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Obama talks economy, education at rally

Crowd of 9,000 filled Krenzler Field, chant '4 more years'

By Samah Assad and Eric Bonzar

Oct. 11, 2012

‘Sunny day sweepin’ the clouds away...on my way to where the air is sweet...’

Had the speakers boomed these famous “Sesame Street” lyrics on Friday Oct. 5, they would have been a perfect transition for when President Barack Obama addressed a rain-soaked group of 9,000 at Krenzler Field.

Instead, the president entered to the tune of Bruce Springsteen’s “We Take Care of Our Own,” a sentiment Obama chimed throughout his 20-minute speech.

Following his widely-felt poor performance in the first Presidential Debate on Wednesday, Oct. 3, Obama focused on differentiating his vision with that of Gov. Mitt Romney’s.

Stressing the importance of maintaining tax cuts for the middle class, Obama broke the country’s choice between him and Romney down as “two fundamentally different visions for America.”

With this, Obama referred to Romney’s top-down government vision as a method that will destroy education and the economy.

He poses a “middle out” growth plan that he assured will not only benefit a small percentage of the country that are on the higher end of the socioeconomic ladder, but will provide success opportunities for working class Americans.

“We believe in a nation where hard work pays off, responsibility is rewarded,” Obama said. “Everybody is getting a fair shot. Everybody is doing their fair share. Everybody is playing by the same rules — not just rules benefiting a few.”

According to Obama, Romney believes that if another $5 trillion is spent on cutting taxes to favor the wealthy, and if the government gets rid of more regulations on Wall Street, then “jobs and prosperity will rain down from the sky” and “deficits will magically disappear.”

Instead, Obama believes this would spike the economic crisis fostered by the financial meltdown in 2007-08.

“We cannot afford to double down on the same old, top-down economic policies that caused this mess in the first place,” Obama said. “We can’t afford another round of tax cuts for wealthy folks, we’ve got to give and maintain tax cuts for you.”

Tying to economic concerns, Obama addressed Romney’s blast to Big Bird, that Romney mentioned during the Presidential Debate on Wednesday, Oct. 3, as not only a threat to public broadcasting funding, but also to the educational system as a whole. In order to cut and reduce the United States’ $16 trillion deficit, public broadcasting is not the focus, Obama said.

“So for all you moms and kids out there, don’t worry, somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird,” Obama joked. “Elmo, you better make a run for it. Governor Romney is going to let Wall Street run wild again, but he’s going to bring the hammer down on “Sesame Street.”’

Prioritizing education and job growth as the top ingredients for a successful economy during his remarks, Obama addressed the “sensible” ways he will decrease tuition costs for college students. He wants to hire another 100,000 new math and science teachers as well as make sure that anybody who wants to get retrained for a job knows they’ve got a slot at the community college.

Obama also emphasized his record on financial aid as he has created more Pell Grant opportunities and plans to provide more financial aid for college students if he is re-elected for a second term.

“I want to make sure that tuition is affordable for anybody who wants to go to Cleveland State, anybody who goes to Ohio State, anyone who wants to pursue a higher education and is willing to put in the work.”

The stop to Cleveland State marked Obama’s 14th trip to Ohio and his sixth visit in as many months to a college campus.

In May, Obama kicked off his re-election campaign at Ohio State University.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, spoke to a crowd of 14,000 inside the Schottenstein center, laying the foundation for the president’s campaign slogan, “Forward.”

“We can’t afford to spend the next four years going back,” Obama said. “We have come too far to abandon the change we fought for these last few years.”

On June 14, Obama returned to Ohio for a rally at Cuyahoga County Community College.
He spoke to the crowd for nearly an hour, stressing the topics of jobs, education, and Romney’s proposed $5 trillion tax cut and how it would affect students and employees.

“They tell us they’ll start by cutting nearly a trillion dollars from the part of our budget that includes everything from education and job training, to medical research and clean energy,” Obama said.

"Ten million college students would lose an average of a thousand dollars each on financial aid. Two hundred thousand children would lose the chance to get an early education in the Head Start program.”

The president reiterated his stance on education at Capital University in Columbus on Aug. 21.

Students from around the country voiced their concerns and support for the president during his visit.

Eric, a high school senior from Delaware, told Salim Zymet, reporter for the Obama Campaign, that he’s standing with President Obama because the president has his back.
“I’m thinking through applying for college now, and I like what President Obama has done to make college more affordable,” Eric said.

“I haven’t seen anything from Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan that indicates they would look out for us. I’m afraid that college would get even more expensive under their plan, and that’s not something I can afford.”

Ohio State University freshman, Muna, told Zymet that Obama’s stance on education was key for her when she decided to volunteer for his campaign.

“I am trying the best I can to re-elect President Obama because he’s making college more affordable,” Muna said. “Thanks to financial aid and scholarships, I’m able to attend college without breaking the bank.”

On Sept. 26, the president pulled double duty, speaking at Bowling Green and Kent State universities.

Focusing on Romney’s “47 percent” comment where the presidential candidate said that nearly half of Americans were playing the role of victims and dependent on government the president told the crowd of more than 5,000 people that he did not believe the people of Ohio are victims as Romney suggested.

“I don’t believe we can get very far with leaders who write off half the nation as a bunch of victims, who never take responsibility for their own lives,” Obama said. “I’ve got to tell you, as I travel around Ohio and as I look out on this crowd, I don’t see any victims. I see hard-working Ohioans.”

In the coming weeks, leading up to the Nov. 6 election, both candidates are scheduled to return to the prized battleground.

Ohio, with its 18 electoral votes, is considered to be one of the most sought-after states in the election for both Obama and Romney.

According to CNN, no Republican has ever won the presidential bid without claiming Ohio in the polls.