Thousands turn out for Obama rally at VCU

Posted at 1:59 AM, May 06, 2012
and last updated 2012-05-06 10:31:37-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Before a crowd of 8,000 Saturday afternoon, President Barack Obama kicked off his re-election campaign at VCU's Siegel center with a strong focus on the middle class.

"This isn't just another election. This is a make or break moment for America's Middle class. We've been through too much to turn back now," said President Obama.

But the president did acknowledge that he's not satisfied with the state of the economy. [PHOTOS: President Obama rally at VCU]

"This crisis took years to develop and the economy is still facing a bunch of head winds,” said Obama. "So, it's going to take sustained persistent effort  -- yours and mine -- for America to fully recover. "

The president did take a swipe at his Republican rival Mitt Romney saying he's a rubber stamp for Republicans in Congress.

"Now, their agendas are on steroids," he said. "This time they want even bigger tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. This time they want even deeper cuts to things like education and Medicare and research and technology."

However, opponents strongly disagreed with the president's statements and said the country is on the wrong track.

"Imagine if you took Barack Obama's talents and his effort and his hustle and put it on his economy. We'd be in a better place. But he has priorities wrong and America is hurting because of it,” said Virginia Victory 2012 Chairman Pete Snyder.

Snyder called Obama's speech disappointing and believes he doesn't deserve a second term.

"We're going to make sure on the Republican side and Independents that we have the largest grassroots army ever in the history of Virginia politics,” said Snyder.

On the other hand, that didn't seem to faze Obama supporters.

“He reinforced the melting pot of what is America. He can relate with what is going on. The words that he said came from his heart and comes from my heart. And as the average American. I'm glad to have him as my President.”

"What we need to do is to keep on phone banking. Keep on canvassing, knocking on these doors, getting people registered to vote,” said Danita Williams.

The president says November's election will be even closer than the race in 2008.

And with Virginia being a battleground state, some say it will mean the president will have to work even harder to get those votes.