Bruce Springsteen to campaign for Obama in Ohio, Iowa

WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:55pm EDT

Bruce Springsteen performs with the E Street Band during a concert in East Rutherford, New Jersey, September 19, 2012. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Bruce Springsteen performs with the E Street Band during a concert in East Rutherford, New Jersey, September 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia (Reuters) - Republican Mitt Romney may have Clint Eastwood on his side, but President Barack Obama has Bruce Springsteen.

The rock star will perform at campaign rallies for the president in the battleground states of Ohio and Iowa on Thursday, the Obama campaign said.

His appearances come as the president's team is ramping up efforts to turn out supporters before the November 6 election. Obama and Romney are running neck and neck in national polls after the Republican's strong performance in their October 3 debate boosted his campaign.

"Iowans understand hard work, fairness and integrity, the same values that Bruce Springsteen, the president and vice president stand for," Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said in a statement. "Springsteen's appearances will be valuable in energizing supporters and getting out the vote effort in these important swing states."

The Obama campaign did not have details about the size of the venues in Ames, Iowa and the Parma, Ohio, area. Former President Bill Clinton will be at the event with Springsteen in Ohio. Both events are free and open to the public.

The Obama campaign often plays Springsteen songs at campaign stops, believing his working-class themes fit in well with the president's message. The New Jersey-born rocker also campaigned for Obama in 2008.

Eastwood, the Oscar-winning director and actor, made a surprise and somewhat bizarre appearance at the Republican National Convention when he used an empty stool as a prop to represent the Democratic incumbent.

DEBATE PREP

Obama is spending the weekend at a resort in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he is preparing for the next debate on Tuesday with Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.

Senator John Kerry will reprise his role impersonating the Republican presidential candidate. Obama advisers David Axelrod, David Plouffe and others are working with the president to craft a sharper performance after his lackluster encounter with Romney at their first debate.

Virginia is a battleground state, and the president's choice of location for debate preparation not far from Washington was not an accident. As he did during his stay in Nevada before the first debate, Obama will likely make an unscheduled stop in the area to generate local press coverage during his stay.

Aides to the president have been reluctant to share details on how his debate preparation is structured.

A campaign official said he would spend the coming days practicing and studying material.

Vice President Joe Biden brought new vigor to the Obama campaign after his aggressive debate on Thursday against Romney's running mate, U.S. Representative Paul Ryan. But voters traditionally pay much closer attention to the candidates at the top of the ticket.

Obama is likely to follow up on issues from the vice presidential debate where his campaign believes Ryan showed signs of weakness, including taxes, women's right to abortion, and a time line for ending the war in Afghanistan.

(Editing by Peter Cooney)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (11)
flashrooster wrote:
“Senator John Kerry will reprise his role impersonating the Republican presidential candidate.”

Are you kidding me? Didn’t work out so good the first time. Try someone else. Anyone else! Put Joe Biden in there. Put someone who can and will clean Obama’s clock, and practice reversing the clock cleaning.

Oct 13, 2012 11:20pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Sensibility wrote:
Bruce? Well I don’t know about you, but when I’m deciding who to vote for, I’d listen to a guy wearing a sleeveless jean jacket.

Oct 13, 2012 12:32am EDT  --  Report as abuse
BuffaloGirl wrote:
Gotta laugh, because someone I know was going to vote for Romney despite my protests. He’s a huge Springsteen fan.

Oct 14, 2012 1:42am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.