Obama addresses Iowa caucuses, credits them with 'change' campaign

Four years after winning the Iowa caucuses, President Obama on Tuesday credited his supporters there with helping create the change he touted in his 2008 presidential campaign.

"Think about the change that was accomplished because of those caucuses four years ago," Obama told caucus-goers in a live video stream. "Because of those caucuses we ended the war in Iraq. Because of you we've been able to end the policy of 'Don't ask, don't tell."

Obama, who also touted his healthcare reform overhaul, thanked Iowa supporters for their work in 2008 and asked them to "maintain the same determination, the same energy" for his tough reelection battle this year.

"It's going to be a big battle," he said. "I hope you guys are geared up. I'm excited."

He was addressing the Democratic caucuses where he is running unopposed as the Republican presidential candidates battled it out for in the early-caucus state. Voting began in Iowa at 8 p.m. ET.

The president, who took two questions from caucus-goers, said in some ways, he remains "more optimistic" about the hope and changed he promised when he was a presidential candidate in 2008.

"We've already seen change take place," he said. "2012 is about reminding the American people how far we've traveled."

Still, Obama added, "We've done a lot and we have a lot more to do. That's why we need four more years."

Iowa will be a swing state in 2012. Obama won it in 2008, but then-President George W. Bush took it in 2004.

During the video appearance, Obama did not stray from knocking Republicans. He said that Americans deserved a "fair shot" and criticized the GOP for supporting "tax cuts for the wealthiest among us."