July 13, 2012 at 10:58 am
By Nicole Rodriguez, TCPalm/FLDemocracy.com
PORT ST. LUCIE — Scores of President Obama supporters spilled onto the sidewalk outside his local campaign office during its opening Thursday night. The grand opening comes right after what some supporters are calling the president’s biggest accomplishment in office.
“It hurts to know that people are without health insurance,” said Port St. Lucie resident Fern Webb, who praised the Supreme Court’s June 28 ruling to uphold Obama’s health-care plan as constitutional. “Do you know how hard it is to find a doctor you can afford when you’re not insured?”
“It’s embarrassing when you can’t afford it and you have to go in and tell them you can’t,” said Webb, who added that a few years ago she was one of the estimated one in four Americans without health coverage. “I’m just proud of him. It’s about love, life and caring for everybody’s needs.”
Volunteers said the office, at 1060 S.E. Port St Lucie Blvd., will function as the St. Lucie County headquarters for local supporters to gather ahead of the November election. It’s a place to organize local campaign efforts, make calls, assemble field teams and coordinate political events to get President Obama re-elected, volunteer Steve Aptheker, 63, of St. Lucie West said. The new Port St. Lucie office is one of 40 statewide locations opened by the Obama for America Florida campaign.
Aptheker said Obama’s policies and ideas regarding the economy, health care and war have been pivotal in getting America back on track.
“When he took office in January 2009, we were in one of the greatest depressions and were losing more than 700,000 jobs a month. The auto industry was about to collapse,” Aptheker said. “President Obama passed a stimulus plan and in the past 42 months, he’s added 4 million private-sector jobs.”
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack addressed the public Thursday. Vilsack said the Obama administration’s fate rests on the shoulders of Floridians who have the power to re-elect him if they band together to vote.
“You are extraordinarily important to the future of this country,” Vilsack said. “We’ve got to make sure President Obama has four more years to complete the important work he has started. The most important people of this effort are standing in this room and outside.
“I know one thing about this state, you win Florida and you win the presidency. “And I have been told you win this region, you win Florida.”
Vilsack added President Obama is vital to the nation’s prosperity.
“He’s made us safer by eliminating Osama bin Laden. He has turned this economy around and has an extraordinary vision to rebuild the middle class by creating an economy built to last,” Vilsack said.