Three students from St. Mary's College of Maryland volunteering for the Obama for America campaign applaud Congressman Elijah Cummings' speech.
Local and state Democrats fired up supporters at the Obama for America Southern Maryland rally at Greater Mt. Zion Church in Prince Frederick on Saturday night. Congressman Elijah Cummings (D: MD-7th) gave an impassioned plea to the audience to vote for incumbent President Barack Obama (D) in November.
The speeches by Cummings, Attorney General Doug Gansler (D: Maryland), Maryland State Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr (D: 27th), Congressman Steny Hoyer (D: MD-5th) and Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown (D) ranged on a variety of topics, from the economy to healthcare. Cummings also decided to talk about the current topic that’s front and center in national politics, the use of contraception.
“Our Republican colleagues saw nothing wrong with having a panel of only men talk about a woman’s right to use contraception,” Cummings said. “Strong men and women stood up and asked, ‘where are the women’ and they saw nothing wrong with it.”
Cummings also talked about health insurance costs being out of reach for his family, and how women in his family could not get insurance because of pre-existing conditions.
“We are better than that,” he said. “The Republicanns would repeal (health care reform) and have not said what they would replace it with… We must guard the progress.”
Cummings also talked about his daughter being only the second generation in his family to go to college, and talked about progress in the African American community over the past century, but said the dream of being able to go to college is under attack.
“That dream’s being taken away from Americans. Democrats are about the business of reigniting the dreams of America... The greatest threat to our national security is the inability to educate every American. This is bigger than us. We must be fired up.”
Cummings’ speech was met with thunderous applause by the congregation of supporters at the rally.
Miller spoke about Maryland’s educational and economic success, saying Maryland had the best public schools and the lowest poverty rate. He also predicted the Democrats would pick up the sixth district in the House of Representatives, a seat currently occupied by Republican Congressman Roscoe Bartlett.
“Barack Obama is a friend of mine,” Hoyer said to start his speech. Hoyer was the House Majority Leader when Obama was inaugurated in January 2009. Hoyer then indirectly eluded to Mitt Romney’s comments about not caring about the poor.
“Does anyone’s faith tell them not to care about the poor,” Hoyer asked, emphasizing all faiths care for their poor.
Romney has come under fire by commentators on both sides of the aisle for saying he was “not concerned about the very poor” in an interview on CNN earlier this month. Romney was referencing the fact that there is a safety net for the lowest income Americans and supporters of Romney felt those remarks were taken out of context.
“Expectations were so high that people expected Obama to talk in to The White House, flip a switch and turn the lights on in every house in America,” Hoyer said.
Hoyer said the auto bailouts were a success and said Democrats compromised with Republican President George W. Bush in 2008 to pass the bank bailout which was opposed by several Republicans. Hoyer also spoke about attempts to suppress the rights of voters to vote in several states, pointing out that a gun permit was an acceptable voter ID in Texas but a student ID is not.
“Let’s get it done. America needs us, America needs Barack Obama,” Hoyer said in closing.
“The biggest fear the Republican Party has is a second Obama term,” Maryland State Democratic Chair Yvette Lewis said. “Let’s give them something to be afraid of.”
After the keynote speeches, supporters took to the Fellowship Hall at the Greater Mt. Zion Church to take to a phone bank and call people to urge their support for Barack Obama.