October 11th, 2008
05:05 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama needs 75 percent turnout in Philadelphia, says Rendell

The Pennsylvania governor stumped for Obama in Philadelphia Saturday.
The Pennsylvania governor stumped for Obama in Philadelphia Saturday.

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Barack Obama and his band of Pennsylvania pols criss-crossed Philadelphia Saturday in an effort to drive up turnout in a city where Obama needs big margins to win the state next month.

“Senator Obama has done everything he could to bring us to this point. For two years he’s campaigned across the length and breadth of this country and he’s done a great job,” Governor Ed Rendell told a mostly African-American crowd in north Philadelphia. “In the primary, only 53 percent of the registered voters in Philadelphia turned out. Twenty-four days from today, 53 percent will not cut it. It will not cut it if we want to make sure that Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States. We need to turn out at least 75 percent.”

The homage to the Philadelphia Phillies and requisite cheese steak references aside, Obama stuck to the economic populist stump speech he’s delivered in various battleground states since the financial crisis began.

“We need policies that grow our economy from the bottom-up, so that every American, everywhere has the chance to get ahead,” Obama told residents in Germantown, a Northwest Philadelphia neighborhood. “These are the Americans I’m standing for. These are the folks I’m fighting for. The cops, the teachers, the guys who pick up the garbage, the folks who are mopping the floors at night, the people who are starting a small business the barber shop owner, the hardware store owner, that’s the kind of leadership I’m offering. That’s what I mean when I’m talking about change.

Obama drew thousands at four stops in distinct sections of the city. Crowds jammed his motorcade route screaming, waving and occasionally running in between the cars, creating havoc.

Rendell and Michael Nutter, the city’s mayor, had long advocated for a full day of fast-paced, grassroots campaigning.

“No question the mayor and I were clamoring to get into Philadelphia and we were clamoring to do this type of day. We had a little bit of a tug with Chicago,” Rendell told reporters, referencing Obama headquarters and citing Secret Service concerns and demands on the candidate’s time. “It’s challenging. But we thought it was worth it, the buzz it will create. Everyone in Germantown will know before they go to sleep tonight that Barack Obama was in Vernon Park … that’s very meaningful, Barack where we live.”

“I think Chicago is pretty happy,” Nutter added. Obama campaign aides said they had always planned a day of Philadelphia centered events.

Both Nutter and Rendell were avid supporters of Senator Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primary race, and skeptical of Obama’s chances statewide should he be the nominee. While Rendell said he is now confident Obama will take Pennsylvania next month he offered a word of caution.

“I think it’s a very very fluid election. I think this changes from literally day to day,” he said. “With 24 days to go and a lot of stuff supposedly left to come out, the Republicans, as Senator Obama said, it’s like throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks who knows what’s out there. My message to all of us … we can’t be over confident for one second. When that 15 point poll came out I shuddered because I don’t believe for a minute we’re 15 points up and we’ve just got to be ready to do everything we can. It’s too important for us to take this for granted.”

soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Karen - Tired of McCain/Palin

    Obama will get the 75 percent he need to take Philadelphia... NO WORRIES!

    October 11, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  2. New Day

    you want 75%??? offer them a chase utley autographed photo if they vote. :-D hehehehe

    October 11, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    When will we get more info on the CURRENT and on-going friendship of McCain and G. Gordon Liddy – the guy from watergate that worked to subvert our Constitution? I know he was buddy buddy on Liddy's talk show last November.

    When will we get those details?

    And send the pitbull back to alaska where she can be impeached for abuse of power.

    October 11, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  4. Dave

    I'm so glad someone has a positive message out there.

    October 11, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  5. You sure about that?

    "For two years he’s campaigned across the length and breadth of this country and he’s done a great job"

    and isn't it funny that he was elected into office THREE years ago?

    to help the math challenged that means he was only in the senate for a year before he started campaigning to be president. So now I have to ask whether or not those 2 years he's been campaigning actually count towards his "experience"

    October 11, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  6. Diana Ewing NJ

    Obama needs us all to turn out... and give our vote.. and if you are McCain supporters he needs your vote too.
    Don't sit on your rear and wish for the best... you have a right to have a voice, use it.

    October 11, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  7. joe

    Thank You Rendell. I know you like Clintons, but we love you too.
    We need Barack Obama, the next President of united states Of America!

    October 11, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. Michael Jack

    Yes my PA family voted for Bush and now
    will vote Obama,That's so cool!

    October 11, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  9. S. Boatman

    All Of Up Who Support Obama Need To Vote No Matter What! Dont Be Complacent! Its Not Over Until We Vote For Obama! Thats The Only Way To Send Mccain Packing!

    October 11, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  10. JD in NC

    Regardless of the margin, Republicans will attack it. If he squeaks by, they'll demand recounts. If it is a landslide, they'll claim it was fraud.

    They can handle eight years of Bush policies on war, torture, ecoconomics, domestic spying..., but not the idea of Obama winning legitimately. Scary.

    October 11, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. Cathy Agu

    This is the new energy this country needs.

    October 11, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  12. Chris from NY

    Governor Rendell is absolutely right. We can't take anything for granted. We should continue to work until Nov 4. Vote Obama on Nov 4 and take someone esle with you.

    October 11, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  13. Robert Crowley

    He is right, we must have the largest African American turnout in the history of the Country to insure Obama wins. Not only in Phil but across the country.

    October 11, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  14. gwen

    I grew up in Milwaukee, Wi during the sixties and some of the comments from people in the crowds in Waukesha, Wi were upsetting. They reminded me of the violence and racial hatred that was displayed duing the open housing marches of the late 1960's.
    I really think that Sarah Palin is aware and has been coached on the code words to use to get the loudest and most violent crowd reations.
    mccain-palin is truly running an ulgy campaign.

    October 11, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  15. linda from South Dakota

    barack obama will get that percentage,,,,,, people NOW know that mccain/palin lie,, and go way over-board to get what they want,,,their behavior through-out this campaign has been so terrble on their part,, they slam obama,, obama only comes back once then he moves on,, mccain has no conscience,, no honor if he treats his opponent this way,,,,, retire mccain,,, before you do more harm,,,,

    October 11, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  16. skipbroadwaypuleeze

    Republican's, All they have left is to slander.
    George W.Bush single handedly ruined this country
    in the last 8 years in every way possible so they can't
    use him to root for them .
    I'ts crazy the President still in power and from their
    party cannot represent them in a positive way.

    Who want's more of this?

    October 11, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  17. A Joe six pack

    Its not over until its over, until the fat lady sings, until every single Obama supporter votes. If we dont vote, all the money donated, volunteers, speeches, buttons, bumper stickers, sign yards, online postings, etc will be worth nothing

    October 11, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  18. Ralph Beavers

    I was raised republican; I come from a very long line of Republicans. I am ashamed of the low life below the Belt tactics of the people who are running on the Republican Ticket. I think they ought to come clean with the Board or they should shut up and go Home!!!

    October 11, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  19. Black and White for Obama

    Thanks everyone. May God bless you.

    October 11, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  20. No Hillary = No Obama

    With ACORN and these other fraudulant operations padding the voter registrations, they should call in federal marshals to check and double check the authenticity of voters. Leave it to Obama stooges to corrupt the election.

    October 11, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  21. Don McCain

    Ofcaurse he'll get more than that..........as long as OBAMA stay positive
    he'll be fine.

    McCain has dig his own grave.....choosing Palin, if he had choose
    rosie o'donald he would have shot to win this election.

    -Don

    October 11, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  22. SB in NoVA

    Let's go Philly!!! Let's go PA!!

    YES WE CAN!!!!

    October 11, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  23. bear

    All muslim must vote for oBAMA AND GIVE MONEY.

    October 11, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  24. WE ARE ONE!

    McCain is just now getting mad... yet he wasn't mad earlier in the week when Palin was inciting the crowds. Today Palin is not mentioning Ayers but only sticking to the issues.... It wasn't until Friday when the report was coming out about Palin, that McCain decided to quiet down the crowds because McCain didn't want the Democratic Party going after Palin and her abuse of power in firing an innocent man. The Republican party wanted the report about Palin not to be an issue and if it became an issue, they would say "SEE MCcain denounce the racist remarks about Obama. I wonder if the report had come out positive about Palin would McCain have denounce the negavity because he didn't denounce it earlier it the week. Listen my fellow Americans, the Republican party is the most crafted party at trying to switch things in their favor.. BE WARE OF WOLVES IN SHEEP CLOTHING… McCain / Palin wear their coats very well but we are onto you McCain tactics. Obama should definitely NOT apologize for Lewis because Lewis is right. McCain and Palin incited racism and brought back the 60's of the south. McCain/Palin put Obama's life even more in danger and showed no remorse. My fellow American's let's show them we can come together as one.

    October 11, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  25. Janet American Abroad

    My old home town of Philly – Love from Abroad!

    October 11, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
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