Obama: ‘I wasn’t living large’
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) – Between Mike Huckabee’s working-class upbringing and John Edwards’ son-of-a-millworker bio, it’s tough for a candidate to come out on top in the humble roots contest this campaign season. On Friday, Barack Obama gave it his latest shot.
He told union workers at a campaign event in Las Vegas how, as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, he had lived on $12,000 a year.
"I wasn't living large," Obama told the crowd. "I had an old, beat-up car, had a little, tiny beat-up apartment. I was wearing raggedy, beat-up clothes. I got holes in the shoes, had holes in my car. You all've been there. You know what I'm talking about."
On the trail, Obama often tells voters about his early career as a community organizer, and the student loans that he and his wife Michelle have only recently paid off.
The Illinois senator was addressing packed room of members of the Culinary Workers Union Local 226, a union that has recently backed Obama.
Before the rally began, the crowd erupted into chants of "si, se puede"—or "yes, we can," which has become a common line in Obama's stump speech.
Obama even incorporated the Spanish version in his closing comments.
"Together we will begin the next great chapter in American history starting with those three words: Si se puede! Si se puede! Si se puede! Si se puede! Let's go change America!"
–CNN's Chris Welch