ASHWAUBENON -- President Barack Obama asked supporters here Thursday to help
him win a second term, saying “we’ve got more work to do”
to strengthen the United States.
"We've come too far to turn back now," Obama
told a crowd of supporters on the tarmac of Austin Straubel International
The president was in the Green Bay area after cancelling
a planned rally earlier this week to oversee the federal response to Hurricane
Sandy. Obama referenced his tour of storm damage in New Jersey yesterday,
saying that "when disaster strikes, we see America at its best."
"There are no Democrats or Republicans during a
storm," Obama said, saying that spirit "carried us through the trials
of the last four years."
He touted the economic and military progress made during
his first term, but told the crowd he always knew repairing the damage of the
recession would take more than one year or one term.
"The middle class was getting hammered long before
the financial crisis hit," Obama said.
And while he said the "fundamental challenges"
of the 21st century are real, Obama said, "We have everything we need to
thrive in this new economy."
The president also derided GOP opponent Mitt Romney for
offering old policies as change.
“He’s saying he’s the candidate of change,” Obama said.
“Well, Wisconsin, we know what change looks like, and what the governor is
offering sure ain’t change.”
And he said that while his supporters "may be frustrated
at the pace of change ... you know what I believe."
Obama said he would never sacrifice programs Americans
depend on to provide tax breaks to millionaires, charging that wouldn't be
bipartisanship, but "surrender to the same status quo."
He said the country has a future in manufacturing and
clean energy, and that Americans could be put to work "right now"
building roads and bridges, expanding broadband telecommunications and
"Let's put Americans back to work doing the work
that needs to be done," Obama said.
Obama also said he's shown that he's willing to work with
anyone to move the country forward, but that the fights he's had with
Republicans over issues such as health care, financial reform and student loans
were "worth having."
"We don't need a partisan agenda," Obama said.
"We need a common sense agenda."
Former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, retiring U.S. Sen. Herb
Kohl and Dem Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin addressed the crowd before the
arrival of Air Force One.
Baldwin told the crowd Tuesday's election is about
"whether Wisconsin will have a senator and a president that will be a
voice for the people or ... a voice for the very powerful."
She also took a couple of shots at GOP opponent Tommy
Thompson, saying her campaign was forged around Wisconsin kitchen tables and
not "corporate boardrooms and lobbying shops."
Kohl told the crowd he believes in Baldwin so strongly
that he's donating his "nobody's senator but yours" slogan to the
"I'm giving that to Tammy Baldwin," Kohl said.
"She owns it now."
Green Bay Packers defensive back Charles Woodson also
addressed the crowd, lauding the government's response to the hurricane this
week and pledging to donate $100,000 to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts
on the East Coast.
"Next week, let's vote for the one candidate that
has everyone's best interest at heart," Woodson said.
-- By Andy Szal