CHICAGO, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., arrived in his hometown of Chicago to find an anti-war rally taking place at the site of his homecoming.
Obama, who had earlier in the weekend announced his candidacy for the presidency and spent much of his public speaking time since then criticizing the war in Iraq, was met Sunday at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion with a crowd of 7,300 calling on him to cut funding for the operation, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday.
"I'm glad they were there," Obama said of the protesters. "They feel a sense of urgency about a war that should have never been authorized and a war that should have never been fought."
However, Obama said he disagreed with the rally's message of cutting funding for the war, saying such a move could put U.S. soldiers at risk by denying them vital equipment.
"We need to bring this war to an end," he said, "but we need to do it in a way that makes our troops safe."