"Pass this bill!" was the chorus line, repeated many times before a crowd of more than 3,250 people and dozens of TV cameras, as President Obama took the stage at a school, in Columbus, Ohio Tuesday to sell his nearly $450 billion jobs package to the American people.
It was very much a campaign style event with a rousing speech that got the audience cheering and chanting loudly.
Many in the crowd at the Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School wore "Obama 2012" t-shirts and took the queue from the President to repeat his phrase "Pass this bill" over and over again in between lines, such as "get those people (Congress) to stop worrying about their jobs and start worrying about your job!"
Columbus is one of the stops on the President's road tour, as he travels the nation trying to drum up support, especially in key battleground states.
Ohio stands to benefit well from the President's deal, with almost $4 billion for things like improvements to highways, airports, and schools, in addition to providing cash for keeping and creating jobs.
Overall, the plan includes about $130 billion in aid to state and local governments, including much needed money for schools in need of major upgrades. Obama told the crowd the improvements would enhance learning and provide employment. "The American Jobs Act proposes a $25 billion investment in school infrastructure that will modernize at least 35,000 public schools-investments that will create jobs while improving classrooms and upgrading our schools to meet 21st century needs" said a White House press release.
But Obama will need to get Congress to pass it, and there's a lot of opposition. A tough battle is expected, with even some in the president's own party wary of supporting the bill. That's why Obama is working so hard to rally support and push people to lobby their lawmakers.
On the way to the event, White House Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters "If Congress were to send a portion of the American Jobs Act, the President would, of course, not veto it. He would sign it and then he would return to press the Congress to get the rest of the job done"..."Congress will have a lot of explaining to do if, come the end of the year, they have done nothing to address Americans' number one priority."
Before the speech in Columbus the president took a tour of the Fort Hayes Art and Academic High School in Columbus, as a way to highlight the school infrastructure portion of his aid package. Hundreds of students were in attendance and cheered as Obama went by. The stage for his speech was set up in front of several newly renovated school buildings.
Also Boosting the President's push for The American Jobs Act is a new television ad campaign by the Democratic National Committee. The ads, which will show part of Obama's speech to Congress, "will air in politically important states from Nevada to New Hampshire", according to an emailed press release from the DNC. The ads are titled "14 months", which is supposedly a reference to the 14 month time span between now and the next presidential election.
Ohio is an important swing state for the upcoming presidential election, that supported Obama in 2008. The state has picked the presidential winner every election since 1960.This is Obama's third visit to Ohio this year, his15th since becoming President. Wednesday he'll travel to North Carolina, as he continues his jobs tour.
Ruth Ravve joined the Fox News Channel (FNC) in 1996 and currently serves as a Chicago-based producer.