ABC News' Tahman Bradley reports:
For the first time since 2008, President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama teamed up on the campaign trail, traveling to Ohio for a rally at Ohio State University and fundraisers in Columbus and Cleveland.
The president and first lady walked onto the stage together at Ohio State University tonight to big cheers from a crowd of mostly young people.
When the first lady took the podium to introduce her husband a few audience members shouted at her: “We love you, Michelle.” She smiled and responded by saying: “We love you guys, too. This is beautiful. It really is.”
The rally was aimed at the young voters who supported Obama for president in 2008 by a lopsided margin. Democrats hope young voters recapture their enthusiasm to perhaps help boost the party’s chances in November’s midterm election.
“We need you fired up,” President Obama said.
Michelle Obama told the crowd that President Obama cares deeply about changing the country and making life better for the next generation, something she cares very much about as a mom, and that’s what motivates her to make the rounds on the stump.
“First of all this is something that I don’t do very often,” she said. “I haven’t really been on the trail since a little campaign you might remember a couple years ago.”
Using an old ’08 line, she told the crowd that if they were “still as fired up and ready to go” as they were in '08, then they can bring about change by voting in the election.
“Can we do this?” she asked the crowd.
“Yes we can!” thundered those in attendance.
Acknowledging Democrats are in a rough fight this election, the president told the young audience their vote can make a difference this year just as it helped two years ago.
“In little more than two weeks you can set the direction of this state and the direction of this country not just the next two years but for the next five years, the next 10 years, the next 20 years,” he said. “Just like you did in 2008, you can defy the conventional wisdom.”
President Obama sharply criticized the Republicans’ agenda and swiped the party’s move towards the right. He said Abraham Lincoln would have a difficult time winning the Republican Party’s nomination for president.
Ohio State Police told the Democratic National Committee that 35,000 people showed up for the event, which featured music by John Legend and speeches by Ohio Democratic politicians.
At an afternoon fundraiser, the president said it was fun having the first lady on the road with him and that they had a good conversation on Air Force One traveling to Ohio.
– Tahman Bradley