CHARLOTTE, N.C. — President Barack Obama gave a campaign pep talk today to the tens of thousands of volunteers who were shut out of his nomination acceptance speech after Democratic convention organizers moved the event from Bank of America Stadium to Time Warner Cable Arena.
In a conference call, Obama said he couldn’t risk their safety if a severe thunderstorm hit Charlotte in middle of his speech or the others scheduled for this evening, including Vice President Joseph Biden's nomination acceptance speech. But the president said he understood that many of them had worked hard to get tickets and had traveled to North Carolina at their own expense.
“I know it’s disappointing,” he said. “My main message is we can’t let a little thunder and lightning get us down, we’re going to have to roll with it.”
Obama told them that he hoped they would still join speech watching parties tonight and said he is eager to share his vision when he takes the stage. So far, Obama said, the convention has been “unbelievable,” highlighting first lady Michelle Obama’s Tuesday speech and President Bill Clinton’s speech on Wednesday night.
“Hopefully at the end of this convention, people will say we accomplished what we needed to and offered our vision for the country,” Obama said, “but this is still going to be a really close election.”
He said the Republicans would have “massive checks from wealthy donors” on their side. “The good thing is I’ve got you. ... Nothing’s more powerful than the work you guys do.”
And he said that the campaign will work hard to get volunteers opportunities to see him at campaign events around the country. “Hopefully you’ll have even a closer front row seat,” he said.