President Barack Obama came to the aid of Gov. Jon S. Corzine Thursday, drawing an excited crowd and sizable donations for the Democrat's uphill bid for re-election.
"I'm proud to stand with a man who wakes up every single day thinking about your future and the future of this state," said Obama, who addressed a rally that organizers hoped would draw more than 17,000 people, The Cherry Hill Courier Post reports.
The campaign appearance for Corzine, who continues to lag GOP challenger Chris Christie in early polls, was Obama's first since he took office in January. The rally was moved from New Brunswick to the PNC Arts Center in Holmdel to accommodate more of the 52,000 who signed up for tickets.
Obama later recited a list of Corzine's accomplishments during his 25-minute speech, saying the governor has reduced the size of government, increased the number of children who have health insurance and provided more property tax relief than his predecessors. He also used the occasion to make a pitch for his health care reform plan.
For his part, Corzine said he recognized something special in Obama the first time they met, when Obama was a freshman lawmaker and Corzine was a chief fundraiser for the Senate Democrats, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
“We’re both engaged in the fight to bring affordable health care to New Jerseyans and all Americans,” Corzine said to a cheering crowd. “With a partner in the White House, there’s no limit to what we can accomplish,” Bloomberg reports.