Obama campaign announces kickoff
April 25th, 2012
10:35 PM ET
8 years ago

Obama campaign announces kickoff

(CNN) – President Barack Obama will officially kick off his re-election campaign on May 5 with two rallies in the key states of Ohio and Virginia, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina announced Wednesday night.

The president will appear at both rallies with first lady Michelle Obama, first visiting The Ohio State University in Columbus before traveling to Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond in the afternoon.

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"The Republican candidates have been out there for over a year campaigning and the president's going to lay out his vision," Messina said on a conference call with reporters. "This will be a ramp-up, not a zero-to-60 moment. So we won't start doing a bunch of these rallies. These will be the first two and then we'll have more announcements about the rest of them coming up."

The president's re-election effort will begin in two states that the Obama campaign sees as critical to its success in November, Messina said, but he said the campaign will continue its efforts to expand the electoral map.

Messina and senior campaign strategist David Axelrod said these rallies would bring to an end the one-sided conversation of the GOP primary race and begin a two-way conversation between Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

"The monologue is over," Messina said. "Now Romney has to put his record and his agenda up against the president's, and we look forward to that debate."

The debate will be between Obama's record as president and Romney's record both as a businessman and as governor of Massachusetts, the campaign officials said.

Axelrod pointed to a speech Romney delivered in New Hampshire on Tuesday night in which he largely ignored his record in public office, instead emphasizing his business experience to argue he is capable of turning the economy around.

"He did turn the economy around in Massachusetts," Axelrod said. "They went from 37th in job creation to 47th in job creation. They had one of the worst records in the country of losing manufacturing jobs; wages declined by 2%. This in the midst of a better economy (than exists now)."

The Romney campaign's communications director, Gail Gitcho, released a statement arguing that the president is running away from his record.

"If President Obama's record was as good as Mitt Romney's, he'd be running on it," Gitcho said. "Instead, he is running away from it. No matter how hard President Obama tries to make this election about something else, as Mitt Romney said last night, 'It's still the economy, and we're not stupid.'"

Filed under: 2012 • President Obama
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Realistic

    Maybe Gov.Mitt Romney is not stupid but he sure sounds like he has amnesia about his job creation; especially after taking Mass. from 37th to 47th....IJS!!!

    April 25, 2012 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  2. AmericaStand

    Straight from the Democrat Plantation: "Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Penn., explained last night how unemployment could actually encourage people to vote for President Obama in order to secure welfare benefits such as food stamps." Despite the number of unemployed doubling from 8 million to 16 million, they claim their advocates of the middle class when the facts show different. They want minorities to not desire to work and become dependent on big government. This is 21st century slavery. Wake up and vote against this socialist agenda that has killed the middle class and opportunities for minorities.

    April 25, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  3. king

    Let me see, the president inherited: 2 wars, 1.3 trillion dollar deficit per year, a stick market at 6000, almost a million job lost a month, a financial crash, a 9 percent economy retraction, should I go on! Now we've gained over 4 million jobs; saving millions more from falling off the cliff, the economy is growing at a steady 2 to 3 percent, the stock market came back from a 6000 to a 13000 improvement, we've finished 1 war and rolling down the other, we stopped the 1.3 trillion manual budget deficit to 900 billion and slowly going down, weve seen 26 months of private sector jobs gain, corporations are making more money now than any time in American history. I don't think mitten really wants to run against this president record. This might not be perfect
    , but is way better than what it was. Atleast I am not seeing ghost towns every where I go any more.

    April 25, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  4. Jerry from Dallas

    Though I am RED AS IT CAN EVER BE, Obama talks of his record everywhere he goes. I may not vote for him BUT he got better record than Romney and my home boy cowboy, combined. Truth be told, he has done better in both Foreign and domestic policy.

    April 25, 2012 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  5. Leonel

    Finally the skewed rhetoric that has been spewed out by the Romney camp will be getting the much needed rebuttal that it deserves. let the debate begin.

    April 26, 2012 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  6. Investment Advisor

    So what has MR. Cool been doing if not campaigning!?!?!? And doing it on my tax dollars! Thats just wrong...terribly, terribly wrong!

    April 26, 2012 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  7. mr. awesome

    I think they missed it by a couple months

    April 26, 2012 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  8. J.V.Hodgson

    Gosh its true methinks.... very hard to get to that conclusion after the billionth ( or is it trillionth) time repeated of its:-
    "The economy and jobs" that matters by Republicans, Democrats or pundits or bloggers or whoever say.
    Now I have seen the effect of Obama policies and results so far including many efforts like AJA to make it better blocked by Republicans because tax increases were involved. Still however 25 Months of job gains ( 4.4M) in a globally diificult economic environment and some GDP growth higher than most other developed nations, but not the BRICs.
    Romney says more tax cuts which in cash terms benefit the rich 1% ( more trickle down ) and "Back to the Future" status quo on Bush II's loss to Obama 2007/8 time and policy and legisaltive wise I.e repeal all Obama stuff.

    Now we have a Romney plan, Budget wise, Ryan generated, where the cost savings will impact the poorest in medicare and medicaid entitlement cuts, spending cuts in departments and agencies ( unspecified, specify please)But break the Budget act and sequestration via defense spending increase demands
    Then guess what more tax cuts favoring the rich 1% now ( sarcastically) there is a "very severe Republican" if I ever saw one. = Take care of the 1% rich and the corporates and who are the 99%....? actually he has no idea his Bain time didn't even bring him or his wife into contact with the 99%.
    Problem is that 99% contains the most voters, and we are not going to pay for another batch of rich tax breaks!! Fool me once with the same "back to the future" idea but twice gets at least very difficult, and a third time?? No way Mr Romney sir, with respect.
    For me you can take your very severe conservatism and shove it up where I cannot mention but you can guess. Best of luck to those over 65 and between 18-25/6 and women who will vote for you. I'm over 65 and you and RYAN will not get my vote even if you flip flop completely on medicare and medicaid.

    April 26, 2012 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  9. jim rodriguez

    Obama....what a joke...worst ever....5 trillion in new debt in three years. But call GWB un patriotic for 4 trillion in 8 years....realy? What a putts, failure and loser! Worst president Ever!

    April 26, 2012 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  10. Paul Ernest Show

    We stand behind him until he wins it. This is an election between the crooked and dishonest, Darwinist GOP and the real peoples party, the Democratic party. These GOP men sleep in the pockets of big business, exploit the very poor, and indoctrinate young men and women into bigotry and racism.

    April 26, 2012 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  11. Morning1Sun

    I pray that President Obama wins the election. There is something about Romney that is not right. He is not an honest man. If he was he wouldn't hide his financial records or speak badly about the President who is trying to help the American people. The President is not a fake. He is a real human being who grew up without his real father around. I am from President's home town on Oahu. I have seen where he grew up. He did not have it like Romney. His grandparents raised him. He has no reason to ly, cheat, scheme or hurt us. Romney hurts all compassionate people who knows the President is speaking the truth. When I listen to Romney speak of the President I wonder where he gets all those nasty information because the President is the real thing. Hawaii is a carefree happy state. We love the outdoors. My brothers and son all golf, surfs and do other sports. Why would you have these things count against the President. He was brought up in the Hawaiian style. We care very much for our neighbors and families. It is like always having the child in us. It is nice to see a President relaxing and relieving stress. I hate when people critisize something that is nature to us, Our President knows to how to relax so he can focus more on what is important. A President is not any good when he is constantly on pins and needles, but focused and relaxed. You can tell when a person cares about others and when someone is constantly attacking people, critisizing their opponents. There is a difference between selfless people and selfish people.

    April 26, 2012 04:42 am at 4:42 am |
  12. Little Jimmy Truth

    Obama enjoys fooling to America. Occupy Wall Street don't care about American economy. So Obama is really happy with OWS.

    April 26, 2012 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  13. Felipe

    What do you mean Kickoff Campaign May 5th?? He's been campaigning ever since before he was elected!! He's never stopped campaigning and besides that trash healthcare, done anything as president.

    ROMNEY 2012

    April 26, 2012 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  14. S. B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Given that Romney's record at Bain Capital isn't complete, we need more information on that. What was done and how much say so did he have? These are important questions. How much of the older statements that he said during previous campaigns still hold true.

    April 26, 2012 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  15. Gurgyl

    Good luck. Obama12.

    April 26, 2012 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  16. Laura from the Bay State

    Announces kickoff...you're kidding right. He has been "campaigning" instead of leading for 3+ years now. I wonder if he will list his accomplishments. Oh wait, he doesn't have any! The one thing he did do, Obamacare, is now in the hands of the SCOTUS.

    April 26, 2012 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  17. M


    April 26, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |