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President Obama, Bill Clinton, Dave Matthews Visit Bristow

Crowds brave chilly night, long lines at Jiffy Lube Live for Obama's swing-state campaign stop just days before Tuesday's election.

A huge crowd braved long lines — some waiting as long as five hours — and a cold Saturday night to hear President Barack Obama make his case for reelection at a grassroots rally at Bristow’s Jiffy Lube Live amphitheater.

The campaign stop also featured former President Bill Clinton and Virginia-native Dave Matthews.

In his late-night address to the crowd, Obama cast the election as a choice between two different visions of America.

“The people who need a champion are the Americans whose letters I read late at night; the men and women I meet on the campaign trail every day,” Obama said. “It’s about the kids dreaming of becoming scientists or doctors, engineers or entrepreneurs, diplomats or even a president. They need a champion because the future will never have as many lobbyists as the past, but it’s the dreams of those children that will be our saving grace.” 

Obama, energized and showing no sign of fatigue from the hours of campaigning on Saturday, was often interrupted by the crowd with chants of “four more years.”

"After four years as president, you know me," Obama said. "So, when you're trying sort through this argument about change, part of what you have to ask yourself is, 'Who do you trust?'" 

A slightly hoarse President Clinton told the crowd President Obama deserves four more years in office for a variety of reasons from signing the Lily Ledbetter Act for equal pay to supporting Planned Parenthood.

One of those reasons, Clinton said, is that "he has fulfilled his solemn responsibility to be a good commander-in-chief," he said, citing Obama's international successes.

He also joked, "And, he has a heck of a secretary of state."

Watch both Presidents Obama and Clinton's speeches in Bristow in the media box located up and to the right. See photos from President Obama's visit to Bristow here.

About two-dozen Romney supporters gathered across the street from the rally waving signs and chanting “three more days,” to passersby. They left before the president arrived.

Some polls indicate the Virginia race is still a toss-up, but supporters of Republican challenger Mitt Romney said absentee voting trends in the state show the enthusiasm Virginians displayed for the president in 2008 has waned in this election.

Thousands in Virginia have already voted absentee and some reports indicate early voting in other states has been strong. The Obama campaign contends that its early voting advantage in battleground states will make it difficult from Romney to catch up on Election Day.

Crowd Shows Enthusiasm

There was no lack of enthusiasm in the crowd on Saturday night. Tracy Bishop and Michael Athanas made the four-and-a-half hour drive from Blacksburg to see the president. They arrived at the outdoor amphitheater at 2 p.m. Saturday, well before the doors opened at 7 p.m.

“We’re here because we support the president,” Athanas said. “Obama brought us out of war and has begun to fix the economy. Everybody forgets about how bad things were during the eight years of (President George W.) Bush.”

Monique Moody, of Gainesville, and Lynnett Harris, of Manassas, also said they were enthusiastic. “I’m supporting him because he’s moving in the right direction with jobs and the economy. Things are much better than they were four years ago.”

Harris agreed. “Everything was a mess when he took office,” Harris said. “Everybody knows that you need more than just four years to clean things up. There is an awful lot at stake in this election.”

Winchester residents Jim Micklewright and his wife Maryann Iacobucci said they turned out because they wanted to show that their support for Obama had not diminished. They both voted for him in 2008.

“We both feel a positive enthusiasm,” Micklewright said. “There is no war in Iraq and the world opinion of America has changed. Other countries have more respect for us because Obama is not about telling people to behave the way he wants them to.”

Keith Bird, a transplanted Englishman living with his family in Bristow, said he has been absorbed by the election and continues to support Obama.

“I believe in what he says and in the promises that he makes,” Bird said. “A lot of the changes that he has made are good, like what he’s done with health care and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

In 2008, Obama won Prince William County (which includes the community of Bristow) with 58 percent of total votes reported. On Sunday, Obama will swing through rallies in Concord, N.H. (with Bill Clinton); Ft. Lauderdale; Cincinnati and Aurora, Colo.

Romney will hold a rally on Monday at 12:45 p.m. Sunday at George Mason University in Fairfax City. .  

Related News: 

  • President Obama to Campaign in Prince William Saturday
Jean Hoffman November 05, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Kathy, Did you complain about George W Bush, after his leadership led to not one, but several deadly attacks on US diplomatic posts? • June 14, 2002, U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan Suicide bomber kills 12 and injures 51. • February 28, 2003, U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan Gunmen on motorcycles killed two consulate guards. • July 30, 2004, U.S. embassy in Taskkent, Uzbekistan Suicide bomber kills two. • December 6, 2004, U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Militants stormed and occupied perimeter wall. Five killed, 10 wounded. • March 2, 2006, U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan Suicide car bomber killed four, including a U.S. diplomate directly targeted by the assailants. • September 12, 2006, U.S. embassy in Damascus, Syria Gunmen attacked embassy with grenades, automatic weapons, and a car bomb. One killed and 13 wounded. • July 9, 2008, U.S. consulate in Istanbul, Turkey Armed men attacked consulate with pistols and shotguns. Three policemen killed. • September 17, 2008, U.S. embassy in Sana'a, Yemen Militants dressed as policemen attacked the embassy with RPGs, rifles, grenades and car bombs. Six Yemeni soldiers and seven civilians were killed. Sixteen more were injured. Are you just looking to score cheap political points for Romney, even after Ambassador Stevens family has pleaded that the Libya attack not be politicized? Wait for the full report to be completed, and take your meds.
Jean Hoffman November 05, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Very interesting! Residents of the states that know Romney best -- Massachusetts where he was governor and now lives, and Michigan where he was born and raised -- both strongly favor Obama, not Romney. They must know something that Romney supporters in PA don’t know! http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/president/
Jean Hoffman November 05, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Romney can’t be trusted, as Republican leaders, media and experts agree! Gen. Colin Powell, a Republican and Sec. of State under President George W. Bush: “I’m not quite sure which governor Romney we would be getting with respect to foreign policy.” http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/10/25/1086721/powell-romney-foreign-policy/?mobile=nc Politifact: 42 percent of Romney’s comments in recent months have been false, much higher than Obama’s comments. http://www.politifact.com/personalities/mitt-romney/ Salt Lake City Tribune, largest daily paper in Republican and Mormon-led Utah: “Romney (is) willing to say anything to get elected.” http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/55019844-82/romney-obama-state-president.html.csp Rick Santorum, former Republican Senator: “This is someone (Romney) who doesn’t have a core. He has been on both sides of almost every single issue in the past 10 years. “ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=av3q7-a-ayc&feature=player_embedded#! FactCheck.org: “Romney distorts facts on Jeep, auto bailout.” http://factcheck.org/2012/10/romney-distorts-facts-on-jeep-auto-bailout/ Brit Humes of Fox News: “Republicans do not trust Romney” http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/10/30/brit_hume_republicans_do_not_trust_romney.html
Jean Hoffman November 05, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Thank you, President Obama for your many achievements, despite strong Republican obstructions: + Led the killing of Osama Bin Laden. + Improved US relationships with most allies. + Directed killing of several leaders of Al Qaida. + Implemented harsh sanctions on Iran. + Brought together coalition to remove dictator Gaddhafi from power in Libya. + Implemented Obamacare to provide healthcare for millions of people who previously did not have health coverage, and to mandate several health cost-cutting measures. + Ended the discriminatory Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy in the military. + Supports same-sex marriage. + Supports the equal pay act to provide equal pay for women and men. + Led the nation out of worst recession (gotten into by Bush) in many decades. + Implemented stimulus act to revive economy. + Ended war in Iraq, an unnecessary and unbudgeted war started by George W Bush. + Began drawdown of war in Afghanistan. + Passed necessary Wall Street reform to prevent future financial collapse. + Helped turn around auto industry. + And, much, much more! FORWARD! with Obama-Biden! Not back to the Bush years
G Owans November 06, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Speaking of endorsements: Obama welcomed the Colin Powell endorsement at a rally in Richmond, Virginia. "I was proud and humbled to learn that we have Colin Powell's support in this campaign. I'm grateful to him for his lifetime of service to his country both as a soldier and as a diplomat," he told the crowd. The president earlier called Powell to thank him, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One before landing in Virginia, a battleground state where the military vote is important. "When he took over, the country was in very, very difficult straits, we were in one of the worst recessions we had seen in recent times, close to a depression ... we were in real trouble," Powell said, adding that housing market has started to pick up, the auto industry has recovered and consumer confidence is rising. Powell also criticized Romney's foreign policy as inconsistent and questioned the former Massachusetts governor's ability to address the deficit and looming defense cuts. "I'm not quite sure which Governor Romney we'd be getting with respect to foreign policy," he told CBS, calling Romney's foreign policy "a moving target." Powell, a moderate Republican, served as secretary of state under President George W. Bush. A retired four-star general, Powell was also chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under former President George H.W. Bush and was national security advisor under former President Ronald Reagan.

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