Photos: Eva Longoria, Valerie Jarrett come to Colorado to promote Obama 2012

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If you're a woman, you would be totally friggin' insane to vote for Mitt Romney.

That was the theme of most speeches at the official launch of Obama-campaign-sponsored Women Vote 2012 Summit Tour, which took place in Wheat Ridge yesterday afternoon with celebrity support from actress Eva Longoria.

"If you're a woman, there's no way you can vote Republican!" Longoria, who is a national Obama campaign co-chair, told a crowd of more than 400 women packed inside the Wheat Ridge Recreation Center yesterday.

Eva Longoria, Vote Women 2012 speech.JPG
Sam Levin
Actress Eva Longoria speaking to hundreds of women in Wheat Ridge.
"We have a big battle ahead of us.... The Republicans are raising a lot of money from a lot of big companies, and they're gonna drown out your voice. So we have to be louder. We have to be tougher. We have to work harder because of that," Longoria said. "As women, we've always fought uphill battles -- this is nothing new to us."

While Longoria's speech prompted the most smartphone shots from the audience of mostly women, the former Desperate Housewives star was not the only high-profile figure to stop in Colorado for the reelection campaign. Valerie Jarrett, a top adviser to Obama, also stepped forward to highlight the president's record on women's issues.

The location of the event -- the first of the women's summits that Obama's team is hosting around the country -- underscores the importance of Colorado as a key swing state in the upcoming presidential election. (Obama's campaign has already been pouring money into local TV ads in the Denver metro area).

"Colorado is used to big elections. These are not foreign to you," said Kate Chapek, the campaign's national women's vote director. "This election is, if not as historical, more historical than in 2008, because of what is at stake in this election...particularly for women."

She added, "Because women are a majority, we decide elections.... The women in Colorado elected the president of the United States.... In 2012, we're counting on the women of Colorado to turn out to talk to women like you to turn out again and reelect the president."

Audience members during Eva Longoria speech.JPG
Sam Levin
Audience members taking pictures of Eva Longoria.
Many of the speeches focused on what a Romney win would mean for women. This point was emphasized by one Obama volunteer, who said she was formerly a Republican, but changed her mind this time in part because of threatened cuts to Planned Parenthood.

Longoria -- who has been a vocal supporter for Obama for both women voters and Latino voters -- started her speech by saying that her family members were Republicans but have come around to support the president. "My mom fell in love with Obama, too. They were Republicans for most of their lives. We're from Texas. And it was just the automatic -- it didn't matter who the candidate was. Of course, she thinks he's Latino. She thinks it's Obamá," she joked.

"President Obama, because of how he was raised, because of how he lives his life now -- surrounded by women, listening to women -- he knows that women are the glue to our families and our communities," she went on. "If you need proof of that, ask your husband where the scissors are in the house. He doesn't know"

In addition to access to higher education and economic equality, Longoria emphasized Obama's progress in health care reform, which speakers throughout the event discussed, celebrating the Supreme Court's decision last week to uphold key aspects of the president's health care plan -- an important ruling as Obama faces reelection.

Longoria said that last week she watched the Supreme Court decision "like it was a soap opera unfolding and this was the season finale," adding, "I was just watching Mitt Romney stand there saying 'I would repeal it on my first day'...and it just angers me. I think it angers a lot of women."

Page down to see more photos and read more from other speakers at the event.


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