MADISON — President Barack Obama held a rally at Bascom Mall on the University of Wisconsin – Madison campus Thursday afternoon, October 4th — less than 24 hours after he met Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on the debate stage in Denver, Colorado for the first presidential debate.
UW-Madison police officials say the attendance for Thursday afternoon’s rally was around 30,000. The President addressed the crowd for about 45 minutes, after landing in Air Force One and making his way to the UW-Madison campus.
The last time Obama was in Madison was Sept. 2010 for a similar rally.
Some say President Obama struggled during Wednesday night’s debate, and a CNN poll declared Mitt Romney the “winner” of the debate. The CNN/ORC International poll of 430 people who watched the debate showed 67% thought Romney won, compared with 25% for Obama.
During his speech in Madison Thursday, President Obama wasted no time ripping Romney’s debate performance — calling it a disingenuous act, repeatedly referring to Romney as “the guy playing Mitt Romney.”
“The real Mitt Romney’s been running around the country promising tax cuts, and yet the fellow on the stage said he didn’t know anything about that,” President Obama said.
Despite polls showing President Obama with a double-digit lead, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus says Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes are up for grabs.
“He’s a man of many words. Unfortunately he’s not a man of his word. If this was an 11-point race, I guarantee the President would not be in Wisconsin two times in 10 days,” Priebus said.
President Obama urged the crowd of young voters to register to vote, and vote early.
“If you stand with me, we will win Madison again, we will win Wisconsin again, we will win the election again, and we will fish what we started in 2008,” President Obama said.
In-person early voting in Wisconsin beings Oct. 22nd.
Absentee ballots started being sent to Wisconsin voters who requested them at the end of September. Those ballots must be post-marked by Election Day.
In-person early voting ends the Friday before the election on Nov. 2nd.
The Obama campaign said it is hopeful the excitement of the Madison crowd turns into excitement at the ballot box in November.
After his speech in Madison, Obama was headed for Fairfax County, Virginia, and Cleveland, Ohio.