President Obama Officially Kicks Off Campaign
GUY RAZ, HOST:
Here at home, President Obama is out on the campaign trail today. He’s holding large-scale rallies on college campuses in Ohio and Virginia. He told the crowds he still believes in hope and change, even if it takes longer than what some expected four years ago.
(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and we’ve been through too much to turn back now.
RAZ: NPR’s Scott Horsley is traveling with the president and joins us now. Scott, today’s events, they’re billed as the president’s first official campaign rallies. How different are they from the speeches that he normally gives when he’s not officially campaigning?
SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Well, the atmospherics are a little bit different, Guy. The music’s a little louder. The crowd is a little more boisterous than a typical presidential event. And certainly, the president was more pointed today in drawing distinctions between his own agenda and that of his Republican rival Mitt Romney. He said that Romney would be a rubber stamp for the kinds of policies that Republicans in Congress have been pushing, policies, Mr. Obama says, would take the country back.
And as you heard there, he said we’ve come too far to do that. The crowd here was given blue placards that said Obama-Biden on one side and forward on the other.
RAZ: Hmm. Scott, no accident, I suppose, that the president is starting out in Ohio and Virginia?
HORSLEY: No. These are expected to be two of the most hotly contested states in November. That’s a typical role for Ohio, of course. It’s somewhat new for Virginia. But both parties are putting a lot of resources into these two states. We expect a very hard-fought campaign, both in Ohio and Virginia. And one function of rallies like this is that they serve as recruiting opportunities.
All during the warm-up in Ohio, for example, the volunteers were urging people in the crowd to sign up, send a text
You can read the rest of this article at:: http://www.npr.org/2012/05/05/152100914/president-obama-officially-kicks-off-campaign
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