UPPER MARLBORO—U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of supporters from across Maryland attended a rally at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School Saturday to support Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown’s bid to become the state’s next governor and to encourage people to participate in early voting. “Somebody told me there was a rally in […]
UPPER MARLBORO—U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of supporters from across Maryland attended a rally at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School Saturday to support Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown’s bid to become the state’s next governor and to encourage people to participate in early voting.
“Somebody told me there was a rally in Prince George’s County. Is there a rally in Prince George’s County?” County Executive Rushern Baker III said in his opening comments. “Somebody said that there is a leader in the house that’s in the mold of President Obama.”
Baker said Brown is a visionary, like Obama, and would bring better health care to the state of Maryland. Health care proved to be an essential talking point on the day, along with education, pre-kindergarten options for families across the state and lower taxes on the middle class.
Brown said Obama attended the event just to provide some reinforcement for the cause of his election. “We brought in a leader who expanded opportunities,” Brown said before introducing Obama. “We brought in a leader who understands.”
Multiple speakers set the tone with liberal idealisms and values before Obama took to the podium. Once the president took the stage, the crowd exploded.
“Obama! Obama! Obama!” the audience chanted as the president began his remarks. Though the rally intended to encourage voters to show up for Anthony Brown, the president served as the spectacle everyone came to see.
“We are here for one reason,” Obama said. “Anthony Brown has not only devoted his career to fighting for you, he has devoted his life to fighting for you. And that’s what this election is all about. Who is going to fight for you?”
Obama said the country has made real progress since one of the worst economic crises in recent history. The housing market, job market, unemployment rate and auto industry have all improved after looking bleak, Obama said.
“So, Maryland, we have made progress,” Obama said. “Don’t let other folks say otherwise. But tonight, we’re here because we know we’ve got more work to do. We are not finished. As long as there is another worker out there looking for a better job, as long as a family that has two folks working is still having struggles to make ends meet, our fight will continue.”
In the middle of Obama’s speech, an attendee interrupted and yelled at him about immigration reform. Security removed the man from the rally as the audience booed him. But Obama did not ignore what the man said, and talked about the immigration reform concerns. Immigration, like many other issues, Obama said, has yet to be reformed because of Republican opposition.
“I think, actually, he was concerned about immigration reform,” Obama said. “And the problem is I support immigration reform. And the reason we haven’t done immigration reform is because Congress and the Republican House of Representatives have been blocking immigration reform.”
“I believe Republicans are patriots. I think they love their country and they love their families,” Obama said. “But they are a broken record. Time and again, they offer the same economic theories that undermine the middle class.”
Obama said republicans keep offering to cut taxes for the wealthy, loosen rules for banks and “skinny down the safety nets for the folks who have invested and put money in those safety nets.”
“We have tried all those things. We tried them before I came into office,” Obama said. “We know they do not work. And they’re not changing their tune. They said no to minimum wage. They said no to fair pay. The only thing they said yes to was a massive tax cut for millionaires. So you know who they’re fighting for, and it ain’t you!”
Obama wrapped up his speech with a message of hope for the people in the building and a clear objective in the very near future: he wants people to vote for Anthony Brown.
“You deserve leaders who don’t root for failure,” Obama said. “You deserve action that focuses on your lives, on your hopes, and your aspirations for your kids. That’s why you have to vote.”
Congressman Steny Hoyer said the only way the Democrats can lose in this election is if the citizens do not show up and vote.
“Be on fire for Brown-Ulman. His opponent wants to cut taxes for the wealthy so little kids can’t get into school,” Hoyer said. “The only way that happens is if we don’t show up. You can vote. Don’t let those who died so you have the vote and we have the vote down. Don’t let them down.”