President Barack Obama was back in Cleveland Friday urging supporters to take advantage of early voting, which began Tuesday. Ideastream's Bill Rice reports the President is trying to keep his base excited in the wake of what many believe was a lackluster performance by the president in Wednesday's debate.
President Obama doesn’t miss a chance to remind supporters of the importance of actually getting to the polls on November 6th. That was his first order of business today when he greeted the thousands packed into Krenzler Field at Cleveland State University.
Obama: " Let me begin by asking: Are you registered to vote?" (Big Cheer)
And he reminded the crowd that there are just four days left to register to vote in Ohio.
The president touted the new unemployment numbers that showed a 3 thenths of a point drop in joblessness over last month - to 7.8 percent He was careful to point out that many in Ohio are still without jobs, but that the new numbers are cause for optimism.
Obama: "Today’s news should give us some encouragement. It shouldn’t be an excuse for the other side to try to talk down the economy just to score a few political points. It’s a reminder that this country has come too far to turn back now."
The President said that top-down economics that benefit the wealthy have cost the middle class. And he told the university crowd that he wants to make education and training for new jobs a top priority.
Obama: I want to help hire another 100,000 new math and science teachers. I want to make sure that anyone who wants to get retrained for a job that’s out there right now knows they've got a slot at the community college. I want to make sure that tuition is affordable for anybody that wants to go to Cleveland State, anybody that wants to go to Ohio State, anybody that wants to pursue a higher education and is willing to put the work in.
The president did call out his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, accusing him of renouncing policies during Wednesday’s debate that he had been pushing since long before the primaries.
It’s not clear if Mr. Obama has lost support after the debate Wednesday with Romney, but this crowd was still clearly behind him. Julian Kahn of Cleveland acknowledges the president could have made a better showing:
Kahn: “What can I say that hasn’t been said already? I hoped that he would have been a little more aggressive toward Mitt Romney, but we have a few more debates to fulfill those wishes. So we’ll see what happens. “
Terry Wade, also of Cleveland, says she was impressed with the President’s performance, and doesn’t think Governor Romney got the better of him.
Wade: “Absolutely not. The critics – everybody has their say, but in the end the President handled himself very well, and I believe that he won the debate, hands down.”
After the event Mr. Obama made an unscheduled appearance… at the landmark West Side market on West 25th Street, where he bought some beef jerky, pumpkin cheesecake and other items.
Bill Rice, 90.3.