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    Posted October 5, 2012 by
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    Presidential Debate #1: The Day After – Obama Finds His Groove


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     mediaman got press passes as a CNN iReporter to cover the President's rally on Thursday in Madison, Wisconsin, and used a 70-210 millimeter lens to get these images.
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    One day after the first debate between President Obama and Governor Romney made all the difference in the world. After some pundits, like Chris Mathews of MSNBC, termed President Obama’s performance as “lackluster”, main stream media and supporters wondered how Obama would respond one day after the Presidential debate. As soon as the debate ended, a clearly agitated Mathews on air said, “Where was Obama tonight?” On the campus of UW-Madison, over 30,000 enthusiastic and cheering Obama supporters helped provide a clear and poignant answer.

    With a spirited entrance, President Obama came on stage and showed he had clearly got his groove back. He was relaxed, articulate, funny, and serious from a debate less than 24 hours earlier. He started his speech by immediately poking jabs directly at Romney. President Obama said, “I just flew in from Denver, and I was telling folks, when I got on the stage, I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney. But I know it couldn't have been Mitt Romney, because the real Mitt Romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy, and yet the fellow on the stage who looked like Mitt Romney said he did not know anything about that."

    The crowd applauded and cheered with approval. He continued by saying, “Whoever it was on stage last night doesn’t want to be held accountable for what the real Mitt Romney has been saying for the last year, and that’s because he knows full well that we don’t want what he’s been selling over the last year. Governor Romney may dance around his positions, he may do a tap dance and a two-step, but if you want to be President, then you owe the American people the truth.”

    Although the rally was held on the UW-Madison campus, the audience was more than just students as attendees included ages from the very young to the elderly, each waiting to see how the President would react from the previous evening.

    The President continued his attack by pointing out the math in Romney’s tax plan doesn’t add up. “So here’s the truth. Governor Romney cannot pay for his $5 trillion tax plan without blowing up the deficit or sticking it to the middle class. We can’t afford to go down that road again. We can’t afford another round of budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy.”

    President Obama also focused on the plight of America’s middle class and offered his own perspective saying, “We have a different view about how to create jobs and prosperity. This country doesn’t succeed when only the rich get richer. We succeed when everybody has a shot, when the middle class is getting bigger, when there are ladders of opportunity into the middle class. Our economy does not grow from the top down- it grows from the middle out. That’s how it grows.”

    The President continued by saying, “We don’t believe that anybody is entitled to success in this country, but we do believe in opportunity. We do believe in a country where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded, where everybody is getting a fair shot and everybody is doing their fair share and everybody is playing by the same rules. That’s the country we believe in. That’s what I’ve been fighting for, for the last four years. That’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.”

    During his speech in Madison, President Obama focused on education and teachers. He pointed out, “The real Mitt Romney said that we don’t need any more teachers in the classroom.”

    The crowd booed, to which the President responded, “Don’t boo – vote!” President Obama used that exchange several times in his speech. He continued by “calling out” Romney’s new view on education by saying, “But the fellow on stage last night, he said he loves teachers -- can’t get enough of them.” The large audience laughed in unison.

    President Obama ended his speech by saying, “I believe in you. I’m asking you to keep believing in me. I’m asking for your vote. And if you stand with me, and work with me, we will win Madison again. We’ll win Wisconsin again. We will win the election again. We’ll finish what we started in 2008, and remind the world why the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.”

    As the crowd cheered loudly and with high energy, it was clear that one day did make a positive difference in the Obama campaign. The Vice-President debate is up next, followed by the second Presidential debate. If the aura of President Obama on this day is any indication, Debate #2 will likely provide a much different look and dynamic for the viewing audience. Stay tuned.
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