President Obama didn't hold back when talking his opponent, Mitt Romney, during a thirty five minute speech he gave on the Ohio University campus, the first of two major political rallies on Saturday that are meant to be the kickoff of his reelection campaign.
Obama attacked Romney's "corporations are people" line, and focused much of the speech on Romney's economic policies. “I don’t care how many times you try to explain it – Corporations aren’t people. People are people,” President Obama said.
“Gov. Romney has much to be proud of," he said. "He’s run a large financial firm and a state. But I think he’s taken the wrong lessons from those experiences. He sincerely believes that if CEOs and wealthy investors make money, the rest of us will automatically prosper as well." The president went on to call the election "a make or break moment for the middle class."
“He has drawn the wrong lessons from [his] experiences, he sincerely believes that if CEOs and … investors prosper we all prosper as well. … Harder work has not led to higher incomes. Governor Romney doesn’t seem to get that.”
The Ohio arena wasn't full, as Politico points out, with only about 14,000 people showing up when the arena can hold up to 18,000. While that may seem like a far cry from the rallies of the 2008 election, their numbers still stack up well next to Mitt's: a democratic official told them, "Mitt Romney’s largest crowd in the last year was 3,000."
Michelle Obama was the President's opening act, and she fired up the crowd with stories of how her father struggled to help pay for her college education, and how she also used student loans and grants to help cover the costs.
The president came out dressed in a very 2008 blue Oxford shirt with tan chinos, and still used some 2008-style rhetoric in his speech. “We are going to win this thing the old fashioned way: door by door, block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood,” he said. He also told the crowd, “It’s still about hope… It’s still about change."
He's giving his second speech of the day in Virginia, and it should be starting around 5:00 EST. You can watch that speech here.
[Update: The President is apparently running late in Virginia.]