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A supporter gives President Barack Obama a 'thumbs-up' during a campaign event Thursday at the Carillon at Byrd Park in Richmond, one stop on an eight-state blitz.
PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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BY CHELYEN DAVIS
RICHMOND--Hoarse from a whirlwind six-state tour in the waning days of the campaign, President Barack Obama rallied an estimated 15,000 supporters in Richmond Thursday, asking them to return him to the White House in less than two weeks.
"You want to know that whoever's in the Oval Office will fight for you," Obama said. "You know me. You know I say what I mean and I mean what I say. You know I'm thinking about you, and I'm fighting for your families."
Obama told the crowd he's kept promises and improved things in office--he mentioned repealing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, passing health care reform and finding and killing Osama bin Laden, among others.
"On issue after issue we are going forward," Obama said. "We've come too far to turn back now. We've got to go forward with the policies that are getting us out of this mess."
He said he has a plan for a second term that would create jobs, offer tax incentives for companies that create jobs domestically, cut oil imports in half by 2020, and encourage manufacturing of items in the U.S. rather than in countries like China.
"I want to put people back to work here in the U.S.," Obama said.
He also said he wants to hire more math and science teachers, cut the growth of college tuition in half, and reduce the federal deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years.
In a dig at Republican rival Mitt Romney, Obama said he's proud to talk about his plan because "the arithmetic works."
Obama told the crowd to read the full plan on his campaign website.
"I want you to have the information you need to make an educated choice," he said.
Obama criticized Republicans on women's reproductive rights, saying he doesn't think "any male politician should be making decisions for women."
And he mocked Romney by reviving a line about "Romnesia" that first debuted a week or two ago, suggesting Romney changes his positions on issues.
"If you can't remember what you said just a week ago, if you can't remember the plans on your own website you might be coming down with a case of Romnesia," Obama said. "I want you to know, Obamacare covers pre-existing conditions. All you've got to do is vote."