President Obama launches his official campaign for re-election today with stops in Columbus, Ohio, and Richmond, Virginia. The two states are expected to be swing states in the 2012 election.
He told supporters in Ohio and Virginia, "If people ask you what this campaign is about, you tell them it’s still about hope. You tell them it’s still about change. You tell them it’s still about ordinary people who believe that in the face of great odds, we can make a difference in the life of this country."
President Obama won both states in 2008. A recent poll by Quinnipiac University has Mitt Romney and President Obama tied in Ohio, and in Florida, another key swing state.
Each event today includes more than two hours of speakers and campaign videos with the President and First Lady arriving at the end. In Ohio, Sen. Sherrod Brown is expected to speak. In Virginia, Former Gov. Tim Kaine is among the expected speakers.
The stops, at The Ohio State University and Virginia Commonwealth University, are a sign that the campaign is hoping to re-energize young voters, who played a key role in the President's 2008 campaign. Mitt Romney campaigned in Virginia on Thursday, visiting a marine manufacturing and services company in Portsmouth with Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann.
President Obama will be joined by First Lady Michelle Obama at both of today's stops.