BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- President Barack Obama stepped up to the microphone in the gym at Central High School in Bridgeport to screaming cheers from the packed crowd Sunday afternoon at a campaign rally two days before Election Day.
"Who is going to fight for your future?" Obama said. "You are!" the crowd yell back.
Obama, who was making a campaign appearance for Gov. Dannel Malloy, went right to work, honing in on the hot topic of the economy.
"He's not cutting taxes for himself. He's cutting taxes for the single mother who needs a little help," Obama said about Malloy. "Dan believes no one who has a full-time job should raise a family in poverty."
The president was interrupted at least three times by protesters. One time, it was by a man holding a sign saying, "Queers demand bold broad inclusive relief."
The first time he was briefly interrupted, but the protesters were drowned out by chants from the audience, who were given admission via tickets from the Connecticut Democratic Party.
The three protesters, two men and one woman, were escorted out by security. A bit later, two more protesters with the same signs interrupted the speech and were also escorted out. Even later, two more protesters briefly interrupt the speech and were removed.
"Cynicism is a choice. Hope is a better choice," Obama said as he continued his campaign speech.
Obama spoke for about 20 minutes before leaving the crowded gymnasium and returning to his motorcade.
The Democratic faithful had been in the gym since before 2:30 p.m. for a half-hour introductory rally with Mayor Bill Finch, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, among others.
After the introductory rally ended, the crowd milled around and talked as campaign officials handed out Malloy campaign signs. More people were let in on the floor of the gym, and the bleachers were getting packed.
According to Senior Fire Inspector Len Bonaventura of the Bridgeport Fire Department, the crowd numbered 1,900 people in the high school gym.
Chants of "four more years" greeted Malloy as he arrived on stage at 3:36 p.m.
"In America we have an obligation to ensure that everybody has a shot of success," Malloy told the cheering crowd.
The president's motorcade arrived at Central High School in Bridgeport shortly before 3 p.m. after a quick drive south on Interstate 95 from Stratford, where the Marine One helicopter delivered Obama and Malloy.
Clusters of people were gathered on front porches and front lawns along Capitol Avenue in Bridgeport, waving and taking photographs as the motorcade passed by on a sunny but chilly and windy day, according to reports from the White House pool reporter.
A male law enforcement officer stopped and apprehended a man in a blue winter coat just inside the gate to the high school moments after the motorcade drove onto the property, the pool reporter said.
It appeared that the man was entering the school grounds at an unauthorized entrance, the pool reporter said. He was taken away with his hands in restraints behind his back after the officer pushed him against a yellow school bus and frisked him, the pool reporter said.
Malloy is locked in a tight race for governor as he battles in a rematch of the 2010 race against Republican Tom Foley.
Four years ago, Malloy won by about 6,000 votes, largely due to big Democratic voter turnout in Bridgeport, where Obama also appeared at a rally on the eve of the election.
Read more about the introductory rally here on the Daily Voice website.
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