Just hours after the monthly jobs report was released, President Barack Obama spoke at a rally held on the Fairfax campus, telling the lively crowd that he wanted America to keep moving forward.
“Today I believe that as a nation we are moving forward again,” Obama said. “After losing about 800,000 jobs a month when I took office, our businesses have added 5.2 million new jobs over the past 2 and a half years.
The president elaborated on many of the points made at the debate Wednesday night, including taxes, the economy and spending.
Reiterating the promise he made in 2008, Obama promised to be a president for all if re-elected.
“I’m not just fighting for Democratic jobs or Republican jobs. I’m fighting for American jobs,” Obama said.
Women and women’s issues were the clear focus of the rally. The stands on the stage behind the podium were filled with women and all but one of the opening speakers and performers were women.
“The decisions that affect women’s health aren’t up to politicians; they’re not up to insurance companies, they’re up to you,” Obama said.
Obama touted the points of his healthcare bill, which is especially pertinent to the college-age crowd, who are now legally able to stay on their parent’s health insurance until they are 26 years old.
“I don’t think a college student should have to choose between textbooks and the preventive care she needs,” Obama. said.
In response to crowd boos over running mate Mitt Romney’s promise to repeal the health care law if elected, Obama told the crowd, “Don’t boo. Vote.”
The speech was interlaced with jokes and jabs at Romney.
“For all you moms and kids out there, don’t worry, somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird,” Obama said, in response to Romney’s remarks at the debate about cutting funding to PBS.
The rally opened with speeches from women politicians voicing their support of the president, including former delegate Katherine Waddell who had previously identified herself as a life-long Republican.
Former governor Tim Kaine also spoke in support of the president, thanking him for his leadership and criticizing Romney’s plans.
“We’re not going to [balance the budget] by giving tax cuts to ExxonMobil and firing Big Bird,” Kaine said.
The university reported that 1,935 people attended the rally, which was held in the Center for the Arts.