Music Hall crowd gathers at President Obama town hall

CINCINNATI - An estimated 1,500 supporters of President Barack Obama filed in to the Music Hall ballroom Monday afternoon for a town hall meeting on the economy.

The president was expected to speak at 2:20 p.m. and take questions from members of what appeared to be a very diverse crowd of men and women, black and white. However, he got to Music Hall early and began speaking at 2 p.m.

Some could say the choice of the ballroom for the campaign event was a natural selection, given the history of the room for the Democrats. It's the same space where First Lady Michelle Obama spoke in 2008 when her husband was an Illinois U.S. Senator trying to win the Democratic Party nomination.

Of course, he went on to win the nomination and capture traditionally Republican Hamilton County in winning the White House for his party.

The state for the president was set up in the middle of the room with a set of metal bleachers behind the podium filled with Democratic supporters.

The podium itself had a small sign saying "Foward," which is the President's campaign slogan in trying to win a second term in Washington.  A larger "Forward" hung above the stage.

Supporters were arranged in a horseshoe shape around the stage. This was where people who would ask questions of President Obama were seated.

Other spectators were seated behind metal barriers a greater distance from the stage. Further back in the rectangular room was a second set of bleachers that was filled well before the president's speech.

The president was expected to continue to attack Republican Mitt Romney for not releasing his income tax returns before the year 2010 and for his activities during his involvement with Bain Capital.

On economic matters, Obama will continue his stance as "the warrior for the middle class" -- a theme he began while standing in front of the Brent Spence Bridge last September touting his American Jobs Act.

Rebuilding the economy should be done from the middle class out and not the top wage earners down, according to material supplied by the Obama campaign.

Paying down the national debt is a key economic plank that will lead to job growth in education, energy, innovation and infrastructure. That's also part of the Democratic Party platform.

Republican Mitt Romney was in Cincinnati just a few weeks ago speaking at a foundry in Carthage.  He boasted that his record in private business makes him the better choice to be President and turn the economy around.

Obama was in Maumee in Northwestern Ohio last week.  Romney will be in the same general area on Wednesday, when he speaks at Bowling Green State University.

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