“Now, people forget back in 2008, 47 percent of the country didn’t vote for me, but on the night of the election I said to all those Americans, I said, ‘I may not have one your vote, but I hear your voices. And I need your help. And I will be your president too,’” Obama continued. “And, Virginia I don’t know how many of you will vote for me this time around, but I promise you, no matter how many do, I will be your president too.”
The president wrapped up to Brooks & Dunn’s “Only in America,” a song often heard at Romney-Ryan rallies.
Romney hit at the new jobs report in his own Virginia stop.
“There was a report that just came out this morning on job creation this last month. There were fewer new jobs created this month than last month,” he said. “And the unemployment rate, as you know, this year has come down very, very slowly. But it’s come down nonetheless. The reason it’s come down this year is primarily due to the fact that more and more people have just stopped looking for work.”
Romney said the real unemployment rate should be 11 percent, by figuring the same workforce participation as the day the president was elected. A release from the Senate Republican Policy Committee said the real unemployment rate, including marginally attached workers and those who can only find part-time work, should be 14.7 percent for September.
“I’ll tell you this: When I’m president of the United States, that unemployment rate is going to come down, not because people are giving up and dropping out of the workforce, but because we’re creating more jobs,” Romney said.
Obama holds a razor-thin lead over Romney — 0.4 — in this state in the Real Clear Politics polling average. A Rasmussen Reports poll out yesterday had Romney up by one point over the incumbent in the commonwealth.
It was Obama’s 17th campaign stop in Virginia this year, far outpacing the six official events he’s had in this D.C. bedroom state in 2012.
But it wasn’t just a rally to pep a commander in chief’s spirits after a lackluster week. The presidential race in Virginia will likely be influenced by the turnout for the Senate race here, where two politicians with lengthy histories — who both stoke plenty of partisan feelings in the campaign — are battling to fill the seat left vacant by retiring Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.).
Webb won the seat six years ago after the “macaca moment” of then-incumbent Sen. George Allen, who is taking another stab at the office versus former Virginia governor and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine.
Unfortunately for Gov. Bob McDonnell, Kaine was introduced as Virginia Gov. Time Kaine this morning — minus the former.
“I love seeing a finish line,” Kaine gushed, adding, “Our nation, America, is turning the corner and moving forward.”
He noted local projects aided by stimulus funds — improvements on the Fairfax County Parkway, the rail project to Dulles International Airport — and devoted much of his speech on the George Mason University campus to education and Pell grants.
“Students and young people ought to be standing up for this president who stood up for them,” Kaine said.
And in the Romney needle-du-jour, he added, “You’re not going to win by firing Big Bird.”
Kaine devoted the end of his speech to his Senate challenger, criticizing Allen for trying to “dismiss” discussion on social issues and telling the crowd that Republican social issues are also economic ones.
“If we don’t’ embrace policies that help women, we harm the economy,” he said.
In a Rasmussen Reports poll released yesterday, Kaine was up 7 points on Allen. The Real Clear Politics polling average has Kaine up by 4.
It’s one of those races glazed by high partisan emotions that could inspire turnout to the polls, a critical factor in any swing state.
Allen issued a statement today on the September jobs report, criticizing a 30-year low in the labor participation rate.
“Like President Obama and Vice President Biden, Tim Kaine’s answer to nearly every challenge is to raise taxes,” Allen said. “While Vice President Biden cheers a $1 Trillion tax hike on hard-working Americans, Tim Kaine is open to raising taxes on everyone. More taxes will only result in more job losses.”
According to the university, the crowd was at the concert hall’s capacity of 1,935. Only a few empty seats were seen.
After shaking hands with the crowd for several minutes, Obama was out the door and over to Dulles to head to — you guessed it — Ohio.