David Plouffe on crowd size: ‘We’re happy to have that debate’
By Felicia Sonmez,
Obama senior adviser David Plouffe says the campaign is pleased with the turnout at its Saturday afternoon event at Ohio State University, where the 14,000-strong crowd fell short of the stadium’s capacity of 18,300.
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama acknowledge a crowd of about 14,000 supporters during a campaign rally at Ohio State University in Columbus on Saturday. (Kevin Lamarque/ REUTERS)
He added that if Mitt Romney’s campaign wanted to have a debate about crowd size, “we’re happy to have that debate.”
Obama campaign officials had earlier said they expected an “overflow” crowd at the event.
Despite falling short of expectations, the crowd at Obama’s Ohio State University event was still many times larger than Romney’s biggest crowd this year so far. Romney has drawn crowds of several thousand people during the GOP primary race, but none topping 10,000.
On Twitter on Saturday, campaign operatives jousted over the visuals of the Ohio rally.
“View from floor during @BarackObama speech. Not the “overflow” crowd he promised,” tweeted Romney spokesman Ryan Williams.
Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse fired back with a photo of Romney’s February economic speech in Detroit, where 1,200 people turned out for an event in a stadium that seats 65,000.
“Oh please,” Woodhouse tweeted.
And Michael Czin, northeast regional press secretary for the Obama campaign, tweeted: “Looks like @RyanGOP decided to go to a real rally for a change. Welcome. #forward.”