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President Obama Campaigns at Centreville High

Thousands pack into Centreville High School for a campaign appearance by President Obama.

"Hello Wildcats!"

On Saturday afternoon, President Barack Obama ended two days of campaigning across Virginia at , where he spoke about the need to renew the American middle class and the economy.

Central to his theme was his call to Congress to . Republicans want to see that cut applied to all, including families making more than $250,000. Obama has said previously that he would veto anything that includes tax cuts for all.

"What I’ve said is, look, middle-class families, folks who are making $250,000 or less, 98 percent of Americans, you shouldn’t see your taxes go up one dime," Obama said in a 37-minute speech that began at 4:14 p.m. "You don't need to. Your income taxes should stay constant. And I’ve said to Congress let’s go ahead and get that done now. Let’s give 98 percent of folks certainty right now."

'Your Kids Are Turning Out Outstanding'

While the president's message was primarily one for a national audience, there were still some local touches. Centreville's Rev. Jerry Foltz, the founding pastor of , led the opening prayer. Rep. Gerry Connolly, who represents the nearby 11th district, gave a speech before the event. Also present was Sen. Dave Marsden (D-37th district), and Kristin Cabral, who is vying to replace longtime incumbent Rep. Frank Wolf in the newly redrawn 10th district, which Centreville High is within. 

The president also gave a shout-out to the students at the school and newly-installed Centreville High School principal Martin Grimm. 

"I just talked to Martin and I asked him, how long you been principal? He said, 'five days,'" Obama said, to laughter from the audience. "So I said, good luck. I'm sure he is going to do a great job.

And I had a chance to meet some of the student body council here at Centreville, and they could not be more impressive. So, parents, you should know your kids are turning out outstanding. We are proud of them." 

Battleground Virginia

The area is important for Obama to win. Formerly considered a heavily red state, Virginia chose Obama in the last election. It was the first time a Democratic presidential candidate had won the state in 44 years, according to NPR’s “It’s All Politics” blog. Obama won Fairfax County in 2008, taking 60.11 percent of the vote or 310,359 votes to Sen. John McCain's 38.93 percent or 200,994 votes according to the Virginia Board of Elections.

Political observers now view it as a swing state, and both candidates are now vying hard for votes. In May, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stopped at Exhibit Edge in Chantilly to talk about the economy and small business. The president arrived at CVHS on the second of two solid days of campaigning in Virginia.

Winning votes in Northern Virginia will be crucial. Romney has focused heavily during the campaign on the mediocre national economy. The relatively strong state of the local economy and the number of more liberal-leaning constituents in the area make it a harder sell in Northern Virginia.

Republican Counterattack 

The president's opponents were also active on Saturday. Volunteers with the Fairfax County Republican Committee spent the day knocking on doors, asking people to vote for Romney. A campaign bus for Romney was also parked near the school. 

Before the event, Del. Tim Hugo (R-40th district), Del. Barbara Comstock (R-34th district) and Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) joined hundreds of protestors across the road. Many carried signs about the health care law and economy, such as "Hope Isn't Hiring."

"This is ground zero for Barack Obama's tax increase," said Comstock. 

The area surrounding , is home to ZIP code 20124, where about one in five taxpayers file returns of adjusted gross incomes of more than $200,000. Of 7,046 tax returns filed in 2008, 1,435 were filed with adjusted gross incomes of more than $200,000, according to the latest records available from the IRS.

Judy Rosso, 49, of the Alexandria area, was among the people carrying signs. She said she heard about the rally through the Tea Party and decided to come because she is concerned about the government getting involved in healthcare.

"Does he really want the IRS monitoring not only our lives but our health?" Rosso said. 

'That Basic Bargain'

But inside the school gymnasium—where fire officials estimated that 2,100 people packed in—Obama presented his vision as one that would further the American economy.  

"If you're willing to meet your responsibilities to not only yourself and your family, but to your community and your country, you can enjoy the security of a middle-class life," Obama said. "It's that basic bargain that makes this country great. It's that basic bargain that built the economic superpower that we are today."  

After his speech, Obama was swamped by camera-snapping supporters. He smiled and shook hands while Bruce Springsteen's "We Take Care of Our Own" blared from loudspeakers.

Mary Ann Barton contributed to this report. 

Read more about today's visit here:


April July 17, 2012 at 09:14 AM
Vasquez - do you choose to ignore that tax records are normally disclosed to the public by those running for president? Has anyone, ever, in the past disclosed their college records?
April July 17, 2012 at 09:23 AM
Vasquez - are you aware that Maher provides his commentary through a channel that a consumer must pay extra to receive and listen to? It is not exactly a public forum. And do you think it is OK to say that Ed Shultz called Laura Inghram a slut, when in fact he called her a "talk show slut" . Vasquez, your comments here are not libertarian related, but spinned to the far right.
April July 17, 2012 at 09:26 AM
Much agreed Sandra. The extremist rants hurt their own cause.
DT Kerr July 17, 2012 at 11:17 AM
Sandra, Obama is the most negative, back-slicing presidential candidate ever! And he lies like a rug!!! Don't you read the newspapers????
April July 17, 2012 at 11:52 AM
DT - What the news tells is that Obama has many accomplishments. He has advanced women's rights in the workplace, expanded access to medical care and provided subsidies for people who can't afford it, fixed the preexisting conditions travesty [and rescissions] in health insurance. And although it was watered down from what was needed, he supported Dodd-Frank to regulate Wall Street who caused this entire economic mess. This is a very short list, and I do hope the tax cuts for rich lapse. What papers are you reading DT?
Carol Lewis July 17, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Mr Patriot: As I said I'm done arguing with you but I must say that in the above post you are making judgments about people whom you do not know. Americans are free to disagree with each other; we don't all have to believe the same things that you do, thank God. People who disagree with you are being very American - it's one of our freedoms. People who can't disagree without resorting to name calling have very little to say.
Mary Stachyra Lopez July 17, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Hi Vasquez, A reminder that our terms of use prohibit both profanity and masked profanity. http://centreville.patch.com/terms I'm letting it slide this time because you were citing specific examples to prove your point, but please find a way to write around it in the future. We try to keep Patch sites as family-friendly as possible. Thanks, Mary
CD July 17, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Carol - I copied this right of Romney's website for you on how he will tackle our debt and get us in better financial standing....... Repeal Obamacare, which would save $95 billion in 2016. Eliminate subsidies for the unprofitable Amtrak, saving $1.6 billion a year. Enact deep reductions in the subsidies for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Legal Services Corporation. Eliminate Title X family planning programs benefitting abortion groups like Planned Parenthood. Reduce the federal workforce through attrition and align compensation with the private sector, saving over $40 billion by 2016. Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act, a union giveaway that artificially raises costs for government projects, and save taxpayers more than $10 billion a year in the process. Attack rampant fraud in government programs by enacting far stiffer penalties for those who steal from taxpayers. Cutting improper payments in half could save more than $60 billion a year. Consolidate, eliminate and streamline federal departments, agencies and offices following a stem-to-stern review. End foreign aid to countries that oppose America’s interests.
T-Bird July 17, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Really? You think the constitution was written just short of anarchy? So it does not describe an ordered country with a central government? And everybody has to pass a purity test. To be administered by who? You? And what exactly happens to the people who don't pass your test? Camps? Forced deportation? To where if they were born here? Or probably what you would like - firing squads? So the answer to your preceived communism is fascism. Hmm, this sounds familiar......
Restony July 17, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Sorry TB - check the facts about the Ex-Im Bank loan to Petrebras. The only factual part of your claim is the dollar amount and "Brazillian oil company"; the rest is fiction.
T-Bird July 17, 2012 at 02:26 PM
TB - the salaries of all fairfax county employees has been published in the Examiner more than once. You can look it up yourself. Also - FCPS and fairfax county are two completely seperate systems. The FCPS is driven by teachers and other unions, whereas most other county employees are non-union. Therefore, there is a signifigant pay and benifit disparity. FCPS makes up 52% of the county budget, with almost 80% of that going to salaries. They most definately DO NOT make up 50% of the county employees.
T-Bird July 17, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Also the only agency not to take a cut in the past 5 years is the schools. In fact, did they just not take a cut, but their budget was raised on an average of 5% every year, while other agencies took 30% cuts. This included raises for teachers, when no other county employee recieved a raise. And let's not forget the BILLION DOLLARS in bonds they plan on spending in the next 5 years to pretty up the schools. If you want someone to blame for your property tax, blame the schools.
Skip Endale July 17, 2012 at 02:35 PM
"change is what you need" - thanks for the inspiration Burke. I just sent Obama a $100 for a job well done.
Restony July 17, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Holy Cow! A voice of reason! They do exist! What next? Nessie in Lake Anne?
TB July 17, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Restony, I am happy to help you out with getting better information about this subject. Who's side is President Obama on? Petrobras told it can use deep-water vessel in Gulf BRETT CLANTON, HOUSTON CHRONICLE Published 05:30 a.m., Friday, March 18, 2011 Petrobras has received final approval to operate the Gulf of Mexico's first floating production, storage and offloading vessel, clearing the way for the Brazilian oil giant to start pumping oil from two deep-water fields, federal regulators said Thursday. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement took the "final regulatory step" in green-lighting the project, with the approval of a production safety system permit and a supplemental deep-water operating plan, the bureau said in a statement. The floating production, storage and offloading vessel, or FPSO, has a daily production capacity of 80,000 barrels of oil and 16 million cubic feet of natural gas. The ocean energy bureau said with the latest approvals, production at the Cascade and Chinook deep-water fields is expected to begin soon. The fields are in more than 8,000 feet of water about 165 miles off Louisiana, in an area called Walker Ridge.
T-Bird July 17, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Sorry pete, nice try. What you forget to mention is that your 50% who pay no taxes aren't freeloaders. They're poor. Making a dollar or two within minimum wage. And in fact, remembering when I was one of those people, I did pay taxes. I just got most of it back. And I don't even know where you get the 40%, unless you incude every form of payment from the government "welfare", including social security. Way to cherry pick the "facts".
Susan Fernald July 17, 2012 at 03:18 PM
John - you make a rational point - thank you. I merely I get infuriated when people inflate our problems in the US and compare them to to much more dire situations in other countries. People in the US do not know, and have not known, the type of poverty and suffering that TRUE Socialist ideologies bring. I don't think Obama is a true socialist - a liberal; yes - a marxist; no. I don't think this (amazing) country is going up in Red socialist flames and our citizens would not allow it to do so. These remarks by overly dramatic people just serve as fuel to fire that is already started. I also must add however, that a nation ruled by greedy businesses is no less scary a thought than socialism. We must respect both "sides of the aisle" and understand that that is the true meaning of democracy.
BurkePatriot July 17, 2012 at 04:23 PM
T-Bird, Over reaching government ruling people result in those things you describe. That's why we need to limit it's power. I'm with you. We don't want a government this extreme left of our constitution. The U.S constitution was written to protect us from an over reaching federal government so that our individual rights are protected. Not one group over an other. Don't you agree? Do think this an extreme point of view wanting the Fed to be less powerful to where it should be?Look forward to feed back. Thanks. :-)
Restony July 17, 2012 at 04:25 PM
The real class warfare has been waged over the last thirty years or so, and the result has been that the concentration of income and wealth in the US now resembles that of a developing country, which in turn is now being seen by economists (as opposed to pundits and industry lobbyists) as a major factor in the sluggish recovery. Some of it (that growing imbalance) is market forces, like the increasing internationalization of commerce; some of it is demographics, with the baby boomers reaching their peak earning years. But a significant factor has been the tax code (the mechanism for the dreaded "redistribution of wealth"!), which, at the top end, the part that affects the top (say 1%) of the income spectrum, has the lowest effective rate (not the top marginal rate, not the estimates calculated without including the tax-reduction strategies that the very wealthy use to legally reduce their tax liabilities, not the share of taxes paid by various groups, which is better delegitimized in a separate post, and not the estimates that don't include capital gains as income.) since WWII. So the class warfare that today's conservatives are referring to - returning effective tax rates for the top 1% back to where they were under Clinton, GHW Bush, and yes Ronald Reagan - can't be taken too seriously if viewed from the longer term perspective.
BurkePatriot July 17, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Carol, I thought you were tired? I do enjoy your feedback though. :-D
Dave July 17, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Burke Patriot - Thanks for inspiring me to donate to the Obama campaign. As I've quoted before: "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis 1935
Restony July 17, 2012 at 06:13 PM
TB - Interesting article, but unfortunately it does nothing to support your contentions. - President Obama didn't "give" Petrobras anything. The Export-Import Bank, which I believe receives no Congressional funding (i.e no taxpayer funds), made a loan, according to its charter, which is, in part, to provide loans to foreign companies **so that they can purchase US-made products.** - At the time the loan was announced, two months after the inauguration, the Ex-Im Bank was still populated with Bush-era staff, and my guess (given how long it usually takes for government wheels to turn) is that the loan process itself was almost certainly started during the Bush administration. The Obama appointee for Chairman and President of Ex-Im was not confirmed until May, after the loan was announced. - There was no "inviting" of a foreign company to the exclusion of "our" firms. Petrobras has been operating in the Gulf for years (incidentally, paying "us" for their oil field leases, buying products from US suppliers, hiring US workers, and paying US taxes). They were delayed, just like all other oil companies, by the drilling moratorium after the BP spill, and met the new, heightened safety requirements when the moratorium was lifted. Turns out the Brazilians have more experience than US firms do in this particular type of drilling. TB if you actually have any other information, I'm curious to take a look.
Susan Fernald July 17, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Rick - Dems are worried because if Romney was paying his "full" share and not hiding that money in foreign bank accounts then our collective taxes would not be so high (because we would not have to cover "his share" to properly fund our social services). In doing so Romney is only putting money in his own pocket and taking money out of American's pockets.
Susan Fernald July 17, 2012 at 08:12 PM
CD - What are the consequences to all of these actions Romney plans to take? -Repeal Obamacare - what is he going to put in place of that? -Eliminate subsidies for the unprofitable Amtrak - so Amtrak loses funding causing them to lay off workers - higher unemployment and dangerous tracks for commuters. What would he do to fix it - not just tear it down? -Enact deep reductions in the subsidies for the NEA, NEH, CPB and the LSC - What would this accomplish? What would this take away? -Eliminate Title X family planning programs benefitting abortion groups like Planned Parenthood. - higher teenage pregnancy rates because high school students can't afford birth control - and don't give me a line about abstinence - not everyone is religious - and religious freedom is why the US was founded. So don't push your religious beliefs on me thank you. -Reduce the federal workforce through attrition and align compensation with the private sector, saving over $40 billion by 2016. - ok more unemployment without the explanation as to how this would make things better.... -Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act - more layoffs. -Attack rampant fraud in government programs by enacting far stiffer penalties for those who steal from taxpayers. - ok this actually makes sense. -Consolidate/eliminate federal departments, agencies and offices - more layoffs.... -End foreign aid to countries that oppose America’s interests.- make them hate us more-great!
Kim July 17, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Vasquez2, thanks for the link. Interesting reading. While I hold a very low opinion of "Sheriff Joe" (and perhaps he should spend a bit more time on his own defense, as he is under investigation for mistreatment of inmates, ignoring Constitutional rights, corruption - he may end up on his own "mug shot of the week" one day!) and question the qualifications of his "Cold Case Posse", I think you and I agree that people generally believe that which they wish to be true. No argument or evidence will change that.
Vasquez2 July 17, 2012 at 11:19 PM
APRIL said, "Vasquez - are you aware that Maher provides his commentary through a channel that a consumer must pay extra to receive and listen to? It is not exactly a public forum. And do you think it is OK to say that Ed Shultz called Laura Inghram a slut, when in fact he called her a "talk show slut" . Vasquez, your comments here are not libertarian related, but spinned to the far right MY RESPONSE - April, your inaccuracies are embarrassing. Read before you rant! He did NOT call her a "talk show s***, he called her a "Talk S*** , as I correctly stated in my post (was that acceptable, Mary? Just wondered because you didn't say a word to April when she wrote out the "S" word in it's entirety). So what makes me a "right winger" ? The fact that I disagree with you as I have with many Rep. friends? My measuring stick is the Constitution. The candidate that best supports that "platform" wins my vote. I've engaged both Reps/Dems just to see who better substantiates their arguments since I'll be pulling the handle for 1 of them. The Reps consistently support their views (facts, videos, etc) in a civil manner. Disagree w/ the Left and you're a "fat, depressed teabag". I want to hear what both sides have to say and then consider the facts and do the research. Im not loyal to an agenda or party. When you question me, I'll show you my sources rather than dissolve into name calling. This disturbing, hate filled language is exactly why the Left is losing Liberts and Indies like me.
Locally Involved July 18, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Jim H.: Actually proposal put forth right now would be to extend the temporary tax cuts for incomes less than $250k. The tax cuts would end for incomes over $250k. As an example, if you make $500k, then you would not be taxes at the 90's rate OVER $250k, or only 1/2 your income. I looked up on the county board, and apparently, the average HH income in our county is $160k. Agree that our cost of living in this area is ridiculous. I've lived in Boston, NY, Princeton, and Philly. Except for Philly, all have had a ridiculous cost of living. But I've really enjoyed living in these areas and that is the price I pay. Have lived in rural and ex-urban areas and really didn't like the area 'cultures' (wish I could find a better word). Kansas is lovely, but I would not want to live there. So it is what it is.
Tonto July 18, 2012 at 04:09 AM
Oh, the HATE, and the SHAME - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hPR5jnjtLo&feature=fvwrel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxoVqMhuzTo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DlTgrMCxPg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnAcbxZSEzw&feature=fvsr
The BSD Guy July 18, 2012 at 09:21 AM
As this thread (hopefully) comes to an end, I would like to distribute two video links for the Republican, radical right wing extremists, and "Tea Partiers" on this site. Here are some links to them: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45755822/vp/48218943#48218943 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45755822/vp/48218956#48218956 Now, let's see. Bain Capital is shutting down a factory in Illinois, shipping the work to COMMUNIST CHINA, the people working there are given the option of either training their new COMMUNIST CHINESE "discount employees" or being fired, and in the end, they go on unemployment. For what? So a few billionaire elites can rake in more profits? And the right wing nut jobs can't figure out WHY the unemployment rate is so high? I know this is obviously some type of obscure and diverse ROCKET SCIENCE to supporters of the Republican Party, but if you FIRE EVERYONE THAT SPENDS MONEY, OTHER COMPANIES LOSE MONEY. Do you guys get it at all. If you're unemployed, you don't go out to dinner, you buy the cheapest groceries you can, you don't buy consumer goods, you don't buy new or used cars, you probably end up (eventually) on some type of welfare (at the expense of YOU!!!). So what's the answer the Republicans offer: a. Outsourcing is GREAT! b. The economy will "magically fix itself" PLEASE, PUT DOWN THE CRACK PIPE OF ECONOMIC DELUSION!! The COMMUNIST CHINESE? REALLY?? THIS IS YOUR ANSWER??? Just exactly WHO'S the socialist conspirator here.
Mary Stachyra Lopez July 18, 2012 at 11:25 AM
Thank you all for joining in on this discussion. The thread is now closed.

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