President Obama held his first campaign rally on behalf of a specific candidate when he traveled just outside Washington, D.C., to help boost support for Maryland’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Anthony Brown.
Brown, the current lieutenant governor, is locked in a surprisingly tight race against Republican Larry Hogan despite the state’s strong Democratic Brown has stumbled in recent weeks defending his role in the state’s botched health care rollout, and his team sought the White House’s help in the closing weeks.
“Anthony Brown has not just devoted his career to fighting for you; he’s devoted his entire life to fighting for you. And that’s what this election’s all about: who is going to fight for you,” Mr. Obama said.
In a jam-packed gymnasium, Mr. Obama urged the mostly African-American crowd of 8,000 to shake off any midterm malaise and show up on Nov. 4 to put Mr. Brown in the governor’s mansion.
“There are no excuses. The future is up to us,” the president said, his voice rising above the roar of the enthusiastic crowd. “If you want better policies out of Washington, you’ve got to vote for them. If you want better policies in Maryland, you have to go vote for them.”
At one point a heckler who appeared to be protesting against deportations of immigrants in the U.S. illegally, interrupted him. Though the crowd sought to drown out the protester with boos, Mr. Obama addressed the issue
“I’m actually for immigration reform, and the reason we haven’t done immigration reform is because Congress, congressional Republicans in the House of Representatives have been blocking immigration reform,” the president said. “Of course you should be protesting the folks who are blocking it, but that’s okay.”
He also urged voters to reject the “cynicism” he says Republicans are peddling in an effort to keep voters home.
This first campaign rally was followed by a trip to Chicago, where Obama was headlining a rally for Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. The Democrat is running for re-election in Obama’s home state.
President Barack Obama says Republicans want what’s best for America, but just have bad ideas that they keep recycling. Moreover, Obama says Republicans always say no to ideas that would help the middle class. He’s singling out fair pay, education and a proposed minimum wage hike.