A record-setting crowd of 14,000 people lined the streets in downtown Concord on Sunday to watch President Barack Obama make his final pitch to the state of New Hampshire, and he made sure to send the message that he’s not going to give up in the next four years.
"I’ve got a lot of fight left in me,” Obama said to the raucous audience, which according to a report by WMUR was the biggest for a political event in state history. He implored voters that they need a “champion in Washington” who will battle for them.
“We have come too far to push back now", he said. “We need to keep pushing forward."
Obama referenced the post-Hurricane Sandy devastation in the tri-state area as a perfect example of Americans working together toward a common goal.
“We can help them rebuild," Obama said of the folks in New York and New Jersey. “That’s what we do as Americans. We’ve seen neighbors helping neighbors."
He referenced leaders of different parties working together following the natural disaster, saying that it is that kind of spirt that has guided the United States on its improbable journey for over two centuries.
Just two days before the general election, Obama’s Republican opponent former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney took plenty of shots. He slammed Romney for saying that the Democratic policies would not create jobs when President Bill Clinton was running for president in the 1990’s.
Obama explained that the Clinton administration created 23 million new jobs.
“We know our ideas work,” he said. “They created strong and sturdy ladders into the middle class for those that are willing to carry out their responsibility."
He called Romney a “very talented salesmen” who claims he is the candidate of change.
“Changing the facts when they’re an inconvenience to your campaign – that’s not change,” Obama said.
“Change is reducing our deficit in a balanced, responsible way,” he added.
Obama told the lively crowd that they need a candidate that they can trust, to which many of his supporters shouted back, “we trust you.”
Gesturing to his head, Obama told the audience that he has the scars and the gray hair to prove that he has fought alongside the American people for four years.
He championed the power of America’s free enterprise system, which he said only works if “everybody has got a shot.”
“Our fight goes on because we know this nation can’t succeed without a growing, driving middle class,” Obama said.
Former President Clinton introduced Obama, smiling at a sea of Obama/Biden signs when he said that he worked hard four years ago during Obama’s 2008 campaign, and he is even more enthusiastic in 2012.
“(Obama) has done a good job with a difficult hand,” Clinton said, adding that in contrast, Romney has simply told Americans to “be disappointed.”
Clinton called Obama a faithful commander in chief for national security who has taken care of those in the armed forces.
“He has fought the terrorists with vigor and he has pursued diplomacy with vigor,” Clinton said, joking that Obama has a pretty solid Secretary of State, a reference to his wife Hillary Clinton.
He also compared job growth during President George W. Bush’s administration to the last four years under Obama. Clinton said that Obama added five-and-a-half million jobs to the private sector in 33 months, while Bush added 2.6 million jobs in seven years.
He mocked Bush for referring to a president as “the decider-in-chief” for the American people, asking those in attendance if someone like Romney is the kind of decider in chief they want.
Clinton also traced back to 20 years and nine months ago, when he started his campaign to become president in New Hampshire.
“It’s no secret I never tire from coming here,” he said to loud cheers. “I like to talk to people. I like to be in a place where people can look you in the eye, size you up and know what you think.”
Obama was quickly out of Concord and on to three other appearances in swing states of Florida, Ohio and Colorado.
Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Gov. John Lynch both spoke briefly about an hour before Obama and Clinton arrived.
Also in attendance were several N.H. candidates, including Maggie Hassan, Carol Shea-Porter and Ann McLane Kuster.
UPDATE: Michael Levoff, Romney campaign spokesman, offered comment after the rally:
“On Tuesday, Americans will have a clear choice between four more years of stagnation or four years of prosperity and opportunity. 23 million Americans are struggling for work and unemployment today is higher than when President Obama took office. With no rationale for re-election, President Obama has resorted to false, discredited attacks and a cynical closing message urging voters to choose ‘revenge.’ The people of New Hampshire, along with the rest of America, will choose Governor Romney’s optimistic vision for our country’s future and will vote for real change so he can get our country back on the right track.”