President Barack Obama spoke to an inspired crowd about his economic plans and women’s rights during a rally at George Mason University Friday morning.
An estimated 9,000 people gathered on the field at the GMU athletic complex after waiting for hours in a line that snaked across the university’s campus.
James Thottam, a former healthcare IT worker who attended the rally with his family, waited in line for two hours. He said he was impressed with the President’s remarks.
“It was good,” he said. “It was actually nice, factual information. Little snippets of what the issues are, whether it’s healthcare, or the economy.”
Of all the issues Obama touched on Friday, Thottam said healthcare was most important to him personally.
“There’s a complete disparity between both organizations and groups,” he said, “and I tend to favor a national healthcare approach that would provide healthcare for those who can’t afford it.”
He also said women’s right hit very close to home for him, as he put his arm his five-year-old daughter.
“I wanted to expose my daughter to see the President,” he said. “It was her first time.”
In his speech, Obama began by discounting Mitt Romney’s “5-point-plan” for the economy.
“When folks who don’t actually work for Mitt Romney start crunching the numbers, it turns out the tax plan doesn’t add up, the jobs plan doesn’t create jobs, the deficit plan doesn’t reduce the deficit,” Obama said to cheers from the crowd. “Virginia, you’ve heard of the New Deal, you’ve heard of the square deal, the fair deal — Mitt Romney’s trying to give you a sketchy deal.”
Obama said America couldn’t afford to elect Romney because he would backtrack the nation economically.
“[Romney’s] is the same philosophy that got us into this mess,” he said. “We can’t go back to that.”
But the backtracking wouldn’t stop at the economy. Women’s rights and healthcare would also be in jeopardy, he said.
Obama drew the biggest cheers when he delved into the symptoms of “Romnesia,” a term he coined to describe Romney’s inconsistent position on women’s rights issues.
“If you say you’re for equal pay for equal work, but keep refusing to say whether you signed a bill that protects equal pay for equal work,” Obama said, “you might have Romnesia.
“If you say you’ll protect a woman’s right to choose, but you stand up in a primary debate and said that you’d be delighted to sign a law outlawing that right to choose in all cases, then you’ve definitely got Romnesia.”
But Obama told the crowd not to worry.
“Here’s the good news – Obamacare covers pre-existing conditions,” he said. “We’ve got a cure!”
U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11th) also spoke at the event, championing Obama’s position on women’s rights.
“When people ask me why I support President Obama, I tell them, ‘Because I have a daughter,’” he said.
With only 18 days left before Election Day, Obama urged attendees to tell their friends to support him.
“I believe in you,” he said. “I need you to keep believing in me.”
Gov. Mitt Romney may just be leading President Barack Obama among voters in the swing state of Virginia, according to a round-up of polls published by Real Clear Politics.
Both candidates are focusing increasingly on the economy and women as they criss-cross the country. Gov. Mitt Romney is in Florida today.
The third and final Presidential Debate is Monday, Oct. 22.