Obama Delivers Broad Campaign Message In Athens

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The president spoke to a crowd of 14,000 on College Green at the heart of Ohio University's campus Wednesday evening.

Barack Obama's half-hour speech came on the first day of campaigning after the second presidential debate.

He admitted he's “still trying to get the hang of this thing [debating]” and then went after Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

“As we saw last night, the five-point plan really boils down to one point. Folks at the very top get to play by a different set of rules,” said Obama 

Obama said he'd kept many of the campaign promises he made four years ago, like cutting taxes for middle-class families.

He called it progress the country has made under his administration.

“The unemployment rate has fallen from 10 percent to 7.8 percent,” Obama said. “Foreclosures are at their lowest in five years. Home values are on the rise. Stock market has doubled. Manufacturing is coming back. Assembly lines are putting folks back to work. That's what we’ve been fighting for. Those are the promises I’ve kept.”

Obama painted a picture for the crowd of how another four-year term would affect their lives in Southeast Ohio.

“I want to invest in companies that are building right here, in companies that are building plants, making products in Athens, in Ohio, in the United States of America,” said Obama.

Part of Obama’s message regarding the American workforce included ensuring that women receive equal pay.

He also mentioned Obamacare, the health care reform plan he championed “so that your insurance companies can't jerk you around, so that young people can stay on their parents' plan 'till they're 26, so that people with pre-existing conditions can get health insurance.”

Ted Strickland spoke before Obama. After the event, the former governor said the region is an important one for the president.

“Students are gonna be very important in this election,” Strickland said, “but it's also an attempt to demonstrate to the people of southeastern Ohio that this president is concerned about all of Ohio, not only the major metropolitan areas but the smaller communities, the rural areas as well.”

The Athens stop was the president's 16th trip to the Buckeye State since the beginning of the year.