A busy weekend in Columbus was capped off Sunday evening by a rally on the Ohio State campus that featured President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama stumping for Democratic support ahead of November's mid-term elections.
University police estimated that 35,000 people attended the event on the Oval, the largest crowd drawn by Obama since his inauguration, 10TV's Jason Frazer reported.
Obama's speech was intended to energize Democrats and rally them to support Gov. Ted Strickland and others in the midst of campaign battles.
"Make no mistake. This election is a choice," Obama said. "The stakes could not be greater."
Historically there has been a significant drop-off among young voters in mid-term elections, and Obama wasted no time in telling voters what could happen if Republicans won control of the Statehouse and Congress.
Health care was among the topics he discussed.
"The other side has already promised that they want to roll back health care reform so that insurance companies can go back to denying you coverage when you get sick," Obama said.
Obama also admitted that his party has work to do.
"We want to give tax cuts to the middle class," he said. "That's why we will fight efforts to privatize social security."
Accompanying the President on Sunday was first lady Michelle Obama. It was the first time the couple has campaigned together in two years, Frazer reported.
Michelle Obama spoke before her husband, saying the issues faced by the country were the same issues being faced by her daughters.
"Tonight this is about more than just politics," Michelle Obama said. "It's about whether or not we as a people can move forward."
Ohio Republicans were quick to respond to the rally and Obama's message.
Gubernatorial candidate John Kasich and his running mate, Mary Taylor, held a roundtable discussion on Sunday night that was streamed via the Internet.
They said Obama and Strickland have failed to create jobs in Ohio and resuscitate the state's broken economy.
Kasich and Taylor said it was time for a change in Ohio.
"This is all about creating jobs in Ohio, there is no two ways about it," Kasich said. "We are doing this because we want to get Ohio back to being an business friendly state, so that instead of our young people leaving and best entrepreneurs leaving to escape taxation, we want them to stay here."
Kasich and Taylor will hit the campaign trail in the next two weeks. They plan on stopping in 40 counties before Election Day.
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