Entries in Rally (4)


Romney Pleased Debate Showed He and Obama Stand for Very Different Things

Win McNamee/Getty Images(FISHERSVILLE, Va.) -- A jubilant Mitt Romney bounded on a concert stage in Virginia to capitalize on his strong debate performance Wednesday night, telling the crowd of thousands that Americans were finally able to see that he and the president “stand for something very different.”

“Now, last night was an important night for the country because people got the chance,” said Romney, immediately interrupted by cheers as soon as he mentioned the debate. “They got the chance to cut through all the attacks and counterattacks and all of the theatrics associated with a campaign and, instead, they were able to listen to substance.

“I appreciate the fact that Jim Lehrer asked questions of substance and we each responded to them,” said Romney, beginning to tick off a list of debate topics. “I got the chance to ask the president questions that people across the country have wanted to ask him, such as why is it that he pushed Obamacare at a time when we had 23 million people out of work?"

“I asked him those questions and you heard his answers,” he said. “I think as a result of those answers, the American people recognize that he and I stand for something very different. I’m going to help the American people get good jobs and a bright future.”

Romney summed up the debate in single line: “What you didn’t hear last night from the president is why it is the next four years are possibly going to be better than the last four years.”

Romney was joined by his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who emerged from extensive debate prep for the rally, which was one of the most highly produced of the campaign. Several enormous American flags blew in the wind and a full concert stage had been set up for country music star Trace Adkins. As a grand finale, there were fireworks. The campaign estimated that more than 5,700 people had come to the event.

Ryan lauded Romney’s performance at the debate, calling it a “glimpse into the future.”

“Last night, we saw a clear picture, we saw a clear choice,” said Ryan. “Last night, America got to see the man I know -- a leader, a decisive man, an optimistic man, a man with a plan to get people back to work and to protect our freedoms.”

But both Romney and Ryan didn’t dwell on Wednesday’s debate for too long, turning to comments made by Vice President Biden earlier Thursday about tax hikes.

“Last night, President Obama made very clear he’s going to raise taxes. Today, Vice President Joe Biden made it even more clear,” said Ryan, reading from his notes and referring to a comment Biden made earlier in the day in which he said that he and Obama wanted to raise taxes by a trillion dollars, before quickly following up that he was referring to their desire to let the Bush tax cuts expire.

“In Iowa … he asked himself a question. And he asked if he and President Obama want a trillion [dollar] tax hike and his response to himself was, ‘Yes we do.’ That’s a direct quote friends,” said Ryan, who did not read the latter portion of Biden’s quote that provided more context.

“Well, Virginia: No. We. Don’t,” he said.

Romney touched on Biden’s remark, too, saying that the vice president had “blurted out the truth today.”

“They plan on raising taxes on the American people, and that will kill jobs. We will not let that happen. We want to create jobs, not kill jobs in this country,” said Romney, adding later, “I don’t want to raise taxes on anybody.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Michelle Obama Sees Long, Hard Campaign with ‘Twists and Turns’

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- Stumping Wednesday at one of her first solo public campaign rallies of the year, first lady Michelle Obama didn’t utter the word "Wisconsin" or discuss Democrats’ defeat in that state after months of organizing to oust Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

But her message to supporters, in the wake of what transpired a thousand miles from there, could not have been clearer: the 2012 race is going to be a grinding fight that will require more passion and commitment from Democrats than it ever has before.

“I am not going to kid you: this journey is going to be long, and it is going to be hard, and there will be plenty of twists and turns along the way,” Obama told the crowd of 1,100 packed into the National Constitution Center.

“But just remember that’s how change always happens in this country. And if we keep showing up, if we keep fighting the good fight, eventually we get there, we always do,” she said.

The first lady implored her audience to take a close look at her husband’s record -- steady private sector job growth, the resurgent auto industry, health care reform and end to the war in Iraq -- and “get out there and remind people.”

“We need you to tell them about it, but we also need people to know that all of this and so much more is at stake in November,” she said.

“It all boils down to one simple question: will we continue the change we’ve begun and the progress we’ve made, or will we let everything we’ve fought for slip away.”

“Convince them with every ounce of energy in your soul to join you in giving a little part of your life each week to this campaign,” she said later.

Mrs. Obama attested to her husband’s character, calling him an “extraordinary man.” And though she never mentioned presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, she suggested the president is the only candidate in the race who understands what it means to be middle class.

“When there’s a choice between protecting our rights and our freedoms, you know where Barack stands,” Obama said in an impassioned flourish. “And when we need a leader to make the hard decisions to keep this country moving forward, you know you can count on my husband, your president.”

Mrs. Obama’s visit to Pennsylvania, her third of the year, underscores the importance of the state to her husband’s electoral road map.

President Obama carried Pennsylvania in 2008 by 11 points over John McCain -- 55 to 44 percent -- and its 20 electoral votes would be a significant pickup on the path to 270.

A new poll by Franklin & Marshall College shows Obama leading Romney by 12 points there, 48 to 36 percent, with 12 percent of voters undecided.

“The president enjoys significant advantages over Mitt Romney in his personal popularity and most voters believe he is better prepared to handle the presidency even though they are ambivalent about some of his major policy initiatives,” the poll said in a press release.   The survey, conducted May 29 to June 4, has a margin of error of 4.8 points.

But Democrats aren’t taking anything for granted, especially with Obama’s underwater favorability rating and weak numbers on his handling of the economy in the latest poll.

Sixty-one percent of voters in the Franklin & Marshall poll said Obama has done only fair or poor on the economy; 38 percent said good or excellent.

“In the end this could come down to the last few thousand people that we register to vote,” Mrs. Obama said Wednesday. “It could all come down to those last few people we help get to the polls on November 6.”

Elaine Tomlin, a neighborhood team leader for Obama’s campaign, said the first lady’s message is exactly what Democrats in Pennsylvania need to hear.

“We’ve been phone banking since July of last year. We’re a big team in Philly and we know we’re going to need an army with the obstacles put out there with the voter ID law,” Tomlin said.

“We know what we have to do. Even though the GOP has the dollars, we have the grassroots campaign. And it’s one person, one vote. It’s our goal to have turn out be very high,” she said.

The first lady is back on the campaign trail on Thursday with another grassroots rally in Woodbridge, Va.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


In Texas, Democrat Bill White Rallies on College Campuses

Photo Courtesy - Bill White for Texas(AUSTIN, Texas) -- Democrats are busy trying to get young voters out to help head off Republican gains Nov. 2, and the Texas gubernatorial race is no exception.

Hundreds of students and Austin Democrats gathered Wednesday in front of the University of Texas tower.  Longhorn Students for Bill White teamed up with the University Democrats Tuesday night to host “Bill White’s Rally to Restore Competence,” discussing issues ranging from education to Texas unemployment rates.  The rally kicked off with UT student government representative Jeremy Yager urging students to vote in the following two weeks.

“Let’s move Texas forward and finally restore competence to the governor’s mansion,” Yager said.

Student involvement isn’t new for the White gubernatorial campaign, which has set up more than 40 student-run Bill White groups across college campuses statewide.  It’s a more aggressive approach than that of Republican candidate Rick Perry, whose campaign contacted already established student conservative groups, such as the Young Conservatives of Texas.

According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, only 17 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds voted in the last Texas governor’s race in 2006, whereas 45 percent of people older than 30 years old voted.

Cameron Miculka, public relations representative for UT’s University Democrats group, says combating voting apathy on college campuses is the main focus this year.  Clubs use their own resources to pass out flyers, set up information tables, make phone calls and even go door-to-door.

“A vote from a student has just as much importance as anyone else,” Miculka said.  “When they see that a candidate is coming to their school to speak to them about education reform it really resonates, he isn’t just a face on television.”

Not everyone in the audience walked away convinced, however.

Kevin Cissell, a 20-year-old pre-med student, asked White a few questions after the rally concerning the future of higher education.  His main concern -- Texas cutting 25,000 students from the Texas (Towards Excellence, Access and Success) Grant.

“You cut grants that are helping people like myself, poor students who are trying to just go to college, that’s cutting opportunity for the future,” Cissell said.

Early voting in Texas began Monday and will continue until October 29th.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Liberal Groups Come Together for Washington March

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A coalition of labor unions, civil rights and progressive groups is banding together for a rally in Washington, D.C. this weekend, aiming to put job creation on the top of the congressional agenda.

Organizers of "One Nation Working Together," organized by some 400 groups, say the goal is to tell lawmakers they need to find common ground on the issue of jobs and get people to vote come November.

"We're not a response to the Tea Party. If anything, we're the antidote. We are a different response to the same moment," NAACP president Benjamin Jealous told ABC News. "They have sought to attack diversity. They have attacked the 14th amendment. They made racial profiling the law of the land in Arizona and have ambitions to do it elsewhere. We say, 'Don't push down on diversity, push up on prosperity.'"

The rally, expected to draw thousands of people, is a chance for Democratic groups to reenergize the base. The surge of the Tea Party movement and conservative groups has rallied Republicans in much the same fashion as Democrats in 2008.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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