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Obama, Clinton appeal to New Hampshire's Democratic history in Concord rally

CONCORD, N.H. – Riding Saturday night’s momentum from their first appearance at a rally together, President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton took to the small Granite State capital to make their case for the former’s second term.

Introducing the president, Clinton reminded the crowd how good New Hampshire had been to him when he first ran for president, leaving unsaid that the state also voted for his wife Hillary in the 2008 Democratic primary.

“Twenty years and nine months ago, New Hampshire began the chance for me to become president,” Clinton told the 14,000 people gathered in a park near the statehouse here.

But, he added, he was much more enthusiastic about campaigning for Obama now than he was for himself.

“Maybe because I have done this work. Maybe because I know how hard it is,” he said.

"Twenty years and nine months ago, New Hampshire began the chance for me to become president," former President Bill Clinton told 14,000 gathered in Concord before introducing President Barack Obama. Clinton said he was more enthusiastic for Obama than he was for himself.

And Clinton also played the role of aggressive surrogate for the more reserved president, reviving the “Romnesia” attack line that Obama had deployed in the weeks leading up to the tone-changing Hurricane Sandy.

“As President Obama has told us there’s this great public health epidemic, this virus, sweeping across America causing a condition known as Romnesia,” Clinton said, “and the virus is so rampant that anybody’s vulnerable to gettin’ a little of it.”

For his part, Obama sought to draw a parallel between Clinton’s economic policies, popular around the country in retrospect, and his own.

“Just as we did when Bill Clinton was president, we gotta ask the wealthiest to pay a little bit more so we can reduce the deficit and still invest in the things we need to grow,” he said.

And Obama also gave an unusually detailed plug for some of the state’s down-ballot candidates, a nod to the Democrats’ fight to regain the House, as well as add more governors to the party roster.

“If you want to break the gridlock in Congress, you’ll vote for leaders who feel the same way whether they’re Democrats or Republicans or independents – folks like John Lynch, folks like Jeanne Shaheen, you’ll vote for candidates like Annie Custer, Carol Shea-Porter. You’ll make Maggie Hassan the next governor of New Hampshire,” he said.

Amanda Henneberg, spokeswoman for GOP nominee Mitt Romney's campaign, responded to Obama in a written statement: "With no rationale for re-election, President Obama has resorted to false, discredited attacks and a cynical closing message urging voters to choose ‘revenge.’ The people of New Hampshire, along with the rest of America, will choose Governor Romney’s optimistic vision for our country’s future and will vote for real change so he can get our country back on the right track."

The president continued his frenetic campaign pace, hopping on a plane to Florida after his New Hampshire stop.