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Obama asks New Hampshire voters for support

By Shannon Young
Associated Press / August 18, 2012
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WINDHAM, N.H.—Returning to New Hampshire for the third time this year, President Barack Obama stopped in Windham on Saturday to garner support for his re-election bid, as the presidential campaign heads into its final three months.

Speaking before 2,300 supporters in a crowded high school gym, Obama touched on his proposals to fix the economy, while drawing comparisons between his plan and that of Republican challenger Mitt Romney and running-mate Rep. Paul Ryan.

Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, serves as chairman of the Congressional House Budget Committee.

The president said that the Romney-Ryan plan calls for tax cuts for the wealthy and tax hikes for middle-class Americans. It would also cut into necessary investments that would create jobs and strengthen the economy, he said.

"They have tried to sell us this trickle-down snake oil before. It didn't work then and it won't work now ... it's not the right direction for America," Obama told supporters.

In his half-hour-long speech the president also touched on his education proposals and health care victories, topics which garnered the loudest cheers from the crowd.

He told supporters to remain positive in the final months of the campaign, as his opponent will likely roll out negative ads that will prey on the "frustrations and anxiety" of the American people.

"Remember that we are all in this together," he said, telling supporters to affirm that everyone in America deserves a "fair shot."

Hours before the president was scheduled to speak at the afternoon event, thousands gathered outside Windham High School for the chance to see the president. By 10 a.m. a line of "New Hampshire for Obama" sticker-clad supporters snaked its way around the secluded school's grounds and haphazardly parked cars dotted grassy areas for nearly a mile down the street.

"It's a real honor to have any president come to your town," said Windham resident Lisa Kauhl. "Think of all the towns in the country."

Kauhl, an Obama supporter, said despite the amount of campaigning that has taken place in New Hampshire since the Republican primary in January, she doesn't feel that there's a lot of campaign fatigue in the Granite State.

But Windham Town Moderator Peter Griffin said he disagrees.

"It's horrible," he said. "We're not even through this election and talking about next election ... both parties are going to lose voters."

Griffin, who oversees elections in the New Hampshire town, said he wishes both Obama's and Romney's campaigns would focus more on the issues facing the country, than on things like tax returns.

Both Kaul and Griffin said they believe Obama will face a tough fight to win New Hampshire this November due to Romney's close ties to the state. The Republican is a frequent visitor to the Granite State and owns a home on Lake Winnipesaukee.

"I think it's going to be very close," Griffin said, adding that he doesn't believe some voters are firmly behind their party's likely candidate.

Obama headed to another campaign event in Rochester, N.H. Saturday's events mark the president's third trip to New Hampshire this year. He visited Durham in June and Nashua in March.

Vice President Joe Biden and first lady Michelle Obama have also made multiple visits to the New England battleground state to campaign for the president's re-election.

Romney will make a campaign stop in the Manchester area on Monday with Ryan.

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