Bruce Springsteen performs and speaks at pro-Obama rally (Video)
Bruce Springsteen recently gave a free performance at a rally supporting President Barack Obama's re-election campaign and has also released a lengthy online statement explaining why he would like the Democratic leader to win the November ballot.
The 63-year-old singer sang several of his hits, as well as a new song about the president, and played an acoustic guitar and harmonica before some 3,000 page inside a gym at Cuyahoga Community College in Parma, Ohio, near Cleveland. Former President Bill Clinton also appeared at the rally and called Springsteen "one of the coolest dudes I ever met and a guy who reflects our real American values."
During his some 35-minute set, the singer also talked about some of the political issues he is concerned about, mostly reading from a printout of his speech that was set on a music stand.
"I'm here today because I'm concerned about women's rights. I don't have to tell you the dangers to Roe vs. Wade under our opponent's policies," he said, referring to Republican candidate Mitt Romney's pro-life stance. "Also here today because I'm deeply concerned about the continuing disparity in wealth between our best-off citizens and our everyday citizens."
Springsteen performed hits such as "No Surrender," "The Promised Land," "Youngston" and "We Take Care of Our Own" as well as a cover of Woody Guthrie's 1940 folk song "This Land Is Your Land."
He also sang a new song he penned for the campaign, which contained the lyrics: "I kissed her sister, then I kissed her mama. Usually this time of day, I'm in my pajamas. Let's vote for the man who got Osama. Forward and away we go."
"I sent it in but they rejected it," Springsteen then said about his tune.
He is set to appear later on Thursday at another pro-Obama rally, at Iowa State University.
Other singers and musicians who have performed at events supporting the president in recent weeks include fellow New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi, as well as Katy Perry and Stevie Wonder.
Springsteen also performed at rallies for Obama's 2008 election campaign and in 2010, donated $12,000 to Democratic senators and other politicians. He announced his participation in Thursday's pro-Obama rallies last week.
On Wednesday, a letter of support for the president was posted on Springsteen's website. The singer said Obama "is our best choice because he has a vision of the United States as a place where we are all in this together."
"Right now, there is an ever increasing division of wealth in this country, with the benefits going more and more to the 1 percent," he wrote. "For me, President Obama is our best choice to begin to reverse this harmful development. Right now, there is a fight going on to help make this a fairer and more equitable nation. For me, President Obama is our best choice to get us and keep us moving in the right direction."
"Right now, we need a President who has a vision that includes all of our citizens, not just some, whether they are our devastated poor, our pressured middle class, and yes, the wealthy too; whether they are male or female, black, white, brown, or yellow, straight or gay, civilian or military," Springsteen said.
The singer said former President George W. Bush's administration left Obama to deal with "economic chaos" in the United States and that despite this as well as "the extraordinary intensity of the opposition," the U.S. leader has been able "to do a great many things that many of us deeply support."
"Domestically, that record includes working to increase and expand employment for all, protecting our all important social safety net, passing guaranteed health care for most of our citizens, with important new protections for all of the insured, rescuing the auto industry and so many of the American jobs that go with it, protecting and enhancing the rights of women, and bringing us closer to full acceptance of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters," he said.