(TOLEDO, OHIO) - Barack Obama went canvassing today in a middle class neighborhood in Holland shortly after arriving here for a two days of debate prep. Accompanied by local campaign aides and volunteers, he spent almost an hour knocking on doors and talking to voters.
Crowds gathered on Shrewsbury Street as word got out that Obama was in the neighborhood.
"I'm moved to tears. This is amazing," one young teacher said after she spoke to the Democratic nominee.
As he made his way down the street, Obama was barraged by questions about the economy, mortgages, and taxes. This was perhaps the best kind of debate prep for him, because not all of the conversations were easygoing. One man in particular questioned Obama's tax plan, telling him that he is about to buy a company that makes more than $250,000 a year.
"Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn't it?" the man asked.
Obama responded by telling the voter that his business would get a 50% tax credit for health care, but that his taxes will go up from 36% to 39%.
"I want to give all these folks who are bus drivers, teachers, auto workers who make less, I want to give them a tax cut," Obama explained.
The man wasn't convinced, telling Obama that he has been a plumber for 15 years and doesn't believe that he should be taxed more.
After explaining that the tax rate would be the same as under Bill Clinton and that 95% of Americans make less than $250,000, Obama made one last pitch to the voter.
"I'm gonna cut taxes a little bit more for the folks who are most in need and for the 5% of the folks who are doing very well - even though they've been working hard and I appreciate that – I just want to make sure they're paying a little bit more in order to pay for those other tax cuts," Obama said.
"It's not that I want to punish your success – I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you – that they've got a chance at success too."
As Obama left, he told the crowd, "I've gotta go prepare for this debate, but that was pretty good practice right there!"