19 Aug 2014
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President Barack Obama Campaigns at Mentor High School

More than 4,000 supporters pack the school's gymnasium in support of the incumbent

President Barack Obama's visit to Mentor High School began with a "Go Cardinals" and ended with a request for the audience to hit the polls on election day.

"Turn out on Tuesday for me," Obama said to a gymnasium full of supporters.

According to Mentor Deputy Fire Chief Robert Searles, 4,010 people attended the President's rally. They packed lines around the school's gymnasium entrance well into the 11 a.m. hour.

Obama took the stage shortly after noon and spoke for about 29 minutes. Familiarity was a prevailing theme in his speech.

"After four years as president, you know me," he said. "You know what I believe.

"You know I will fight for you."

For examples, he cited ending the war in Iraq, the auto industry bailout and his recent declaration that responding to Hurricane Sandy is his "number one priority."

In admitting that his track record hasn't been perfect, Obama told the crowd, "We've got more work to do, Ohio."

That message resonated with Peggy Senskey of Ashtabula.

"It was exhilarating with a lot of promise," Senskey said. "Because he has hope, I have hope. That's what I got out of it."

Though Obama sternly told the crowd to stop booing his mention of opponent Mitt Romney, the president later referred to the Massachusetts governor as a "talented salesman" who cannot relate to many of their struggles. On that front, Obama promised more jobs for veterans and easier access to college funding.

"He just confirmed that he's for the people, that he knows how to get us going and keep us on track," Painesville resident Kelly Scott said.

Scott attended the rally with her husband, Benjamin, and her mother, Frances Johnson. Scott said she particularly enjoyed Obama's pledge to lessen the difficulty of obtaining school loans.

"I've got two young boys who I want to go to college, and they sure can't borrow (money) from me," Scott said.

The one similarity Obama said he shares with Romney is belonging to a wealthier tax bracket than most Americans. He said his plan would provide tax breaks for the middle class instead of people like himself.

"Folks like me and Gov. Romney … I promise you, we can afford it."

Sue Stromberg of Mentor said that statement exemplified why she supports Obama.

"I enjoyed his idea that we're all in this together," Stromberg said. "Everybody deserves their chance.

"We'll all work together."

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