Election 2012: Obama Rallies in Virginia
President delivers energetic speech days after first debate
FAIRFAX, Virginia — President Obama rallied Virginian Democrats on Friday seeking to recover from what many considered a lackluster performance in the debate earlier in the week.
The President held a campaign event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Throughout the event, applause regularly shook the walls of the university's Center for the Arts Concert Hall. After turning Virginia blue for the first time in 48 years, the reception Obama received demonstrated the loyal support group the President has established in Virginia.
In his speech, Obama addressed fundamental domestic issues such as health care and the state of the economy. But women's rights was the clear theme of the event.
"When it comes to a woman's right to make her own health care choices, they [Republicans] want to take us back to the policies of the 1950s," the President contended.
He continued by informing the exuberant crowd that if he's elected for a second term he would ensure health care rights (especially women's reproductive choices) belonged to individuals and would not be decided by companies or politicians.
Although his speech had a serious tone, the President also sprinkled in bits of humor regarding his opponent into the mix.
For example, in response to Governor Romney's promise to cut spending on public television, the President commented, "For all you moms and kids out there, don't worry - someone is finally getting tough on Big Bird."
After the jokes, though the President returned to a more serious tone when he made the point that in order to recover from the deficit, the country must strengthen the middle class.
"Our economy doesn't grow from the top down - it grows from the middle out," the President said.
President Obama finished strong, vowing, "No matter what, I'll be fighting for you. Because I'm not fighting for Democratic jobs or Republican jobs - I'm fighting for American jobs."
He concluded by stating that alongside American citizens, he would show the rest of the world "why it is that the United States of America is the greatest nation on earth."
After the rally, many supporters expressed excitement with the President's performance on Friday. But some of them said they were a little disappointed Obama's debate performance wasn't as assertive.
"It really wasn't so much the things he said as the way he addressed the issues he was talking about this morning," one supporter said. "There was more energy [today] than he had in Denver."
A couple observers added that Obama's speech was strengthened by the fact that unemployment had dropped below 8 percent just that morning, which gave the President added ammunition in his argument.
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