KPTM FOX 42, with video (03:05):
Presidential hopeful Barack Obama made a pit stop at Thomas Jefferson High School in Council Bluffs today. Howie P.S.:
Hundreds of people filled the school as they came together to listen to the man promising to bring a "change they can believe in." Obama entered the town hall meeting to a standing ovation.
"I am going to try to dazzle some of you today to make some of you Obama supporters," he said.
Obama spoke for nearly two hours about many important topics . . . health care being number one.
"My top priority as president domestically is to make sure that every single American has health care that is at least as good as mine as a member of Congress."
Number two was the issue of education in America.
"Children don't just learn by filling in a little bubble. They learn from art and music and physical education and social studies and we are gonna make teachers do what they love to do and that is teach!"
Obama says he wants to raise teacher's salaries and make college affordable for all students - which was music to many high school student's ears.
"I don't want to have to be paying student loans for my entire life," said high school sophomore Josh Osborn. "I'm glad that he's attempting to lower the price."
But the one issue that got everyone talking was the war in Iraq.
"They're tired of a war that should have never been authorized and should never have been waged that has cost us half a billion dollars and thousands of lives and has not made us more safe," said Obama.
"My son was over in Iraq. I think of all the money we're putting into that country and it distracts us from other things," said Chuck Wradt.
Those other things being immigration, high gas prices, and foreign policy.
"I'm looking forward to going before the world community and saying, 'America is back - we are ready to lead again,'" said Obama.
And while Obama has plenty of Democrats on his side, he's also gaining popularity with some Republicans.
"I know this because they whisper to me when I'm done [speaking]. They say, 'Barack, I'm a Republican, but I support you!' And I say, 'Thank you . . . why are we whispering?'"
And before he left the podium, Obama led the entire crowd with a chant, "Are you fired up? Fired up! Ready to go? Ready to go! Fired up? Fired up! Ready to go? Ready to go!"
Obama said he believes more Republicans are supporting him because they are tired of the Bush administration. He said out of all the candidates running, he believes he can most effectively bring the country back together.
The story says he spoke for two hours. The tv report was over three minutes.Barack Obama
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