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Bill Clinton, Springsteen to campaign for Obama in Ohio

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President Obama is calling on former president Bill Clinton and rocker Bruce Springsteen in an effort to inject new momentum into his campaign in the stretch run.

The Obama campaign announced that the heavyweight duo will headline a rally on behalf of the president in Parma, Ohio, on Thursday. The event, at which Clinton will deliver remarks, is free and open to the public, the campaign said in a statement. Obama will not attend.

Campaign manager Jim Messina said Springsteen echoes the values the president is fighting for and added that his appearances will help get out the vote efforts in Ohio, a swing state whose 18 electoral college votes are considered crucial.

“We are thrilled with his ongoing support,” Messina said in a statement.

The Obama campaign has been struggling to regain its footing since the president’s listless debate performance against Republican nominee Mitt Romney in Denver last week. Romney’s poll numbers have risen in the wake of the matchup, and the president has been under increasing pressure from Democratic supporters to make a stronger case for his reelection in the next debate Tuesday at Hofstra University in New York.

Clinton delivered a memorable speech at the Democratic National Convention last month that many observers felt made a better argument on behalf of Obama’s agenda and first-term record than the president has done. Since then, Clinton has toured several swing states on Obama’s behalf.

Springsteen has been a supporter of Obama’s, endorsing him in April 2008 and playing at several rallies in Obama’s first campaign. The president uses Springsteen’s song, “We Take Care of Our Own,” in his 2012 campaign song playlist at rallies.

The president’s campaign also released a new television advertisement Saturday narrated by actor Morgan Freeman that heralds Obama’s accomplishments in his first term. Titled “Challenges,” the ad highlights the president’s response to the fiscal crisis in 2009, the end of the Iraq war and the killing of Osama bin Laden.

“Every president inherits challenges. Few have faced so many,” Freeman says in the voiceover. But, he adds, “There are still challenges to meet, children to educate, a middle class to rebuild. But the last thing we should do is turn back now.”