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Impassioned Obama hits Romney on education in swing state Nevada

LAS VEGAS -- It may have been the small, echoing gym filled with 2,700 yelling people, but at today’s campaign event, President Barack Obama felt more “fired up, ready to go” than he’s seemed in a while.

Today’s focus, like the two events yesterday, was education. But the president allowed himself to get a bit more expressive when talking about the importance of teachers.

President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign stop, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012, in North Las Vegas, Nev.
President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign stop, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012, in North Las Vegas, Nev.Isaac Brekken / AP

And while the actual content of the last two days' education-driven speeches hasn’t been incredibly different, the president’s tone seemed affected by the raucous crowd responses, including a sustained “four more years” chant to overpower a heckler who ended up being ejected from the event by Secret Service.

And this crowd also ended up drowning the president himself out as he finished up his speech, almost yelling: “We've got more veterans we've got to help. We've got more doors of opportunity we've got to open up to every single American. That's why I'm asking for a second term."

The president has spoken about his fifth grade teacher in the past, but bringing her up today allowed him to also put a personal spin on painting presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney as extremist on the subject of education.

“The right teacher can change a child's life forever. Look, I know this from personal experience. When I was in fifth grade, I had a teacher named Mabel Hefty. That was her name. And she was a great teacher," Obama started into the story. "I had just come back from living a few years overseas with my mom and wasn't sure how I'd fit in. And she noticed that, Ms. Hefty. And she took me under her wing, and she made me feel like I had something to say, and that I had some talent."

"Gov. Romney says we've got enough teachers, we don't need any more. You know, the way he talks about them, it seems as if he thinks these are a bunch of nameless government bureaucrats that we need to cut back on. Those are his words,” the president added.

The president's latest campaign jaunt took him to Ohio and Nevada -- two important swing states -- to press the case for education as many students get ready to head back to school. His campaign released complementary TV ads to additionally pummel Romney on education cuts.

"I've got a question for Governor Romney. How many teachers' jobs are worth another tax cut for millionaires and billionaires?" Obama said Wednesday, using more pointed language toward his Republican challenger. "How many kids in Head Start are worth a tax cut for somebody like me who doesn't need it?"

But according to NBC’s Garrett Haake, Romney was ready with an educational response during an event Wednesday in Iowa.

“If you want to invest in young people, let me tell you what you need to do, Mr. President," Romney said. "You need to make sure that our K-through-12 schools are getting better, all right, that's number one. Not just talk, but actually getting better."