you work hard in this country you can make it, President Obama said.

Many people at the President's speech were energized by his visit. Two of these supporters were kids.

protesters in portland oregon
Protesters gather outside the Oregon Convention Center before President Barack Obama's campaign event. (Photo courtesy Jacob Schroeder)
Matthew and Joey G. from Portland came to "listen to the President speak, and give support so that he can get re-elected for another four years," Matthew explained. "Other kids should learn more about our President, even if you're not into that kind of thing. I think it is important to know."

Another person excited by the President's visit was Brandyn Keating, the Oregon Director for President Obama's reelection campaign

"We need another four years of President Obama," she said. "We are continuing to build the movement that we started in 2008."

Support Inside, Protest Outside

While people inside the convention center supported the President, protesters gathered outside the Portland Convention Center hopeful that President would hear their messages or see their huge and colorful signs as he drove by.

Although most used signs, some protesters chanted and spoke into an amplifier to get their point across. Some shouted bad words and bad mouthed the President yelling on the street corner across the street from the convention center.

One protester dressed in an oversized Obama costume that looked like a gigantic cartoon of the president's face.

Two teachers stood across the street from the convention center holding signs. One of them was Donna Daniel. She held many signs protesting the President's record.

"I want to voice my opinion to President Obama that I don't like how he is governing us," she said. "I want us out of Afghanistan. I am here because I hope he will see some of our signs and listen to his people instead of just listening to the big wealthy people."

She said she is an Obama supporter and will vote for President Obama because "the choice is ugly." But she is deeply disappointed in him, she added.

The other teacher, Rain Daniel, explained, "We want to educate all the people who are passing [by the convention center] and raise awareness of all the spending that we do on war and all the money we waist on giving big corporations tax breaks when regular hard working people like us are taxed way more than rich corporations."

Like many of the other protesters, Daniels thought that everyone should "pay their fair share to support our schools, education, health care, and our firemen."


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About the Author

Jacob Schroeder is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps,

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