December 21, 2014

Obama makes Milwaukee stop

President Barack Obama met with supporters at a fundraiser at the Milwaukee Theatre, and addressed a campaign rally on the lakefront, during a stop Saturday in Milwaukee.

Obama, accompanied by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, made an unscheduled stop at Usinger’s Fine Sausage, where he purchased a box of sausage. The President spent about 10 minutes inside Usinger’s, and when he left, he also had a styrofoam container. Outside of the shop, he opened it, took out a bratwurst, featuring a pretzel bun, and took a bite. After he sampled his brat, he gave a thumbs-up. He also posed for a picture with Andy Fronek , of the Milwaukee Brat House.

In this remarks at the Henry Meier Festival Grounds, the President told a story his campaign manager Jim Messina related to him. Messina met some people who had a 4-year-old son. The boy said he knew who Obama was. When asked what the President did, the boy said Obama “approves this message.”

“That’s what I do. I approve this message,” Obama said. The President said Mitt Romney believes in top down economics and tax cuts skewed toward the wealthy. “And prosperity will rain down on everybody else,” Obama said. “The problem is we just tried this . . . top down economics never works.”

AUDIO: President Barack Obama (7:35)

“We can’t get very far if we’re just writing off half the country as a bunch of victims, or presume they want to be dependent on government or take responsibility for their own lives,” he said, referring to widely circluated comments from Romney.

Obama spoke of tax cuts under the Romney plan. He said that every independent analysis of Romney’s plan shows that the middle class would have to pay more in taxes than they do now.

“Folks who can pay for it, like me, can pay more,” the President said, adding that his opponent’s math didn’t add up. “You can’t reduce the deficit if you are spending on tax cuts for folks who don’t need them.”

He said he would not slash investments in education and make young people pay more for college to pay for a tax cut for millionaires and billionaires.

AUDIO: President Obama (11:45)

He vowed that Medicare would not be a voucher program. “When it comes to Medicare, we need to reduce health-care costs. We don’t want to shift them on seniors. That’s what the voucher program will do.” Obama also vowed that he would not turn Social Security over to Wall Street.

He spoke of promises he said he kept to end the war in Iraq, to create a timetable for returning troops from Afghanistan. And he mentioned he set in motion the killing of Osama bin Laden. Obama also said said that he would continue to “sustain the strongest military the world has ever known.”

“I think after a decade of war, it’s time for us to do some nation building here at home,” the President said. Obama also made reference to comments earlier in the week about changing Washington from the inside. He said his Romney would change Washington from the inside. “What kind of inside job is he talking about?”

The president said he always made the point that change will take more than one term. He said that when he won in 2008, he mentioned that 47% did not vote for him. “I said to them, ‘I hear your voices. I will be your president, too.'”

AUDIO: President Obama (9:10) 

Messina, the campaign manager, was at the Milwaukee Theater and spoke briefly with reporters there. Messina, talking about the Romney ground game, referred to the GOP organizing effort around the Governor Scott Walker recall election in Wisconsin: “This is one where . . . because of the recall election, they test drove their car whereas in other states they haven’t. It would make sense. They’re strong here, as are we. They are stronger than McCain was in ’08, no question, on the ground. But we continue to have a strategic advantage,” because of more field offices and infrastructure.

On polls Messina said; “In all the battleground states, we continue to see all our pathways there. We’re either tied or in the lead in every battleground state 45 days out. I think you will see a tightening in the national polls going forward. What I care way more about is Ohio, Colorado, Virginia, Wisconsin, etc. In those states, I feel our pathways to victory are there. There are two different campaigns, one in the battlegrounds and one everywhere else. That’s why the national polls aren’t relevant to this campaign.”

The Obama campaign also confirmed that First Lady Michelle Obama will make a campaign stop in the state later this week, in the Appleton area.

Compiled from pool reports