Springsteen hitting the road for Obama

Bruce Springsteen, whose music has been the soundtrack for President Obama’s campaign rallies, will join former President Bill Clinton at a pro-Obama event in the battleground state of Ohio next Thursday.

Springsteen will also appear Thursday in Iowa, which is also a 2012 swing state, at an event for the Obama campaign.

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“Bruce Springsteen’s values echo what the President and Vice President stand for: hard work, fairness, integrity,” said Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager, in a statement Saturday.

 “His appearances will help with our get out the vote effort in these critical swing states and we are thrilled with his ongoing support,” Messina said ahead of the appearances.

The events will be free and open to the public, the campaign said.

Springsteen’s song “We Take Care of Our Own,” which appears on his 2012 album “Wrecking Ball,” has been a staple at Obama rallies, and was played at the close of Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Springsteen’s music has long explored the lives and struggles of workers, and his career has intersected with politics several times.

He appeared with then-candidate Obama during the 2008 campaign, and did events with Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) during his failed 2004 White House run.

But a repeat performance had seemed unlikely. Springsteen suggested earlier this year that he would not appear on the campaign trail for Obama in 2012.

His intersection with campaigns dates at least back to 1984, when Ronald Reagan, stumping for reelection in Springsteen’s home state of New Jersey, said America’s future “rests in the message of hope in the songs of a man so many young Americans admire: New Jersey's own Bruce Springsteen.”

Springsteen bristled at Reagan’s shout-out in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine later that year.

“I think people got a need to feel good about the country they live in. But what's happening, I think, is that that need – which is a good thing – is gettin' manipulated and exploited. And you see the Reagan reelection ads on TV – you know: 'It's morning in America.' And you say, well, it's not morning in Pittsburgh. It's not morning above 125th Street in New York. It's midnight, and, like, there's a bad moon risin',” he said.

In addition to announcing the Springsteen-Clinton event, the Obama campaign on Saturday released a new TV ad narrated by actor Morgan Freeman.

“Every president inherits challenges. Few have faced so many. Four years later, our enemies have been brought to justice, our heroes are coming home,” he states, as the ad shows news of Osama bin Laden’s death and then a soldier carrying his son.

“Assembly lines are humming again,” Freeman states to an image of vehicles on an assembly line.

“There are still challenges to meet.  Children to educate. A middle class to rebuild. But the last thing we should do is turn back now,” it concludes.

--This post was originally published at 10:52 a.m. and last updated at 3:49 p.m.