President Obama shakes hands with supporters after speaking at a rally September 2, 2012 on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder, Colorado.
(Credit: Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)
(CBS News) BOULDER, Colo. – Knowing that cheers and applause from supporters won’t get him re-elected, President Obama told some 13,000 supporters here at the University of Colorado to make sure they were registered to vote, along with their friends, family and classmates.
He called for a Rocky Mountain Showdown between his supporters at rivals University of Colorado and Colorado State to register the most voters.
When his supporters booed at his mention of the Mitt Romney agenda, as they did today, Mr. Obama told them: “Don’t boo – vote.” It’s become a boilerplate line in his campaign speeches.
He defended his policies and took plenty of swipes at those of Mitt Romney and the Republicans, but he all but begged his crowds to make sure they can vote.
He urged them to go online at GottaRegister.com – apologizing to English teachers for the “gotta” in the website name.
His rally today marked Mr. Obama’s 13th visit to Colorado as president and his eighth this year. The frequency of his trips here reflects the importance his campaign strategy places on keeping Colorado and its nine electoral votes in his win column. It’s a state he won in 2008 by a 9-point margin, 54 percent to 45 percent, but which polls now show to be a toss-up.
The Obama campaign also sees college campuses as fertile ground for the president’s political outreach. A CBS News tally shows that since August 1, eight of his 25 campaign rallies have been staged on college campuses.
Today’s crowd in Boulder proved receptive to a reprise of Mr. Obama’s harsh review of the Republican convention.
Reiterating criticism he unveiled yesterday at two rallies in Iowa, Mr. Obama sarcastically called the GOP convention “something to behold.” He said Republicans offered an agenda “better suited for the last century” and that Romney didn’t offer “a single new idea.”
Today’s rally came on day two of what the Obama campaign calls the “Road to Charlotte.” Along with stops in Iowa and Colorado, the president has a campaign rally tomorrow in Ohio and on Tuesday in Virginia – before arriving in the convention city on Wednesday.
In addition, he will make an “official” visit tomorrow to Louisiana to inspect hurricane damage and reaffirm the federal government’s commitment to address unmet needs there.
Before arriving on campus today, Mr. Obama dropped-by a popular local restaurant called The Buff. He ordered a breakfast plate known as the “Ole Skillet,” made up of two eggs and potatoes topped with chile verde, jalapenos, onions, tomatoes and cheddar cheese with a side of toast.
Telling his rally about the visit, he said he saw fellow breakfast patrons enjoying mimosas and Bloody Marys. “And I was thinking to myself – you know I could see folks forgetting to vote. They’re having too much fun.”
He said that’s why getting people registered and voting is so important. “You’re going to have to set an example for the person next to you in class,” he told supporters. “You’re going to have to remind them: have you voted yet?”
Early voting in Colorado begins October 22.