Election 2012: Fundraising in Chicago
Supporters pay $51 to hear President Obama speak
CHICAGO — With the conventions, debates, and Election Day fast approaching, President Barack Obama returned to his Chicago hometown to attend several events to raise money for his campaign.
One of the events was held last Sunday at the Bridgeport Art Center. Approximately 1,000 Obama supporters paid $51 to attend. The amount coincided with the President's age — he turned 51 a few days before the event.
When President Obama took the podium, be began addressing the crowd. But the audience immediately interrupted him to sing "Happy Birthday."
During his remarks, the President mentioned Congressman Paul Ryan — Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's running mate — and the crowd responded vocally and negatively. The President defended Congressman Ryan by saying he was "a decent man" and "a family man." He just happens to disagree with the Congressman's views and positions, the President added.
During the course of the President's speech, there were several statements that resulted in particularly enthusiastic applause from the audience. Among the most well received comments were the proposal that companies that keep jobs in the United States instead of sending them to other countries should get tax breaks. The crowd also reacted positively when Obama said that, in 2008, he promised to would end the war in Iraq and get Osama Bin Laden, and that he did both things.
"I want to take about half of the money that we were spending on war and let's start investing it here in rebuilding our schools, roads, and bridges," the President said. "I want to make sure that we've got the best education system in the world!"
When the President said this, the crowd cheered their approval.
Before the event, numerous Obama supporters talked to the Kids Press Corps about what they want Obama to focus on if he's elected to a second term.
"He should focus on reducing the cost of higher education and helping make education affordable because that is the most important thing for our country's future," Brandy Brixby, from Chicago, said.
Hana Thixton from Riverton, Illinois, expressed her concern and support for "equal rights of all sorts of marriages."
Nancy Juea from Chicago said she wanted to see more focus on the environment and climate change.
Jason Benton weighed in on Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as a running mate.
"Once everyone finds out his viewpoints, it will hurt him in the long run," Benton said.
After the President concluded his speech, he lingered for a bit before heading to his motorcade. It was led by police motorcycles, then police cars, limousines, vans, and then more police cars.
The President waved from his limousine to everyone who had gathered to watch the motorcade whisk him away to his next event.
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