President Obama courts Iowa voters, makes stop in Cedar Rapids

Hundreds of people packed Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, IA Tuesday to hear President Barack Obama speak to a crowd of potential voters. He was last at Kirkwood four years ago, when he spoke out against negative attack ads from his then-rival, John McCain. In an attempt to recapture his grassroots campaign strategy that worked so well for him in Iowa in 2008, the President focused his speech on the economy and growing the middle class. “What we need is somebody who’s going to fight every day to grow the Middle Class,” he said. “That’s how our economy grows, from the middle out, from the bottom up, where everybody gets a shot.” In favor of extending tax cuts, the President says an average family of four could save more than $2,000 a year. That’s something Jason and Ali McLaughlin can relate to, with a young child and another on the way. Obama paid them a visit to talk about the issue before his speech. “We talked a lot about how tax breaks affect someone like us,” said McLaughlin. We’re in a lot better shape than most families. The amount of money could help a lot of people.” President Obama also addressed negative campaign ads, which continue to flood Iowa and Quad City airwaves. “Governor Romney has experience owning companies called pioneers, businesses of outsourcing. My experience has been working with members of labor and great managers to save the American auto industry.” The Romney campaign gave us their response. “He’s turned into the kind of politician that he criticized in 2008,” said Ryan Williams, Spokesperson for Romney for President. “Now, he’s got a record and his record is not a good one. It’s one that includes increased unemployment and fewer jobs.” They’re two issues heavily on the minds of many voters. “On both sides, democrat and republican, both are pretty entrenched,” said Jason Kresowik, from Iowa City. “But, the independent voters are talking about those issues like the economy. That’s going to dominate the campaign.”