President Obama dared young voters at a rally in Wisconsin to get involved in his fight to prevent a “blood-letting” for Democrats in November.
With just five weeks until the midterm elections and early voting already underway in some races, Obama sought to rally the young surge voters who propelled him to office, eviscerating Republicans at a Democratic National Committee (DNC) rally at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
“We are bringing about change, and progress is gonna come but you gotta stick with me,” Obama said. “You can't lose heart. Change is gonna come.”
Obama, warning the crowd that “change is not a spectator sport,” described the enthusiasm gap shown in most polls, parroting the words of pundits who say Democratic voters are not as enthused as Republicans.
“They're saying you're apathetic, you're disappointed,” Obama said. “You're..’I'm not sure if I'm going to turn out.’”
A White House aide said that the campus police chief put the crowd estimate at 26,500 people. The Democratic National Committee circulated the figure, arguing it showed there was no "enthusiasm gap" between Democratic and Republican voters.
“We can't sit this one out,” Obama roared. “We can't let this country go backwards because we didn’t care enough to fight.”
The president, calling the students and young voters “shareholders” in his win, told the crowd that “two years ago you defied the conventional wisdom.”
“You tapped into something this country hadn't seen in a very long time,” Obama said.
Obama said the his supporters fought back when people said “a skinny kid with a funny name Barack Hussein Obama” couldn't win.
“They said no you can't!” Obama shouted. “But what did you say?”
“Yes we can!” came the reply from the crowd.
Obama spent a great deal of his remarks defending his economic policies. He blamed the crisis he inherited for the troubled economy.
And the president bashed Republicans, blaming them for impeding his desire to change Washington, where he discovered “the rawest kind of politics.”
“[Republicans are] still stuck on the same failed policies of the past,” Obama said. “Whose leaders in Congress were determined from the start to let us deal with the mess that they helped create.
“And they figured if they just sit on the sidelines and just say no and just throw bombs, and let Obama and the Democrats deal with everything, they figured they might be able to prosper at the polls. And that's what they've done over the last 20 months.”
Obama ridiculed Republicans' “Pledge to America,” telling the crowd that it was written by lobbyists for AIG and Exxon Mobil.
“You can't make this stuff up,” Obama laughed.