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Saturday, November 3, 2012

 4:58 PM 

Obama tells Milwaukee crowd he's 'not ready to give up the fight'

MILWAUKEE -- President Barack Obama took the stage at the Delta Center following a five-song set from pop singer Katy Perry, telling supporters "I'm not ready to give up the fight."

"We've got more work to do," Obama told a crowd estimated at 20,000 by officials with the Wisconsin Center District.

The president was in Milwaukee for the second of three visits to the Badger State in the final five days before Election Day. He again charged that the GOP ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan is offering change in the form of "a return to the top-down economic policies that caused our economy to crash."

"We know what works, and we know what doesn't," Obama said. "And Governor Romney, now, is a very talented salesman, and in his campaign, he's trying to repackage the same old ideas that didn't work and offer them up as change."

Obama made several other references to his GOP opponent -- including a vow not to "turn Medicare into a voucher" and to argue that tax rates for the wealthy needed to return to Clinton administration levels "if you're serious about the deficit" -- but largely focused on outside interests toward the end of his speech.

He said he ran in 2008 because lobbyists and special interests had drowned out the voices of voters in Washington, and charged that "those protectors of the status quo have fought us every step of the way."

"They engineered a strategy of gridlock in Congress. ... They figure they can outlast you," Obama said. "But Wisconsin, see, my bet is on you."

"The folks at the very top in this country don't need a champion in Washington. They'll always have a seat at the table," he added.

"The future will never have as many lobbyists as the status quo."

Perry largely steered clear of politics in her performance -- largely asking crowd members if they were "fired up" -- but did encourage attendees to donate to the Red Cross in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. She also ended her set by setting off a chant of "Four more years."

Obama is set to be back in Wisconsin Monday to headline a Madison rally with Bruce Springsteen.

-- By Andy Szal


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