With just days to go before what will likely be a close election both in Wisconsin and nationally, thousands of people filled the Delta Center in Milwaukee Saturday afternoon to hear President Barack Obama promise to keep fighting for the middle class.
As soon as he took the podium before a crowd estimated at 20,000, Obama promised to get help to the victims of Hurricane Sandy and asked those in attendance to pray and donate to the Red Cross, if they were able to do so.
His speech then turned to his campaign theme of “Forward." His primary message was about continuing the policies of his administration to provide a voice for the middle class while also growing and supporting a strong middle class.
Photo Gallery: Images from Obama's visit
Live Blog Replay: A look back at our real-time coverage
Obama also touched on the strength of the American spirit, but his remarks made the most impact with the crowd when he acknowledged that a lot of his supporters in 2008 got caught up in the idea of change without really recognizing how difficult it would be.
“Back in 2008, a lot of of folks got swept up in the excitement of change,” he said. “Sometimes we get frustrated by speed of change, but real change is hard. Change we believe in is a change in the system.”
Before Obama took the stage, several other prominent Democrats — including Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl and U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin — delivered remarks centered around the theme of moving the country forward instead of returning to what they said were the failed policies of the past.
Pop singer Katie Perry entertained before the president took the stage, where a tight red, white and blue dress with the Obama campaign logo and the word "Forward" on it.
Among the those in the crowd was Leslie Peterson of Brookfield, who agreed Obama needs another term to continue moving the country out of the recession.
“The president needs another four years to recover from the policies of the previous administration and the Republicans who supported him,” she said.
Obama asked the crowd to continue fighting because without a strong middle class, the country cannot succeed.
“We’ve worked hard these last four years, and I am here today because there is more work to do,” he said. "Our work is not yet done because this nation cannot succeed without a vibrant middle class where everybody does their fair share; where everybody is playing by same rules. That’s why you elected me in 2008 and why I’m running for second term.”