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Obama Rally at Kent State Touches on Themes of Opportunity, Success (VIDEO)

Kent campaign stop one of two on college campuses in Northeast Ohio.

Some came to hear about the president's views on Medicare, Social Security, or women's healthcare.

Some merely wished to see a sitting president in the flesh.

But all braved a steady downpour on Wednesday to see the President Barack Obama speak at Kent State University.

Obama came on stage shortly after 5:30 p.m. "Hello Kent State! Go Flashes!" he called to the roaring crowd.

His remarks began by touching on themes of opportunity and success for the middle class.

"This country succeeds when the middle class is growing, when there are ladders of opportunity for all people," he said. "We all believe that anybody is entitled to success in this country. Everybody’s got to work hard."

The president also told the audience that U.S jobs and the positioning of the U.S. economy in the global economy is at stake in the Nov. 6 election.

"I want to make sure we're providing tax breaks for companies right here in America," Obama said.

While the president campaigned in Kent — he spent the morning at Bowling Green State University — his opponent, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, wrapped up a third day of traveling across Ohio with a stop in Bedford Heights near Cleveland.

Traditionally a swing state, Ohio could once again play a pivotal role in the election and as a result has drawn the attention of the candidates with Election Day just 41 days away.

Washington Post poll published Tuesday shows Obama has a lead in the Buckeye state over Romney. Obama is leading Romney in Ohio by 52 percent to 44 percent, according to the Post.

As she stood in the rain early Wednesday afternoon, Carol Valeri, a retiree from Ravenna, said she hoped to hear Obama talk about Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

“There has to be some changes in Social Security, but not like what Mitt Romney wants to do," she said. "I’d like him to be more specific about what he would cut and how he would do that.”

But it was all about women's health care for retiree, Marsha Schumacher, of Alliance.

"I want to hear him talk about what his policies, how they will affect women. … Women making their own decisions about their own medical needs is very important. I think President Obama will ensure women have the right to make their own decisions about their own bodies. I’d like to hear him talk about that today.”

At the other end of the spectrum was students just hoping to get a look at the president. 

“I never met a president before. I’m sick, my nose is running, my throat hurts. Once I get in there, it will be worth it, but right now I just don’t feel good,”said Kent student Kendra Landfair, who waited in line in the rain.

Landfair hoped to hear what the president had to say about tuition, as did fellow Kent student Leah Kushmaul.

“I want to hear him talk about the financial aid situation because I know Romney’s big on decreasing giving financial aid," she said. "And I don’t think that’s a good idea.” 

A poll published by the Plain Dealer earlier this week also showed Obama leading Romney.

The Plain Dealer's poll showed a lead of five points for Obama. Similar results were revealed in recent presidential polls done by Ohio newspapers and other media.

At Kent State's Memorial and Convocation Center -- commonly called the MACC -- the president's visit on Wednesday drew huge crowds despite lousy weather.

Speakers at the event included U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, who represents District 17, who told the crowd that the president was counting on Kent and Portage County to win the election.

Ryan pointed to the federal investment in downtown Kent and asked the crowd, "Are you better off now than four years ago?" 

He also pointed to the benefits students enjoy through federal programs. Pell Grants, federal student loans make you "the future job creators," not mooches, Ryan said.

Speaking to the audience, Kent State University USG director Evan Gildenblatt said Obama's message is one of hope, not fear. He exhorted the audience, "We have changed the world, Kent State!"

Thousands of supporters turned out Monday to get a ticket for the event. While local officials fretted over the potential cost of the presidential visit.

A liberal arts college, Kent State is the second largest public university in Ohio with a total 42,513 students enrolled for classes this fall. Kent is home to a largely Democratic voter base.

Paul September 28, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Linda, the following is directly from Obama. 49.9 million -- The number of uninsured Americans in 2010. That's 16.3% of the total population. 16.3% is not even close to a majority.
Linda UmBayemake September 28, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Add un-insured with the under insured, how many do you. Being under insured is practically the same as un-insured. What is the stats on working americans? Do you ever look at the Census records, try it you might like it. As far as my education is concerned, I got a very good education not like some people that do not understand how to research what they are being told. The health care problem has been out here long before the President brought it up. But you are going to try and pick apart me. Learn how to read first, GO to the library there are several in Portage County. Go to government documents which is in the library, do some actual research then come talk to me before you attempt to insult me or my education and especially my professor. Young man you best check yourself before you try to argue what you obvious only heard from a sixth grade level newspaper.
Linda UmBayemake September 28, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Pottery class or fashion class, Was that your major?
Paul September 28, 2012 at 02:47 AM
Nearly half of U.S. adults, 81 million people, were either underinsured or uninsured in 2010, up from 75 million in 2007 and 61 million in 2003. Actually Linda, MBA from The Ohio State. Obamacare is unsustainable and will push the US closer to financial ruin. Just like Social Security was never meant as a main source for retirement income. It was designed to supplement what we saved ourselves.
Eileen Fischer September 28, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Every American no matter what party deserves being told the truth! This president and his administration has lied or covered up the Terror attack that killed four American Patriots! Then continued to lie for two weeks. They knew within 24 hours that it was a terror attack that was planed and executed with great skill. Do they think the American public are stupid? They really expected us to believe it was a spontaneous demonstration? If I were Carney, I'd quit my job before I told another lie for Obama! Obama has made Carney look like a fool along with Rice as they continued saying it was spontaneous over a movie. Anyone with common sense knew exactly what it was when it happened. Our own administration made things worse over there by insisting it was a movie clip, they only added fuel to an already burning bonfire. The familes of those killed deserve to know the truth as does every American. I would not believe another word this president or his administration says. They have proved they are liars!
Eileen Fischer September 28, 2012 at 03:45 AM
@Linda Umbayemake To answer your question:" What is wrong with people that think 3.5 years is enough time to fix things that took twice that amount of time to mess it up." I believe it was Obama who said "I will do it in 2 years and if not, I will be a one term President." Check out his pledges and what he's done or not done. http://jon-ewall.hubpages.com/hub/barakobamacampaignpromises
Adam Douglas September 28, 2012 at 04:21 AM
We can't SOLELY blame any president (Republican or Democrat) for crappy government. Let's not forget our horrible federal legislators. And our state and local "leadership". We often blame the federal government for things that are decided by people whose names and records most of us don't even know. How many of us know the voting histories and actions of our governors, state senators, county commissioners, and local school board members? Collectively, these people control far more tax money than the president. They have greater influence on our day to day lives. Look it up if you doubt me. If you really want things to get better in your community and your individual lives, get to know the candidates at EVERY level of government.
Adam C. Miller September 28, 2012 at 11:35 AM
Cleveland Reppin' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpAOwJvTOio&feature=youtu.be
MZ September 28, 2012 at 11:43 AM
Linda, based on your clear understanding of economics (from the hard teacher at Kent) perhaps you can tell us how long it should take to "turn this mess around?" In addition, what economic policies lead to the "mess" and which economic policies of the current administration will (eventually, but longer than 3.5 years) take to get us out of the mess? Linda, based on your expertise in economics, if you had a chance to give Obama advise on the economy, is there anything you would suggest he do differently? It is nice to have an expert to ask these tough economic questions to. I appreciate your time and look forward to your responses.
Watts September 30, 2012 at 08:25 AM
I hope that you realize that it is people like you that are the reason that conservatives get labeled as racists. And this isn't the only time that you made the Obama/monkey reference or how about the classic opening post that you got in on this thread: http://stow.patch.com/articles/barack-obama-s-kent-stop-may-not-prove-costly-to-city#comments "Property values are going to drop further in kent as soon as he enters the city." This isn't dog whistle "coded" racism, these is plain and simple old school racist references. And do you know why the racism tag gets hung on the necks of all conservatives, even when it is just a few who probably think this way? It is because of their inaction to say anything about it, to pass by instead of condemning it, as if in silent agreement. Whatever cause that you think that you are furthering by posting comments like this, I would like to think that we have advanced as a society, to the point where these type of comments do nothing but put off most people nowadays.
jiim may September 30, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Doesnt have anything to do with race. Hes scum period. I cant help he looks like curious george, he also looks like opie. Oh by the way opie is white
Linda UmBayemake September 30, 2012 at 03:34 PM
YOUR SELF ESTEEM MUST BE VERY LOW TO INSULT THE PRESIDENT OF THE USA. HE IS IN THE TOP OFFICE OF THE WORLD. CAN YOU REACH THAT PLATEAU OR EVEN DREAM THAT HIGH. WHY BRING CURIOUS GEORGE IN THIS WHEN HE WAS VERY IMPORTANT IN CHILDREN'S LITERATURE OR OPIE WHO IS A CLASSIC IN AMERICA'S TELEVISION PROGRAMMING. THERE IS A PLACE YOU CAN GET A LITTLE HELP GO TO COLEMAN PROFESSIONAL SERVICES ON RHODES ROAD OR THERE IS AN OFFICE IN RAVENNA IF THAT IS CLOSER TO YOU.
Watts September 30, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Sorry, you are not getting off the hook for making racist comments. There is nobody who could be that ignorant to be posting that stuff and not recognize their racist history. Own up to it. It isn't as if you were afraid to say them in the first place. It isn't as if anybody reading them doesn't recognize that they were racist comments. Are you now suddenly going to try back peddle and not proudly own up to your racist beliefs?
Watts September 30, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Or how did I miss this thinly veiled reference to the imprisonment rate of African Americans in the US: http://stow.patch.com/articles/reports-obama-coming-to-kent#comments "He'll stop and visit his relatives in jail" So, is there anybody on here, with a history of conservative posts, who is going to step in here and comment on your ideological brethren's racist comments? Here is your chance to not be the racist party. Realize that not being racist is more than just not posting stuff like this or sitting silently by while people who represent your cause say things like this. It is coming out and being public that you do not personally accept this type of racist objectification of anybody.
jiim may September 30, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Linda and watt, god told me to be the better person and forgive your comments. I forgot, religion is for weak minded people who cant think for themselves.
Watts September 30, 2012 at 11:58 PM
You are obviously a lost cause. Trust me when I say that anybody who personally knows who you actually are, who also reads your comments, is embarrassed for you.
Watts October 01, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Most racists that I have met seem to think like you. Just because you may not be burning crosses on somebody's yard, doesn't meen that you aren't racist. There isn't a single, logical justification for a non-racist person to be posting racist comments.
Watts October 01, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Again, are there any conservative contributors who are willing to condemn jiim may's racist posts? Here is your chance not to be labeled the racist party, by showing that you can at least do this. This couldn't be any easier. All that you need to do is come out against somebody who continuously uses racial objectification in their posts on here.
Paul October 01, 2012 at 11:32 PM
On behalf of all Republicans we do not Jiiim's viewpoints. Republicans are better educated than that. He is obviously a Democratic Party plant to try and make the Republican Party look bad. Epic fail !!!!!!
Paul October 01, 2012 at 11:34 PM
My Grandma used to say to me "grandson do you know what a Republican is? I said no Grandma, she said a Republican is just an educated Democrat"
Watts October 01, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Not too stupid to recognize pure racism, which you obviously have a hard time recognizing in yourself. I have called you out with numerous examples and that was stuff I was able to find with only about two minutes of looking at your posts, so I am sure that you have a long history of racist posts on here. I am sure that the occasional post here and there may get skipped or offhandedly dismissed by the casual readers here, but when you start to organize them, as I did, these are not bad judgement calls that slipped through. This is a pattern of racist posts on here. You can call me a moron or any other little insult that you want to hurl, because my posts obviously show that this is not the case. Unlike when I point out that you are a racist and I have provided a series of recent posts showing your history of racism on here.
Paul October 02, 2012 at 12:07 AM
Let's add spelling onto that to do list as well. Less time making clothes from white sheets and more time studying may prove beneficial.
bob lang October 02, 2012 at 12:08 AM
who do you consider to be part of the legal citizenry?
jiim may October 02, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Spelling?? Let go back three message ago. Tell me whats wrong with your message????
Watts October 02, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Your ignorance on the issue is overwhelming. A person of mixed heritage can determine how they self-identify. Obama identifies himself as Black on his census; hence he is black. To hear you try to wiggle out of this, is very strange. You obviously are racist and you have had no problem posting racist stuff on here, so why are you now trying to pretend that you are not? Up until the point that I really called you out for this, you seemed very proud to be the racist, conservative poster-boy on here. What happened to you between when you posted this stuff just days ago and now, that has you trying to find a way around admitting that you are racist? People who are not racists...guess what they don't do...they don't make racist, public posts on the internet. Only racists make racist posts.
Paul October 02, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Watts, this is 1 point I would differ on opinion with. President Obama is in fact Bi-Racial. There is a distinct difference. Even today there is significant prejudice from both the African American community and the White community. To be truthful President Obama is in fact our 1st Bi-Racial President. We to date have not had an African American President. I would say the word "black" was most certainly used to wins votes at some point.
Kaye Spector (Editor) October 02, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Folks, comments have been deleted here and a user suspended because of attacks on others in this thread.
Watts October 02, 2012 at 05:18 AM
@Paul I agree that Obama is bi-racial, but just as one of my best friend's who is bi-racial (Israeli mother and Vietnamese father), chooses to self identify as Asian on forms, Obama self identifies as Black. And because of his physical attributes and this self identification, we have all had to endure years of everything from racially intolerant innuendo to white supremacist racially based hate toward the President. You may have noticed that until the last couple of years (well after Obama was elected president) there was no "bi-racial" option on forms like the US census. This forced people to make the decision of which race to identify as. So it had nothing to do with winning votes, as much as Barak Obama has self identified as black for his whole life. The notion that Barack Obama is not black, but is something other, goes down another slipery slope. If Michelle Obama is black and Barack Obama is not allowed to be black because of mixed race parents, then by default that logic would imply that his children could not claim to be black, because their father was something other than black. Now it becomes more apparent why this falls apart, because from white owners having raped black slaves, to all sorts of generational mixing over the centuries, using this logic would mean that millions of people could never claim any race because of some biracial mix in the family tree. Then you would get into racial purity tests and I am sure that you know who was a fan of that.
Juliet Shreve October 02, 2012 at 08:21 PM
no way sorry we need the best for the nation Obama is it and he is more concern for us
Juliet Shreve October 02, 2012 at 08:22 PM
me two billion time

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