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Obama Rally in Ybor City Draws Thousands of Supporters

President Barack Obama's rally was held this morning in Centennial Park.

On Thursday morning before an energized crowd of thousands of supporters, President Barack Obama made a stop at Ybor City's Centennial Park during a campaign tour that stretched from Iowa to Virginia.

After cheers from the crowd, he took the stage around 9 a.m., first thanking Tampa Bay residents for getting up early this morning to see him. Then, he joked about casting his own ballot later today.

"I'm going to stop in Chicago, and do some early voting in Chicago," Obama said. "I can't tell you who I'm voting for. It's a secret ballot. Michelle (Obama) said she's voting for me."

He moved on to address more serious matters during the "America Forward!" grassroots rally, talking about the importance of trust. He spoke between chants of "Four more years," from the crowd.

"Trust matters, and Florida, you know me," Obama said. "You know I say what I mean, and I mean what I say. We haven't finished all the work we set out to do in 2008. Every single day when I set foot in that Oval Office, I'm thinking about you. I am fighting for your families."

He told the crowd what he's accomplished after being elected in 2008, saying he upheld his promises to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," pass health care reform and preserve Medicare. He encouraged voters to compare his plan to Romney's before making a decision on the ballot.

"We've got a long way to go," Obama said, "but Florida, we've come too far to turn back now."

Both Obama and Republican candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney have campaigned strongly in Florida, considered a battleground state, with just a few weeks left before November's general election. Romney is scheduled to appear in Land O' Lakes on Saturday.

Thursday's grassroots rally, held a few days after the last presidential debate on Monday night, brought about 8,500 Obama supporters from all over Tampa Bay, according to Fire Marshal Milton Jenkins of Tampa Fire Rescue.

Some wore Obama T-shirts. Others brought their kids or stood in packs behind a metal gate to catch a glimpse of the commander in chief.

Kayshondra Baroulette of Temple Terrace said she attended the rally with hopes of hearing encouraging words from Obama.

"I believe he can make a change," she said, "and he will if he is re-elected."

Lara Jackson of St. Petersburg brought her daughter, Harper Jackson, who is 11 days old, to Thursday's rally.

"I believe it's important to protect women's rights," Jackson said before the rally began. "She believes it, too," Jackson added, pointing to her daughter.

"I'm hoping to hear what his plans are," Jackson said, "because I'm confident we'll have him for the next four years."

At the end of his 20-minute speech, Obama had a few requests for the crowd:

"Knock on some doors for me. Make some calls for me. Vote for me ... we'll win Florida again. We'll win this election again."

Did you attend the Obama rally? Tell us in the comments.

JDMcC October 26, 2012 at 01:09 PM
By the way, Fake Patriot, I am a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. I don't go around screeching and braying about it, either. If you knew me, you'd never know I'd served. I don't feel I have to wear it on my sleeve because my actions in having served my country speak for themselves. I also currently work for the military, and I served in Afghanistan alongside our troops. And I support President Obama for reelection. Is that OK with you? You think you can educate or inform someone like me about anything? Dream on. There is no concept in any subject area which someone like you could ever possibly elucidate for someone like me. You're not in the same league - not even close. So don't sit there are pretend you're more of an "American" than I am, Fake Patriot. You're NOT. Every American citizen is just as American as I am, including you. The difference between you and many others, though, is that we put our money where our mouth is, and you don't. You just sit and listen to deranged right wing propaganda commercials, stew in perpetual resentment, and mindlessly attack others whom you perceive as disagreeing with your paranoid, ill-informed perspective on life. "Patriot." Talk is cheap, dude. Even cheaper when it comes from you.
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Consider these facts before you vote: 1. Is the economy better off now than it was four years ago? Based on the evidence, I'd have to say no. Wages are down, the the prices of everything we buy is up. The price of gas has doubled. Good jobs are scarce. 2. Are the slight "up tics" in the economy a solid trend in the right direction? I don't think so. First, the gains are very slight. Second, I believe they are the result in the temporary stimulus by the Federal Reserve, in which they printed a lot of new money. It provides a slight bump now, but the cost will come later - after the election. Ben Bernanke is trying to save Obama's job, along with his own. 3. The continual misrepresentation of Romney on the auto bailout by the Obama administration. Obama appears to be taking complete credit for the bailout, while simultaneously saying that Romney was for liquidation of the auto industry. This is an absolute falsehood. It was Bush who initiated the bailout and TARP. Obama continued it and then expanded it, to his credit. However, Romney was one of the first to say that the industry needed to go through bankruptcy reorganization, and eventually they did exactly that. He also said that any needed loans should come from the private sector. He never said that the industry should be liquidated, or that he would deny federal funds if he were president, and private sector funds were not available. Obama lies! 4. The Benghazi coverup and lies.
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Tampa Bay Times and Bay News 9 Poll 10/28 Romney 51 Obama 45 Florida will be called on election night for Romney before the first commercial.
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