Photos: Barack Obama's Aurora rally makes final push for "real change"

Categories: Politics

Obama Aurora thumb.jpg
Big photos below.
At the end of a busy day that included stops in four different states, Barack Obama touched down in Colorado late last night for his final pre-election rally in this key swing state, where he pushed the message of "real change" -- just one day after Mitt Romney used the very same phrase in his last Colorado rally. Obama took the stage a little before 11 p.m. in Aurora, kicking off his fourteenth political event in the state this year on a somber note.

"For the past several days, all of us have been focused on not just elections, but we've been focused on what's been happening on the East Coast," Obama said, speaking at the Community College of Aurora to an estimated crowd of 20,000, who waited for hours outside as temperatures dropped. "One of the worst storms of our lifetimes. As a nation, we mourn those who were lost."

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Photo by Brandon Marshall
Slideshow: Obama and Dave Matthews in Aurora
Obama was speaking just miles from the location of the Aurora theater shooting, which brought the president to Colorado this summer after a gunman killed twelve and injured dozens more. It was the president's second visit to the state due to tragedy. A month earlier, he visited in the wake of destructive wildfires.

"Unfortunately, the people of this town understand what it means to grieve better than most, because the wounds of that terrible shooting are still fresh in people's minds," Obama continued. "And just as you've begun to heal as a community, we're gonna help our friends on the East Coast heal as well. We're gonna walk with the people whose lives have been affected -- those who lost loved ones. We're gonna walk with them every step of the way on the hard road ahead, because that's what we do as Americans. We help our neighbors and friends rebuild.... No matter how tough times are, we will thrive, because we're all in this together."

He quickly transitioned into the latest incarnation of the stump speech he has been delivering across the country, returning frequently to a message of "real change." Note that Romney spoke in front of a giant sign that read "REAL CHANGE ON DAY ONE" in his Colorado rally, which drew a crowd of 17,000 at the Comfort Dental Amphitheatre.

Obama, repeating a refrain that he delivered a few days earlier in Boulder, said he is the candidate that voters can trust. "I know what real change looks like, because I fought for it, because I delivered it, because you worked with me and lifted me up.... You know what real change looks like. I've got the scars to prove it. I've got the gray hair to show."

"And it looks good, baby!" a woman shouted loudly, over the crowd's cheers.

"I appreciate that," the president said back in one of several off-script reactions to the crowd last night.

"Back in 2008, we talked about change. I wasn't just talking about changing presidents. I wasn't just talking about changing parties. I was talking about change in how we run our politics. I ran because the voices of the American people, your voices, had been shut out of our democracy for way too long," he said.

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Photo by Brandon Marshall
Slideshow: Obama and Dave Matthews in Aurora
"You know the status quo in Washington is fierce, and it has fought us every step of the way," he continued, adding, "Their bet is on cynicism. But Colorado, my bet is on you."

Continue for more from the president's final Colorado rally and more photos.

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Brandon Stephens
Brandon Stephens

The Westword being a credible source for something other than concert times.

Alfredo Abad Jr.
Alfredo Abad Jr.

having Republicans and Libertarians shut up and work together with Democrats.

Scott Amelang
Scott Amelang

The "Real Change"....Will begin tomorrow when Mitt is elected our 45th POTUS...BO must GO..!!

Harusami Is
Harusami Is

Real change will happen once the filibustering, blithering obstructionist, teabagging idiots are fired from Congress.

Don Finley
Don Finley

O- not the change I was referring to before, change as in the kind of change we can't tell you about until AFTER we pass the bill kinda change. You know, "Trust me" kinda change! lol difficult to believe people take this guy seriously.

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