From Jake Tapper, Karen Travers and Sunlen Miller:
With the midterm elections just five weeks away, President Obama rolled up his sleeves and dusted off a familiar campaign slogan tonight at the University of Wisconsin.
"Hello Wisconsin … I don't know about you, but I'm fired up and I'm ready to go," the president shouted to estimated crowd of 17,000 in an outdoor plaza on campus.
Obama is hoping that Democratic voters here in Madison and across the country are also fired up — and ready to go out and vote on November 2.
The president pleaded with young voters to get back the enthusiasm from the 2008 campaign.
"We need you to commit to vote. We need you to pledge to vote. We need you to knock on doors," he said, his voice going cracking at times as he shouted from the podium. "We need you to talk to neighbors. We need you to make phone calls. We need you to bring energy and passion and commitment."
Some Democrats say that the scoldings the president and vice president have recently given the party faithful could keep voters home on Election Day.
But tonight, Obama said he was optimistic that that won't happen.
"Because if everybody who fought for change in 2008 shows up to vote in 2010, we will win. We will win," he said. "The polls say the same thing. We will win."
The president referenced unnamed pundits in Washington who talk about the enthusiasm on the Republican side and how it's lacking on the Democratic side. The result, he said the experts are predicting, will be a crushing loss for his party on Election Night.
"The basis of their prediction is that all of you who worked so hard in 2008 aren't going to be as energized, aren't going to be as engaged," he said. "They're basically saying that you're apathetic, you're disappointed, you're 'oh, well, we're not sure that we're going to turn out.'"
Obama said that cannot happen: "We cannot sit this one out. We can't let this country fall backwards because the rest of us didn't care enough to fight."
– Jake Tapper, Karen Travers and Sunlen Miller