Clinton, Springsteen rally blue collar Ohio for Obama
October 18th, 2012
02:04 PM ET
2 years ago

Clinton, Springsteen rally blue collar Ohio for Obama

Parma, Ohio (CNN) - President Obama has concentrated his recent visits to Ohio on college towns, densely-populated Democratic strongholds where his campaign can shuttle big crowds of students directly from a rally to an early voting location.

But two of the president's most famous supporters campaigned for him on different turf on Thursday.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

Bill Clinton and Bruce Springsteen hosted a rally in Parma, a mostly-white blue-collar suburb of Cleveland where General Motors is the top employer and union members sometimes vote Republican.

"This is the first time in my life I got to be the warm up act for Bruce Springsteen," Clinton joked to a crowd of roughly 3,000 supporters at Cuyahoga County Community College. "I am qualified because I was born in the U.S.A. And unlike one of the candidates for president I keep all my money here."

A succession of similarly plainspoken takedowns of Mitt Romney followed, as Clinton outlined the choice between Obama and his Republican challenger in trademark fashion.

Clinton said the decline from 8.9% unemployment in October 2011 to the 7.8% jobless rate today is "the biggest one year drop in unemployment in 17 years."

"Obama says press ahead," Clinton said. "Romney says walk away."

It was clear that Clinton had been briefed on the message of the week for Democrats, who are working to portray the former Massachusetts governor as hostile to women in a bid to reverse the Republican's recent gains among female voters.

Clinton noted that Romney once refused to take a position on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first bill signed into law by President Obama in 2009. Romney's advisers have said he would not repeal the law, but have continued to dance around the question of whether Romney would have signed the bill.

"What he wants to do is convince the moderate voters that he's a new man without explicitly disavowing a single solitary commitment he made in the two years he said he was 'severe conservative' Mitt Romney," he said.

He also attacked Romney's opposition to the federal bailout of Chrysler and General Motors, a measure overwhelmingly backed by voters in Ohio, where one out of eight jobs are linked to the auto industry.

"I love Ohio," Clinton said. "It's an old school place. We like our families, we like our communities, we value our personal loyalty … The president had your back. You got to have his back now."

Springsteen took the stage after Clinton and joked that following the ex-president was like "going on after Elvis."

"I will now be going into President Obama's policies but in greater depth than President Clinton," he chuckled. "No, I don't think so."

He played an acoustic set that included "Youngstown," an ode to the northeastern Ohio manufacturing town, and a new ditty called "Forward And Away We Go," a theme song he said he penned for the president's re-election bid.

Later Thursday, Clinton will travel south to the Steubenville area – another white, working class region of the state - for another campaign event designed to drive up the early Democratic vote.

The Romney campaign has long been hesitant to attack Clinton, who polls show remains extremely popular.

But after the speech, Romney officials called attention to Clinton's admission during the speech that "we're not fixed" - as in, the economy hasn't been fixed under Obama (although the president has said repeatedly that he has more work to do on the economy).

The Romney campaign said "we can do better by creating 12 million new jobs with higher take-home pay, cutting spending to put our nation on course for a balanced budget, and actually fixing the economy."


Filed under: 2012 • Bill Clinton • Ohio • President Obama
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. HOLY TIGHY WHITIES WILLARD

    I wonder if Gov. Christie attended the event. He's a true Boss groupie.

    October 18, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  2. Nathan

    Take note right wing birthers. The guy who sang "Born In the USA" is for Obama.

    October 18, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. gr8 usa

    I might actually leave my binder to see that duo, as long as I can make it back home by 5 to make dinner for my family of course.

    October 18, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  4. Dominic

    Am happy because of tuesday dabate.let america see the radicl in republical.ples woman let vote for obama for good things to come back to america land again

    October 18, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  5. robertholt

    Bruce Springsteen is using his celebrity to endorse a political candidate. But he might be alienating his fans who support Romney. This could damage his celebrity and disappoint a lot of people. After this, he might notice a drop in his fan base. Perhaps he should just stick to entertaining. The problem with expressing your personal views is that no matter what you say, a lot of people are going to disagree with you and that’s something an entertainer doesn’t need, not to mention the disillusionment brought to many people. It can take away some of the allure and mystique a celebrity might have. There are occasions when a person should keep their opinions to themself.

    October 18, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  6. joan

    I am praying that the people will chose between truth and lies. It is amazing how so many of the Replublicans on these blogs are upset because Candy Crowley tried to move the debate along by correcting the lies of Romney. You Republicans supporters are sick people, you really want people who cannot tell the truth to be in the Whitehouse? If you think Dick Chenney and Bush was bad wait until Romney/Ryan take over. Wake up people.

    October 18, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  7. Thomas

    The one thing the GOB needs to learn ,
    you can't BS , Good art , Music , Literature and Architecture.

    You can't buy SOUL !

    October 18, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. Bessy

    Bruce is such a nice guy in person. And yes, I have met him. He has never forgotten his roots and has been very generous to his home town folks when they lost jobs due to factory layoffs, etc. He has always been there when needed. If you don't believe me, contact the folks in Freehold, NJ which is his home town. He would never sink as low as Christy has.

    October 18, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. UBS, WILLARD & THE 4000+ AMERICAN AMNESTY DEAL

    "And unlike one of the candidates for president I keep all my money here."
    ----------------------------------------------
    Goon one Bubba! Since the press is letting him off the hook in regards to his TAX EVASION, I'm glad you've got the political capital to call him out on it.

    October 18, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  10. Thomas

    The one thing the GOP needs to learn ,
    You can't BS , Good art , Music , Literature and Architecture.

    You can't buy SOUL !

    You got that Mr. David Brooks !

    October 18, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  11. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The U.S. dollar was "Born in the USA", not in the Cayman Island, Switzerland or Bermuda and Former President Bill Clinton and "The Boss" are hitting their target. Obama/Biden 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 2016.

    October 18, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. Tony

    Bruce Springsteen has made his living singing about broken down, jobless, hopeless conditions...He needs the economy to stay down, or nobody will relate to his music! Who else would he support, but Obama?

    Sounds like a good opportunity to go catch a Boss concert...And then vote for Romney!

    October 18, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. Padraig

    Why do we really care who Springsteen is supporting? So Springsteen supports Obama is that a clue for all of the people who listen to his music should vote for him. If that is the thought and the way, I will be applying for Irish citizenship.

    To Nathan – if you understood the lyrics to "Born in the USA" you would see it is more of a protest/statement song.

    October 18, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  14. A Kickin` Donkey

    If the President doesn`t win Ohio, Illinois, Pensylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan [and as far as I`m concerned Indiana & Missouri] all the white, blue collar workers will only have themeselves to blame for their continued economic decline. Their troubles started when they back REAGAN and have continued to slip over the past 30 years. Don`t be fooled anymore folks. Don`t continue to be a "Joe-The-Plumber".

    October 18, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  15. demwit

    Following Clinton was like "going on after Elvis." Yep, Elvis was a pervert too....

    October 18, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  16. Rick McDaniel

    Like all entertainers who endorse candidates.........they have little real validity as endorsees, simply because they are no more qualified than any other ordinary citizen, to make informed, intelligent decisions, about candidates.

    My pick of candidate is just as valid as Springsteen's, and indeed I believe mine is more valid, as I am not endorsing someone who has a BAD RECORD!

    October 18, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  17. Guest

    Ode to Obama – I'm going down, down, down, down down, down....

    As a born and raised Jersey Boy, this is when I have to separate my music from my politics. I wish the Boss didnt sink so low....

    ROMNEY/RYAN 2012!

    October 18, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. Canuck

    "But he might be alienating his fans who support Romney."

    I'm betting there's not many....

    October 18, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  19. Thomas

    @Tony
    Bruce Springsteen has made his living singing about broken down, jobless, hopeless conditions...He needs the economy to stay down, or nobody will relate to his music! Who else would he support, but Obama?

    Sounds like a good opportunity to go catch a Boss concert...And then vote for Romney!

    @demwit
    Following Clinton was like "going on after Elvis." Yep, Elvis was a pervert too....

    ======
    Sounds like a good opportunity to go catch a Boss concert...And then vote for Tagg .
    Since you two guys are here , could you tell me , is it true Tagg Romney is going into Anger Management class ?

    October 18, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  20. steve schroeder

    this network is the most unreliable source for politics!! is this a news network or a 24 hour ad for the anti-GOD party? Do you think people will come back to watch this crap? this is way out of control you guys do not even care if you show your ignorance!! do you think anybody is this stupid? by the way you uninformed people that believe anything this network sells you you are IGNORANT to facts!! LOOK AT YOUR OWN WALLET instead of listening to these LIARS!! IN GOD WE TRUST!!

    October 18, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  21. Dj Rhyme

    All the Hiliary Clinton voters who are still mad that Obama won needs to "stop" punishing Obama on these daily polls. You keep messing around Romney will win this thing.. and if he does well, Hiliary will never see the whitehouse again. This is frm a republican that supports Obama!

    October 18, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  22. Robert

    Springcrap is just a music salesman. Hecan't even sing well and he knows absolutely nothing about politics.

    October 18, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  23. Malory Archer

    Bruce Springsteen is using his celebrity to endorse a political candidate. But he might be alienating his fans who support Romney.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Bruce Springsteen has never made a secret about his political leanings. In fact, he demanded your hero raygun STOP using "Born in the USA" in his campaign play list because he didn't want his music associated with that brand of ideology. Didn't hurt his standing with his fans then and won't hurt it now.

    October 18, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. 200 TON HAMMER

    Rock on Mr President Clinton,and Mr Bruce SpringSteen.may Ohio College Sudents show up as one mind one heart one vision one hope Go Forward OHIO GO FORWARD you college students,and hard working middleclass familes,and hard working ladies,in every working feild are the GATE KEEPERS of november 6TH 2012.its your time too SHINE OHIO GO GO GO FORWARD FOREVER 2012 and BEYOND

    October 18, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  25. angie

    you really believe that rick you think tax evasion and owning sweat shops in china where 50 girls are cramped. in dorms is not a bad record. that sounds like a sad song

    October 18, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
1 2