Obama Supporters, Democratic Leaders React to Grand Junction Visit

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

Thousands of people from all over Western Colorado descended upon the Cross Orchards historic site for Obama's Grand Junction visit Monday -- many of which say they left feeling more excited and motivated than ever.

For Jack Real and other, it was difficult to hold back the emotions as they watched Barack Obama deliver his message of change from just a few feet away.

"It's a wonderful thing," said Real. "Most exciting, great energy. I just can't believe it."

"It's like my nerves were shaking and my heart was throbbing at the energy," said Kyle Conrad, an Obama supporter from Durango.

It was energy that remained high through the forty minutes Obama spoke about several issues attendees say really resonated with Colorado voters.

"What I appreciated was Barack Obama addressing Merril Lynch today and addressing what's going on in the economy today," said Conrad. "I think it's really scary."

"He really hit home when he talked about college education," said David Combs, an independent voter. "We're really feeling the pinch."

"I liked that he touched on most of the hot issues and said that change is substantial," said Real.

"I think he hit the issues he wanted to hit," said U.S. Senator Ken Salazar, (D) Colorado. "We have an economy in crisis, we are a country at war, and we need change."

"The core of that speech was about middle America and how middle America needs to understand the differences between Barack Obama and John McCain," said Governor Bill Ritter. "And there's significant differences."

But some say it's the significance of Obama's Western Slope visit, not just his words, that could turn Colorado blue for the first time since 1992, when Bill Clinton took the state.

"I think the excitement of thousands of people coming out shows that we want to have that change brought about," said Salazar.

"If you look at what we've done over the last several years in terms of the transformation of the political landscape, Western Colorado has been important to that," said Ritter.

Some in the crowd tell 11 News they would have liked Obama to spend more time talking about Colorado issues like water rights, energy development, and education, but say they were still pleased with what they heard.

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