Belvidere was only one stop for Barack Obama Sunday in the stateline. The State Senator also pulled his RV and his message into Rockford where supporters sweated it out and hung on to every word of his speech.
Barack Obama said that Illinois residents deserve better than what's being offered right now. With Rockford’s unemployment problems, the U.S. Senate candidate spoke of how he plans to revive the stateline.
Shirley Hardy of Rockford waited in the hot sun to hear his speech and says, "I believe he can inspire people and get the jobs and the economy back on track."
Rita Zant from Loves Park was also anxious to see Obama in person and not on TV.
Zant says, "On AOL they rated him above Bill Clinton the master speechmaker so you know everyone is interested."
Nearly 1,000 people packed Sinnissippi Park to hear Obama's speech, as the Senate hopeful reached out to his multi-racial base.
Obama told 23 News, "I think it's important for voters to up the hood and get a sense for what I stand for and what the campaign stands for and it’s important for me to listen to the issues there most concerned with."
Obama focused mainly on his big three issues: better education, better healthcare and better employment for people living both downstate and upstate.
"Jobs and economic security is critical not only for people who've lost their jobs but also people who have worked and haven't seen a raise in years," Obama states.
On jobs, the State Senator criticized the current president's commitment to keeping jobs in Illinois and promised with patience that Rockford can do better.
Obama says, "I’d be over-promising if all the jobs immediately return, but we need to put long term solutions in place to help bring back jobs to places like Rockford."
Just days after lighting up the Democratic National Convention, Obama says he's carrying the momentum from the national stage to small stages all across Illinois.
"I’m encouraged by the response and as long as we keep working hard and focusing on the issues of Illinois I think we'll do just fine," Obama told the press.
He left with these words, "I love you Rockford. Thank you. Goodbye."