Obama campaign launches effort to capture youth vote

February 21, 2012 7:59:19 PM PST
Members of the president's re-election team, along with actress Gabrielle Union, tried to grab the youth vote at N.C. Central University Tuesday evening.

Union played moderator at the event, which was a White House effort to re-energize young voters for President Obama's re-election.

"You know, the media's been saying that young people are apathetic, that they don't care," said Union. "I didn't really see that with the line that went all the way out the door."

It was an event right out of the Obama 2008 playbook when the president won by winning two-thirds of young voters. His re-election counts on winning them again.

"This was just the perfect way for us to truly engage young people and make sure they have a seat at the table," said Obama 2012 Youth Director Valeisha Butterfield-Jones. "So, it's not us talking at them but with us about the issue."

The event was billed as a student summit. The president's Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and Campaign Manager Jim Messina led a panel discussion. Both were eager to paint the president as someone who can still relate to the concerns of young voters.

"When I left Washington this morning, I said 'what would you like me to deliver to these young people.' And he wanted you to know that every single day he comes to the office with you in mind," said Jarrett.

Republicans pounced. They issued a statement that President Obama hasn't delivered the jobs he promised or the college affordability he promised to students.

The president's team pushed back.

"Change is 23 consecutive months of job growth and 3.7 million new jobs," said Messina.

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