Obama: Republicans Counting On Voter Amnesia

(AP)

CLEVELAND - President Barack Obama says Republicans are trying to ride Americans' frustration with the economy to success in the midterm elections, counting on voters "forgetting who caused the mess in the first place."

Obama spoke Sunday night at a rally at Ohio State University. Campus police estimated the crowd at 35,000.

The president acknowledged there are people "hanging by a thread," but said Republicans have only offered the "philosophy that nearly destroyed our economy." He encouraged Ohio voters to tell the GOP they don't want to go back to those principles.

The president was introduced by his wife, Michelle, who called the midterms a "serious moment for the country, with so much at stake."

Heading into the homestretch of the midterm elections, President Barack Obama is targeting key Democratic constituencies as he tries to energize voters and build up Election Day turnout among his supporters.

The groups Obama is targeting mirror those that helped him win the White House: young people, African-Americans and women. A crucial element of the president's strategy in the two weeks before the Nov. 2 election is finding a way to get first-time voters from 2008 to head back to the polls even though Obama's name isn't on the ballot.

Obama isn't shying away from reality: The sputtering economy has created a tough political environment for Democratic candidates.

"When times are that difficult, elections are going to be difficult and understandably so," Obama said Sunday while speaking at a fundraiser for Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland at a private home outside Cleveland.

Obama was joined at the fundraiser by first lady Michelle Obama. From Cleveland, the Obamas were to travel to Columbus to headline a large nighttime rally on the campus of Ohio State University.