By MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — In the final run-up to his convention, President Barack Obama implored college students Tuesday to help him get out the vote, calling the election a chance to "close the gap between what America should be and what it is right now."
Obama also voiced one worry about first lady Michelle Obama's speech Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention — the chance he might cry in front of his daughters, Sasha and Malia, as they watch it on television from the White House residence.
The president's stop in Virginia capped a battleground run through Iowa, Colorado and Ohio as he prepares for his party's convention, two months before voters choose whether to stick with him or elect Republican Mitt Romney.
"We've come too far to turn back now," Obama said at Norfolk State University. "We've created a lot of jobs. But we've got more jobs to create."
Obama told the crowd that, on this day, his remarks were a distant second to his wife's.
"This is just like a relay. You start off with the fastest person," he said. "So I'm going to be at home, and I'm going to be watching it with our girls. And I'm going to try not to let them see their daddy cry. Because when Michelle starts talking, I start getting all misty."
The president also had a handout for the thirsty.
Obama made a surprise stop at a local fire and rescue station, presenting some of the White House's home-brewed beer to a battalion chief and a few firefighters. The brew has caused something of a buzz among beer aficionados; the White House released two of its beer recipes on Saturday.
"I want you to test it out," Obama told the firefighting crew. "It's a whole case. I am going to call you up and see if we have the right recipe."
A spokeswoman for Republican Mitt Romney said Obama offered no new solutions Tuesday.
"President Obama has found himself on the wrong side of the issues Virginians care about the most," spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said.
The president travels to North Carolina on Wednesday.
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