Saturday, November 3rd, 2012
Obama rallies in Lima
President says latest jobs figures show economy coming back, touts U.S. auto industry
By Amy Kronenberger
Supporters of President Barack Obama cheer during a rally held Friday at Lima Se. . .
LIMA - President Barack Obama continued his re-election campaign in Lima on Friday, just four days before voters head to the poles.
He told the crowd of more than 3,000 at Lima Senior High School that America has come a long way since he took office, but there is more to do.
Obama said when he took office, America was deep into two wars, enduring the worst recession since the Great Depression and the automobile industry was on the brink of collapse.
But the economy is coming back, he said to the jovial crowd during his 30-minute speech. The war in Iraq is over and the war in Afghanistan is ending. More jobs were created in October than in the eight previous months, home values are increasing and new home construction has also gone up.
"And one more thing," added the Democrat. "The American auto industry that was written off four years ago is back and on top of the world."
Four years ago, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said to let Detroit go bankrupt, "But I stared down the naysayers and fought for you," Obama shouted over the roaring crowd.
Obama admitted change has been slow, however he promised to continue his path to bring the economy fully back.
The American auto industry is working to not only create cars, but to create better cars with twice the gas mileage than current standards, he said.
He promised to cut in half oil imports and the growth of college tuition.
"That's how you grow the economy; that's how you create jobs," he said.
Romney has been running a campaign on real change, but his changes include the trickle-down economics that lead to the economic collapse, Obama said.
"Governor Romney is a very clever salesman," he said. "But we know what change looks like, and what he's trying to sell, that's not it. ... So when I tell you I know what real change looks like, I know because I've got the scars to prove it. I've fought every step of the way for you ... I may have gotten grayer, but I am still determined."
As the crowd inside thundered its approval, a small group of people protested outside, carrying signs that asked for justice for those who died in the American embassy attack in Benghazi. Other signs read, "Americans are dead-Obama lied."
Inside the school, Obama made no reference to Benghazi, choosing instead to focus on fixing America from within. He promised to use the money saved by ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to pay down the nation's debt.
He vowed to help ensure veterans returning from war.
"Because anybody who fights for our freedom shouldn't have to fight for a job when they come home," he said.
Obama also wants to give a voice to the average American.
"They need a president who's working for them, a president who's fighting for them," he said. "That's why I'm running."
The president also made stops in Hilliard and Springfield on Friday.
Romney is touring the state also in the fleeting time before Election Day.
Air Force One landed in Lima at 3:15 p.m. and arrived at the school at 3:35 p.m. Obama staffers asked the scoreboard operator at the high school to change the numbers on the scoreboard before Obama took the stage in the basketball gymnasium.
The sign had read Home 53, Guest 47, but within minutes it read 44-44 - a nod to the nation's 44th president.
The Lima Senior pep band played the Star Spangled Banner and the student body was present for the event.
As the president greeted the crowd, he said his thoughts and prayers were with those suffering on the East Coast from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
"When we see a crisis of this proportion, it's terrible, it's sad, but we're also inspired by our decisions, by heroes running into buildings or wading through waters to save someone - neighbors helping neighbors," he said.