A few hours before President Obama spoke in Madison Thursday, members of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity gathered a few miles away from the UW campus, and held a news conference to attack the President's economic policy.
About 50 people showed up for the AFP rally and phone banking event at a VFW post on the shores of Lake Monona. In the parking lot was a black bus with President Obama's picture on it and in bold white lettering the word's Obama's Failing Agenda. Beside that a list of what AFP President Tim Phillips calls the President's failing economic report card, "Unemployment's still up, the deficit and debt are just crushing us, we've got gas prices at double what they were when he took office, and it's hurting people .We've gotta change this president's policy."
Phillips says the "Failing Agenda" bus tour is not a partisan effort to elect or defeat anyone. Instead it's what might be called an issue ad on wheels. After a brief speech by Philips about 25 volunteers sat down in the VFW Hall to make calls to Wisconsin voters and inform them about the down side of President Obama's economic policies.
At the UW, thousands of people waited in a long line Thursday for a chance to hear the president speak. Most were traditional student-aged, but there were also families with children.
Forty-six year old Rhonda Kisting pointed to her two-and-a-half year-old son in a stroller and explained why she'll be voting for President Obama, "He was my going back to college surprise at 40 something so because of them I was able to get the child care grants unexpectedly, I was able to stay in college and finish so he has helped us in a lot of ways. I started this at 43 so I'm almost finished."
An 18-year-old UW freshman who gave her name as Nivi said she hadn't decided who to vote for yet, and came to hear the President to help her make up her mind.