Obama stops in Cleveland to promote Democrats for Election Day

Mariana Silva

“In two days you got the chance to say once again ‘yes, we can,’ and Cleveland, there is no doubt that this is a difficult election,” Obama said.

Jobs were cut, paychecks were reduced and college tuition rose before he was elected in 2008, and Obama said it is important that voters don’t forget who caused “the mess.”

“Their basic political strategy has been counting on you to have amnesia,” Obama said referring to the Republican Party. “And, Cleveland, it is up to you to let them know that we have not forgotten.”

Vice President Joe Biden, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Gov. Ted Strickland, Sen. Sherrod Brown, Lt. Gov. candidate Yvette Brown, Sen. candidate Lee Fisher and local Democrat officials spoke at the event, which attracted about 8,000 people to the Wolstein Center in Cleveland.

The Democratic event also brought celebrities to Cleveland. On the stage, entertainer Common sang to the crowd and grabbed the attention of both young and older folks. Cleveland Cavaliers coach Byron Scott also stood in the audience. 

Democratic senate candidate Lee Fisher said this is going to be a close election and one that cannot be won without Ohio. 

“You cannot win Ohio without winning Northeast Ohio. You cannot win Northeast Ohio without winning Cuyahoga County. You cannot win Cuyahoga County without winning Cleveland,” Fisher said.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland said he thinks Ohio will remain a blue state. 

“If you were to shrink America, you would end up with Ohio,” Strickland said.

Strickland said Obama and Biden have traveled across the country to rebuild America and make sure people have access to health care and higher education.

Biden said if Republican John Kasich is elected governor, Kasich will give tax breaks to companies that will take jobs out of the country. Instead, Biden said the Democratic plan is to give tax credits to small businesses and allow families to send their children to college.

“People in Cleveland are the kind of people who are the backbone of this country,” Biden said. “The kind of people who are straight forward, work hard, play by the rules and expect the other guys to play by the rules.” 

Because of Strickland, Biden said Ohio is on the path to create more jobs, make college affordable and invest in research and technology.

Christopher Shaheen, a junior finance major at John Carroll University, said he came to the rally for multiple reasons.

“I’m here because my dad has a small business and I’m a big believer of small businesses. That’s where the jobs are,” Shaheen said.

Shaheen, who came to the event with friends from John Carroll, said although he doesn’t have student loans, he is glad to know the educational system is being reconstructed. He said now students who do have to rely on loans can invest in higher education and know that they are going to be able to pay it back. 

“That’s something students should know,” Shaheen said. 

Obama said he has set the goal to make U.S. number one in the proportion of college graduates. He added that if Republicans get elected, they will cut education by 20 percent to pay for other expenses.

The President talked about how other nations, such as China and Germany, do not make cuts in education. He said he will continue to work on tax credits students can receive when attending college.

“They are not playing for second place, they are playing for first place,” Obama said. “And you know what? In the United States of America, we don’t play for second place, we don’t play for ninth place or 21st place or 25th place. We play for number one.”

Contact Mariana Silva at [email protected].