Obama visits Colorado to discuss national service | SummitDaily.com

Obama visits Colorado to discuss national service

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., center, talks to volunteers with Quincy, Ill., Mayor John Spring, left, and Illinois State Sen. John Sullivan at a sandbag station in Quincy, Ill., Saturday, June 14, 2008. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

COLORADO SPRINGS ” Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama traveled to Colorado Springs on Wednesday to lay out his agenda for a national service program.

The speech was scheduled before an invitation-only group. He also planned to attend a private fundraiser Wednesday night.

It was Obama’s third visit to Colorado this year, after previous stops in January and May.

The state voted Republican in the 2004 presidential election, but a poll of Colorado voters released last week showed Obama ahead of Republican John McCain by 5 percentage points.

Although Colorado has only nine electoral votes, it could play a significant role in this year’s elections because it’s one of about a dozen states believed to have the potential to switch columns.

Before Obama’s appearance, state GOP leaders accused him of reversing his positions and “plunging to the middle” on such issues as federal funding for church-based social programs.

Obama said Tuesday he wants to expand White House efforts to steer social service dollars to religious groups.

“You really don’t know where Sen. Obama is on the issues,” Colorado Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams said in a conference call with reporters.

Wadhams and state Rep. Bob Gardner of Colorado Springs criticized Obama for restricting Wednesday event to invited guests.

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