Obama Rallies at CSU, Visits West Side Market

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CLEVELAND -- President Barack Obama was back in Northeast Ohio on Friday speaking to a crowd of supporters in the rain at Krenzler Field at Cleveland State University.

"Hello Cleveland State," said President Obama as he took the stage. "I know, I know everybody's a little wet. Ladies, I know some of you just went to the hairdresser, that's a sacrifice!"

President Obama addressed approximately 9,000 people who gathered outside and he reminded them about his long-term vision for the country.  The president also said he remains focused on creating an economy that will last.

"Every month we understand, especially here in Cleveland and all around Ohio, that there are too many friends and neighbors that are still looking for work, too many families who are still struggling to pay the bills," said the president.

Friday's campaign stop in Cleveland came two days after President Obama's first debate with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.  The president accused his republican challenger of being dishonest about how his policies would impact Americans.

"I was very shocked at some of the stories that were told and I was really grateful that the President kept his calm and he didn't really fall into the trap of debating back-and-forth, you can't debate a lie," said Janet Hutchins from Northfield.

President Obama's visit also coincided with Friday's announcement from the U.S. Labor Department that the unemployment rate fell below 8% in September, to 7.8%, for the first time since 2009. That is the lowest since President Obama took office.

"Here's the bottom line Ohio, we've got more work to do but the only way we're going to do it is with you," said the president.

According to figures provided by the government, employers added 114,000 jobs last month. The Labor Department also revised the number of jobs for the months of July and August by 86,000.

Gov. Mitt Romney said the jobs numbers for the past few months are still not enough to make up for the number of jobs lost since President Obama took office. In a statement, Reince Priebus, the head of the Republican National Committee (RNC) said, "High unemployment remains a chronic condition in America, the seriousness of which is measured not simply by one number but by the millions of families trying to make ends meet in an impossible economy. Americans cannot afford four more years like the last four years."

Supporters, like Demetrius Roach from Lima, are standing by President Obama.

"I'm going to continue to support President Obama, I feel that he's going to continue to lead us in the correct direction," Roach said.

The president was in Ohio on Friday following a campaign stop in Fairfax, Virginia. 

"I just have one question, are you registered to vote?  Because if you're not, if you are not, you've got four days left," said President Obama shortly before leaving the stage.

"He's a family man and I just love him, I think he's great," said Tanya Prude from Cleveland. "We're out here in the rain - it's cold - but I'm here until the end."

Linda Marhefka, from Westlake, said the president has been committed to women and she's committed to him.

"Barack Obama is the only person who has conveyed - in policy and in action and in words and in deeds, philosophy - a truly supportive policy and practice toward women," said Marhefka.

The voter registration deadline in Ohio is Tuesday, Oct. 9. Early voting is already underway in this state, which the president won in 2008.

After his rally at CSU, President Obama made an unannounced stop at the West Side Market at West 25 Street and Lorain.  The market is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

"I think I'll have a smokie while I'm here," President Obama said at a meat stand.

He also stopped at "Michelle's Bakery," which he said was no coincidence.