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Entries in Voters (72)

Wednesday
Apr102013

Rand Paul Reaches Out to Black Voters at Howard University

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul conceded he had a “daunting task” Wednesday when he set out to woo black students at Howard University, and proceeded to tell them that the Republican Party was the party of the civil rights movement.

He won few converts, but he won some respect.

“How did the party that elected the first black U.S. senator, the party that elected the first 20 African-American congressmen become a party that now loses 95 percent of the black vote?” Paul asked the Howard students. “How did the Republican Party, the party of the Great Emancipator, lose the trust and faith of an entire race?  From the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, for a century, most black Americans voted Republican. How did we lose that vote?”

Paul said the story of the “modern civil rights era” is the “history of the Republican Party,” launching into the history of the Republican Party and African-Americans, something specifically suggested in last month’s Republican National Committee “autopsy” report.

Paul is widely believed to be eying a presidential run in 2016. Outreach like the speech at Howard, as well as his embrace of comprehensive immigration reform, only fuels the speculation. He acknowledged that many believe “Republicans are somehow inherently insensitive to minority rights” and he wants to change that.

The last Republican to speak at the school, according to the university, was former RNC chairman Michael Steele in 2009, and before that, in 2004, then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist received an honorary degree. In 1994, Colin Powell gave Howard University’s commencement address. In 2000 George W. Bush declined the invitation to speak and Al Gore spoke instead.

Although the crowd was mostly respectful, with almost everyone thanking Paul for coming during the question-and-answer portion, they were clearly resistant to Paul’s message. Toward the beginning of his remarks, a protester tried to unfurl a banner that read “Howard University Doesn’t Support White Supremacy,” and an awkward moment ensued during the question-and-answer portion when the senator seemed to be giving a history lesson to the students. He asked the group if they knew that the founders of the NAACP were Republicans. The crowd seemed taken aback, with one student even yelling, “We know our history.”

Paul said he didn’t “mean to be insulting,” adding, “I don’t know what you know” and “I’m trying to find out.”

He said he still didn’t think the “general public” knew that fact, and it was up to the GOP to make that argument. Paul noted that it is an “uphill battle for me to try and convince you that we have changed,” but said that’s what he is “trying to do.”

Paul acknowledged his own history with the Civil Rights Act, saying, “Here I am, a guy who once presumed to discuss a section of the Civil Rights Act.” He appeared to be referring to comments he made when he was running for Senate in 2010. During that campaign he did at least two interviews where he said he was against discrimination, but suggested that private businesses should not be forced to abide by the Civil Rights Act. He clarified afterwards that he would not want the act repealed, but he was heavily criticized at the time  and the issue would definitely come up again if he were to run in 2016.

Paul emphasized Thursday that, “No Republican questions or disputes civil rights,” adding, “I have never wavered in my support for civil rights or the Civil Rights Act.”

Paul continued his push to broaden his party, telling the audience that the difference between the two parties is, “Democrats promise equalizing outcomes through unlimited federal assistance,” while his party offers “something that seemed less tangible, the promise of equalizing opportunity through free markets.”

“The Democrat promise is tangible and puts food on the table, but too often doesn’t lead to jobs or meaningful success,” Paul said. He said the country’s current economic troubles including gas prices and the national debt is disproportionately hurting minorities and the poor.

Mitt Romney only received 6 percent of the African-American vote, but he too tried to reach out to black voters, although unsuccessfully. During the 2012 campaign he spoke at the NAACP convention, but he was booed when he said he wanted to repeal President Obama’s health care law.

Paul got a better reception when he spoke about school choice and repealing mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders.

He said “there are countless examples of the benefits of school choice” where children have been able to turn “their lives completely around.”

“Maybe it’s about time we all reassess blind allegiance to ideas that are failing our children,” Paul said. “Republicans are often miscast as uncaring or condemning of kids who make bad choices.  I, for one, plan to change that.”

He noted his work on the issue of drug sentences, saying, “We should not take away anyone’s future over one mistake.”

Paul told a “tale of two young men” from different economic and racial background who both used drugs, before revealing that the story was about former president George W. Bush and President Obama.

“Barack Obama and George Bush were lucky,” Paul said, adding that if either of them had been arrested “neither one of them would have been employable, much less electable.”

He ended his address with a pitch saying he hopes some in the audience “will be open to the Republican message.”

Talking to students after the event revealed some audience members who were pleased that he came to Howard, but reflected the steep climb Rand Paul and the GOP has with African-Americans and other minority voters.

Howard student John Crawford said Paul’s explanation of why black voters historically should be Republicans was “some revisionist history going on,” but he said he does think he will be able to woo some voters “just because he had the courage and integrity to come here.”

“I just hope the next school or conference he goes to, he doesn’t pull a Mitt Romney (and say), ‘If you want free stuff or if you want makers or takers vote for Democrats,’ because I feel like that’s what Mitt Romney did ..and I hope Rand Paul doesn’t pull that because all of the good will Rand Paul got from coming here will be gone.”

Crawford is referring to Romney’s “47 percent” video where he was secretly recorded at a private fundraiser saying 47 percent of Americans are “dependent on the government,” as well as Romney blaming his loss on “gifts” President Obama and Democrats gave to minority voters on a conference call after the election.

Kwanda Trice, a Howard graduate student from Paul’s native Kentucky, asked a question during the event about drug sentences and state hemp laws. She said although she didn’t get a full answer to her question she said she has “to give him props” for coming to Howard.

“This was a hard crowd, but he decided to come here and basically bridge the gap between African Americans and the Republican Party and that says a lot,” Trice said. “To come here to Howard University where students are progressive, they are educated, they know the issues and they know the policies back and forth and to be able to actually face them head on I have to commend him for that.”

Trice added, “Going forward we will see what his actions are.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov072012

Exit Polls: Obama's Winning Coalition of Women and Nonwhites

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A coalition of women and nonwhites helped re-elect President Obama to a second term Tuesday night.

Obama has always performed better with women than with men, and with nonwhites than with whites.  But on Tuesday night, those numbers were so much in his favor that they built Obama a powerful firewall against a dropoff in support from white men and independent voters.

Nonwhite voters turned out to vote in higher numbers than ever.  They made up 21 percent of all voters.  In 1996, they were just 10 percent.

That new bloc was evident in Florida, the perennial swing state that was thought to be in Mitt Romney's corner.  Hispanics came out in force for Obama, in greater numbers than in 2008 when Obama beat John McCain among Hispanics in Florida 57 to 42 percent.  On Tuesday, he beat Romney among Hispanics 60 to 39 percent.

And as the country tinted blue for the second presidential election in a row, it also got a little less white.

White voters made up only 72 percent of the electorate in this election, according to exit polls.  That's still a majority, but it's the lowest in exit polls dating from 1976.

Romney won the white vote handily, 58 to 40 percent, the biggest lead for a Republican since 1988.

Romney's most reliant bloc the whole campaign was white men.  He led by 25 points with them on Tuesday.  But in 1976, white men were 46 percent of voters.  Today, they're at a new low, 34 percent.

If white women had stayed in Romney's camp, those swing states -- Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire -- might have moved into his column.  Instead, Obama led among women by 12 points, nearly identical to his lead among women four years ago.

In Florida, Obama led Romney by just two points among independents, according to the exit polls.  In 2008, that number was seven.

In Ohio, Romney leads Obama by 10 points among independents -- a significant number considering that in 2008 Obama had an 8 point lead over McCain in Ohio among the same nonaligned voters.  But women came to Obama's rescue, keeping him competitive.  Exit polls showed Obama with a 12 point lead among women, more than his 8 point lead in 2008.

In Wisconsin, a state that Romney needed badly, Obama's one-time strength among independents appeared to be neutralized.  He won independents there by 19 points in 2008, but preliminary polls now show that Romney fought to a draw with them.  However, Obama prevailed among young voters, and other voters there said they favored the auto bailout by 51 to 40 percent, an issue that the president held over Romney in the Midwest.

Obama lost just a few independents in Iowa, but more than made up for it by winning over women, who picked the president over Romney by a double-digit margin.

In Virginia, Romney won independents by 53 to 41 percent.  Four years ago, Obama and McCain tied among independents in the commonwealth.

Just like white men, independents make up less of the electorate than they did four years ago.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct152012

Ryan Tells Ohio Voters They Have a ‘Responsibility’ to Talk to '08 Obama Voters

J.D. Pooley/Getty Image(CINCINNATI) -- Paul Ryan made a quick stop Monday in the crucial state of Ohio to remind supporters of their “responsibility” to talk to friends who voted for Barack Obama in 2008, but now “just aren’t as impressed,” and get them to turn out for Mitt Romney.

“You know, you have a big say-so,” Ryan told the crowd of several hundred at a Cincinnati air field. “You know, you’re the battleground state of battleground states. You understand your responsibility, right? You understand your opportunity, right? That means you have within your control, your ability to go find those people who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 … who heard the hope and the change and loved the promises, all these great speeches, but see that this is nothing but a failed agenda of broken promises, of hollow rhetoric.”

Ryan acknowledged the massive air war going on from both sides, but said that the debates have let him and Romney “cut through the clutter.” Romney and Obama face off again Tuesday night.

“People will see through it,” Ryan said. “Look, I know what your TV screens look like these days. These debates are giving us the ability to cut through the clutter and give people a very clear choice. That’s what we are offering. And the choice is really clear.”

Ohio is seen as crucial, because no Republican has ever gotten to the White House without winning the state. The most recent poll out of Ohio, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll from last week, found President Obama with 51 percent support to Romney’s 45 percent.

As he did in Wisconsin Monday morning, Ryan urged the audience to “vote early so that on Election Day you can help get people to the polls, you can help make the phone calls, you can help give people rides.”

“This election is so important, we even need you to talk to your relatives to get them out. That’s so important,” Ryan joked.

The Obama campaign responded that the Romney campaign may be “offering new rhetoric,” but the underlying message is still the same.

“Congressman Ryan’s claim that Mitt Romney is offering actual solutions is totally disconnected from reality,” Obama campaign spokesman Danny Kanner said in a statement. “While Romney and Ryan are certainly offering new rhetoric in the campaign’s final weeks, they can’t hide their plan to bring back the same failed policies that punished middle class families and crashed our economy in the first place.”

After his brief remarks, the GOP vice presidential nominee served Montgomery Inn barbecue to supporters waiting in line, asking over and over, “Chicken or pork?”

In between barbecue, backers congratulated him on his debate performance, while others said they are “praying for you to win.” Ryan introduced himself as “Paul,” telling those with kind or supportive words, “That’s the nicest thing you could say to me.”

Ryan later headed to New York City Monday afternoon to hold a series of fundraisers, including addressing high-level donors from all over the country who are gathering in New York for a meeting on fundraising and strategy.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep262012

Samuel L. Jackson Tells Obama Voters to ‘Wake the F*** Up’

ABC/Eric McCandless(NEW YORK) -- If winning the presidential election was directly correlated with how many F-bombs celebrities dropped on your behalf, President Obama would have this thing on lock.

In a video parody of Adam Mansbach’s book Go the F*** to Sleep, Actor Samuel L. Jackson drops a half-dozen while telling voters to “wake the f*** up” and vote in November. The video is expected to be released Thursday.

“Sorry, my friends, but there’s no time to snore. An out-of-touch millionaire just declared war. On schools, the environment, unions, fair pay, we’re all on our own if Romney has his way,” Jackson says as the camera zeros in on his increasingly livid face. “And he’s against safety nets. If you fall, tough luck. So I strongly suggest that you wake the f*** up.”

Jackson, whose reading of Go the F*** to Sleep went viral on YouTube last year, now joins comedian Sarah Silverman in the profanity-laced pro-Obama video category. In a video launched last week comedian Sarah Silverman lambasted “super f****d up” voter ID laws, which could bar largely Democratic minorities from voting.

Both stars’ videos were produced by the Jewish Council on Education and Research Super PAC. Each video mixes profanity with policy, contrasting, in the case of the Jackson video, Obama’s policies with his GOP rival Mitt Romney’s plans.

Mansbach, who wrote the script for the 3-minute video, said the profanity was necessary to convey the “urgency” of getting involved in the election.

“We wanted to do that because it’s real,” Mansbach told ABC News. “For certain kinds of emotions and situations that language is the most evocative and effective.”

And with an actor like Samuel L. Jackson on board, Mansback said the F-bomb was a must.

“He’s the best in the world at dropping the F-bomb,” the author said. “If I can’t figure out a way to set him up, I’m not doing my job.”

Whether he’s popping up behind grandparents to shouting at a lazy college student, Jackson punctuates a video that has an otherwise fairy-tale feel with stark comparisons and staccato calls to action.

“We’ve come a long way but there’s still more to do. We need you all back in the fight ’til it’s through. Of course you’re all busy and finding time’s rough but you can sleep when you’re dead but right now,” Jackson says before the little girl Suzie screams out her window, “Wake the f*** up!”

The full video will go live Thursday morning.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep192012

How to Register to Vote Before Election Day

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As Election Day, Nov. 6, nears, here is a quick rundown on how U.S. residents can register to vote.

To vote by mail, residents should use the National Mail Voter Registration form. North Dakota, Wyoming, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands don’t accept the form, so residents should contact their local election offices for registration information.

The voter registration form can also be used to update information such as a name or address change or to register with a different political party.

U.S. residents can also apply to register to vote at state election offices, the Department of Motor Vehicles, public assistance offices, armed services recruitment centers, as well as public sites that have been designated as voter registration agencies.

Some states also offer online voter registration but residents should contact their local registration offices for more information.

In August, Google launched its Online Voter Guide, which allows Google users to register to vote. Users can easily access TurboVote from the Google page and register to vote or vote by mail.

In addition, the Federal Voting Assistance Program is available for U.S. citizens living abroad and U.S. uniformed service members and their family members who seek to vote absentee.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep172012

Romney Stands by Comments About ‘Entitled’ Obama Supporters in Leaked Videos

Jeff Swensen/Getty Images(COSTA MESA, Calif.) -- Leaked video of Republican nominee Mitt Romney at closed-door fundraisers show him saying that “no matter what” he does, 47 percent of the population is going to vote for Obama because they are, “are dependent upon government.” On Monday night in California, Romney did not back down from what he had said.

The video clips, which were posted by Mother Jones, show Romney telling donors that 47 percent of voters will chose Obama “no matter what” because they are people, “who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.”

“My job is not to worry about those people,” Romney says in the video. “I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Portions of the video were posted anonymously on YouTube in June while longer, but still incomplete, versions were posted on Monday by Mother Jones, which claims it “has confirmed its authenticity.” ABC News has not thus far been able independently to validate the authenticity of the clips.

Responding to the leaked video on Monday night at a press conference in Costa Mesa, Calif., Romney stood by what he said in the clip, but he admitted he could have been more eloquent at the time the video was shot.

[Hear Mitt Romney's response here.]

Romney said that he was speaking “off the cuff” in response to a question.

“It’s a question and answer, as I recall, about the process of the campaign and how I’m going to get the 51 or 52 percent I need, and I point out it’s by focusing on those folks that are neither in [Obama's] camp nor in my camp,” Romney said.

“I recognize that among those that pay no tax, approximately 47 percent of Americans, I’m not likely to be highly successful with the message of lowering taxes. That’s not as attractive to those who don’t pay income taxes as it is to those who do,” Romney said. “And likewise those who are reliant on government are not as attracted to my message of slimming down the size of government. And so I then focus on those individuals who I believe are most likely to be able to be pulled into my camp and help me win the 51 or 50.1 percent that I need to become the next President.”

Earlier on Monday, the Obama campaign responded swiftly and harshly to the video.

“It’s shocking that a candidate for President of the United States would go behind closed doors and declare to a group of wealthy donors that half the American people  view themselves as ‘victims,’ entitled to handouts, and are unwilling to take ‘personal responsibility’ for their lives,” Jim Messina, Obama for America campaign manager, said in a statement. “It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation.”

It is not specified when or where the taped fundraiser was. The clips have been edited into 38-second to one-and-a-half minute chunks.

In the series of leaked videos, Romney also tells supporters that if he, “had he been born of Mexican parents I’d have a better shot of winning this,” that he, “was born with a silver spoon, which is the greatest gift you can have: which is to get born in America,” and that he “inherited nothing” from his wealthy father.

“My dad and Ann’s dad did quite well in their lives, but when they came to the end of their lives and passed along the inheritances to Ann and to me, we both decided to give it all away,” Romney says. “So I have inherited nothing. Everything Ann and I have we have earned the old fashioned way.”

Romney explains to the campaign donors that he has not been harsher in his attacks against President Obama because he is trying to win over people who voted for Obama in 2008.

“And because they voted for him, they don’t want to be told that they were wrong, that he’s a bad guy, that he did bad things, that he’s corrupt,” Romney says. “Those people that we have to get, they want to believe they did the right thing, but he just wasn’t up to the task.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep142012

Obama Ad Hits Romney for Opposing Justice Sotomayor

Jose CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A new Spanish-language TV ad from the Obama campaign airing in Florida attacks Republican rival Mitt Romney for opposing the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The spot suggests that Hispanics, a key constituency for President Obama in Florida, should be “offended” that Romney would not have supported the first Hispanic high-court nominee in American history.

“When she was nominated by President Obama, we all celebrated -- Puerto Ricans and all Hispanics,” says Puerto Rican attorney Nydia Menendez speaking directly to camera.  “But Mitt Romney was opposed to Sotomayor.  He offended me when he stated he would have voted against her nomination.  And now he wants our vote for president?”

In a March radio interview with Noti Uno Radio, Romney said he would have voted against Sotomayor if he was given the chance.

“Judge Sotomayor and I have very different judicial philosophies.  She is an activist, a liberal jurist,” he said at the time.  “And I prefer people who follow the Constitution and do not make law as a judge.  And so I will support justices who are conservative and who follow the constitution.”

The Obama campaign has also launched a second Spanish-language spot in Florida and four other swing states (Colorado, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia), appealing to Hispanic voters on the economy with help from Cristina Saralegui.

“When President Obama took office our economy was on the verge of disaster,” Saralegui says.  “And now Romney and Ryan ask us to return to the policies that CAUSED the crisis."

“Back to the future?  No way.  Forward… with Obama!” she says.

Saralegui, who is popularly considered the “Hispanic Oprah,” is a leading surrogate for Obama in the Hispanic community, appearing in half a dozen TV ads since the start of the campaign.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep142012

Joe Biden Calls Hispanics ‘Most Powerful Force in American Politics’

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Vice President Joe Biden described the Hispanic population in this country as the “most powerful force in American politics” during a speech to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Gala in Washington, D.C. Thursday night.

“I’m here to say thank you, and tell you how much this great country owes you and how much more can be done with the infusion of new blood, of new ideas,” Biden said.  “Ladies and gentlemen, you are about to become, and already have, the most powerful force in American politics.  Exercise that power well, and the country will embrace you.”

The Census Bureau says the 52 million Hispanics in this country accounted for 16.7 percent of the nation’s population in 2011, and the Pew Research Center has predicted nearly a third of the U.S. population will be Hispanic by 2050, a projection that Biden says Americans have embraced.

“The rest of America is beginning to understand that your success is America’s success,” Biden said.

With both parties aiming to attract the Latino vote this election cycle, the vice president touted the progress the administration has made to advance Latino causes, including improving access to education.

Biden expressed pride in the president’s executive action that halted the deportation of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to this country as children and promised there is more work to be done to ensure a path to citizenship is provided for those students.

“Look how the American people reacted to President Obama’s executive action lifting the threat of deportation from the Dreamers.  It had to be emotional, fill all of you with pride how that first day those Dreamers were eligible to apply for deferred action, thousands lined up, block after block after block,” Biden said. “I’m proud of my president, I’m proud of what the president did and I know you’re equally proud.”

“Everyone in this room, maybe more than anyone in the country understands we’ve got a lot more to do. And we will not rest in this administration until we find a permanent path out of the shadows for those who spent their lives living in fear, a path to citizenship,” Biden added.

Biden lauded the work of the CHCI in providing scholarships and grants to Hispanic youth, and the vice president stressed the importance of promoting educational and job opportunities within the growing Hispanic population, whose leaders are ensuring Hispanics achieve their “rightful place in American society.”

“The contribution of the Hispanic community has been incredible, but you ain’t seen nothing yet,” Biden said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep112012

Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Leads to DMV Trips from 'Hell'

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Two government offices, three hour-long lines, two 78-mile trips, two week-long waiting periods, four forms of identity and two signed affidavits later, Pennsylvanians will be allowed to vote.

Under the state's new voter ID laws, which require every voter to show a government-issued photo ID at the polls, that is the epic process thousands of native Pennsylvanians have to go through to get the ID required to cast their ballots in November.  And they now have just 56 days to complete it before the election.

"It was hell all told," said Jan Klincewicz, who helped his 87-year-old mother, Jisele, through the process.  "To have to go through that kind of rigmarole to exercise her right to vote I think is excessive."

Pennsylvania is one of five states that will have a strict photo ID law in effect for the 2012 election.  Kansas and Tennessee approved similar laws last year.  Georgia and Indiana have required voters to present government-issued photo IDs at the polls since 2005 and 2007, respectively.

Proponents of the law argue that the IDs prevent voter fraud.  Opponents claim it presents a burden so large that the ID requirement will effectively disenfranchise thousands of voters.  How many thousands of voters is hotly disputed.

In Pennsylvania, where 20 electoral votes are up for grabs on Nov. 6, the State Department estimated about 90,000 eligible voters may not have the required form of ID to vote.  The American Civil Liberties Union, which is challenging the law in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week, claims as many as 759,000 voters lack a valid ID for voting.

Since Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett signed the law in March, the state has issued about 7,200 non-driver ID cards solely for the purpose of voting, according to the state's Department of Transportation, which issues the IDs.  But for the tens of thousands of voters who, according to conservative estimates, still lack the ID, the transportation, verification and mobilization barriers that stand between them and that voting requirement are significant.

Many of those ID-less voters are very old or in nursing homes, and have limited mobility and few ways to get to a driver's license issuing center, said Nicole Berner, associate general counsel at the Service Employees International Union.  Many others, whether they are homeless, living with their parents or simply not named on a lease or utility account, do not have the required documents to prove their address, she added.

"Most of these people are on the margins of society," Berner said, "but they still clearly have the right to vote."

Eligible voters who don't have an original copy of their birth certificate have to make two trips to the Department of Motor Vehicles, which for residents in rural northern Pennsylvania may be up to 30 miles away; once there, wait times average 59 minutes.

Voters lacking a Social Security card have to truck over to the Social Security office, where wait times vary from 15 minutes to an hour, and apply for a replacement card, which takes two to three days to receive in the mail, before making that first trip to the DMV.

"It's long lines and it's multiple trips," Berner said, adding that many people she has encountered "are just becoming demoralized and saying 'I'm just not going to vote.'"

But the state argues that after a $5 million ad campaign -- funded entirely from federal voter education grants -- a toll-free information hotline and ample documents posted online, voters should be informed and aware of the requirements.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug282012

President Obama to Supporters: 'Don’t Boo' the RNC, 'Vote'

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages(FORT COLLINS, Colo.) -- As Republicans began their first night of convention speakers, President Obama told supporters his opponents will put on an “entertaining” show in Tampa with lots of glitz, but little substance.

“The show in Tampa I’m sure will be very entertaining and I’m sure they’ll have wonderful things to say about me,” Obama jokingly said at Colorado State University. “It will be well-produced. You know, they’ve hired all kinds of fancy TV producers … The only problem is it won’t offer a path forward.”

The crowd of roughly 13,000 started to boo as the president mentioned the GOP convention.

“Don’t boo. Vote,” he replied, which brought cheers. “That’s the best response. Vote and get some of your friends to vote.”

Continuing to woo young voters, the president warned his supporters that Republicans are feeding them a “diet of cynicism,” hoping they get discouraged and don’t show up at the polls.

His opponents, Obama said, are “telling you change isn’t possible. You can’t make a difference. You won’t be able to close the gap between life as it is and the life that we imagine for each other.”

With 70 days till the election, Obama urged: “Don’t listen to the cynics. Don’t listen to the naysayers.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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