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Obama to 20,000 in Milwaukee: "Wisconsin, you know what I believe"

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MILWAUKEE - With help from pop sensation Katy Perry, President Barack Obama drew 20,000 people in and around the downtown Delta Arena on Saturday as he trumpeted his accomplishments in office and urged people to not only vote, but to volunteer in the closing days before the election.

"It's good to be so close to home!" he shouted to roars inside the energized downtown Milwaukee venue.

"Wisconsin, after four years as president, you know me," Obama said. "Wisconsin, you know what I believe. You know I mean what I say and I say what I mean."

He told the group that he came through on his promises, including to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," in the military, to pull troops out of Iraq and to kill Osama bin Laden.

It was one of four campaign stops for the president on Saturday and he and Mitt Romney crisscrossed into swing states in the final days before the election.

For Obama, Milwaukee is the closest the president will get to his hometown of Chicago before Election Day on Tuesday, where he will end the night at McCormick Place. He plans to return to Madison on Monday morning, where Bruce Springsteen will lend a hand drawing a crowd with a street concert.

Earlier in the day Saturday, electricity was palpable as thousands of people wound around Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Milwaukee awaiting Obama's arrival and hoping to get into a free Katy Perry concert.
Perry didn't disappoint, performing her hits "Firework" and "Teenage Dream."

She first wore a red, white and blue ruffled gown that was stripped off to reveal a skin-tight blue dress with the word "Forward" running down it. That matched the sea of blue rallying signs held by the crowd when Obama arrived.

Perry urged the crowd to vote and promised if fans Tweeted her a photo of them in an interesting outfit on Election Day that she would re-Tweet it.

Kamila Krupiarz and Mariyum Abba, both 19 and from the Chicago suburbs, were asked why they traveled to Milwaukee Saturday.

"Katy Perry!" Krupiarz exclaimed about the pop sensation. "And Obama," she added, laughing.

The two best friends scored tickets to the arena. They said this is the first year they're able to vote and were blown away when they were able to get free tickets to get in to see both Obama and Perry.

Also lucky enough to get a ticket was Kerstin Mendel, 35, of Milwaukee who is originally from Germany.
Mendel, who has lived in several different European countries, said Mitt Romney "scares me."

She said if Obama were campaigning in Europe he would be considered at least a moderate.

"The liberals in Europe are way left to where Obama is," Mendel said.

Anthony Jones, 37, said this was his first chance to see Obama. He supports Obama because he considers him strong on education, Jones said. Obama established "Race to the Top" to boost performance in schools and has pushed for Pell Grants to help lower income go to college.

Jones said he was laid off from his job in 2008 but was hired back because of having college experience.
"We've hired 150 more employees at my company," he said, since Obama took office.

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