Florida campaign flurry
July 19th, 2012
09:01 PM ET

Florida campaign flurry

JACKSONVILLE (CNN)–Florida is an up-for-grabs state and both President Barack Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney are locked in a neck and neck race trying to convince voters their policies will help fix the nation's economic problems.

Thursday, the president made his fourth campaign stop in the last month to the state that represents a whopping 29 electoral votes.

In the reliably Republican city of Jacksonville, the president offered his supporters a reason to stick with him then cast a wider net by going after his opponent on an issue that resonates with senior voters–Medicare.

"He plans to turn Medicare into a voucher program," the president told a crowd of some 3000 people at the Prime Osborn Convention Center. "Now, Florida, that's the wrong way to go... We shouldn't be squeezing more money out of seniors who are just barely getting by right now. My plan is to squeeze more money out of the health care system by eliminating waste, and going after abuse and fraud in Medicare."

Senior citizens make up 18 percent of Florida's population.

The Obama re-election campaign says the president's policies will strengthen Medicare, a view not shared by his opponent.

Romney told a rally this week in Bowling Green Ohio, another pivotal swing state, "There's only one person who would cut Medicare and that's Barack Obama."

The president is also using the bully pulpit that comes with his office to woo voters here. Just before Mr. Obama landed, his administration announced it is expediting infrastructure projects to modernize major ports including one in Jacksonville.

In addition Obama surrogates are also in the state this week: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar toured a national wildlife sanctuary and Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to speak at a police convention this weekend.

On this two day swing through Florida, the president has his eyes not only on seniors but other key voting blocks such as Jewish voters, military veterans and Hispanics, a group which accounts for 13 percent of Florida's registered voters.

In a Spanish language radio interview Thursday, Mr. Obama touted his accomplishments, talked immigration reform and asked for their votes saying, "Hopefully I'll earn my second term because I've got the strong support of people like you."

President Obama won Florida over Sen. John McCain by 3 points in 2008. He is trying to hang on to this crucial battleground state in a competitive race and a tough economic environment.

The unemployment rate is higher than the national average in Florida at 8.6%. Foreclosures are up 23 percent so far this year compared to 2011 according to Realty Trac Inc. which also ranks Florida as having the fifth highest foreclosure rate in the country.

"There are no easy fixes, no quick solutions to the challenges we face, but there is no doubt in my mind that we have the capacity to meet them and we will meet them," Mr. Obama told the enthusiastic crowd in Jacksonville.

The president isn't only in the sunshine state to drum up votes, he is also collecting cash. Fundraisers are expected to raise three quarters of a million dollars.

Add to that a big star, deep pocket donation from A-list actor Morgan Freeman who gave one million dollars to Priorities USA, the super pac supporting the president.

The president ended his day in Florida in West Palm Beach where he spoke to senior citizens at a retirement community with a heavy population of registered Democratic voters.

Mr. Obama speaks at two more campaign events Friday in Ft. Myers and Orlando before returning to Washington.


soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Ben

    The fact that Romney have an history of shipping American jobs overseas, and hiding his money in overseas banks to avoid paying taxes is enough reason not to vote for him. He is part of the people that created this economic mess.
    Romney does not know how to create job.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Jared

      Similar in the way you cannot create sentences.

      July 19, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • Steveo

      Do you understand our government is shipping jobs overseas? Why are we funding the building of electric sports cars in FINLAND? Why is our JOB CZAR shipping jobs to China? You want to toss a PRIVATE citizen under the bus not you sit back and not say NOTHING when your government does it? Wake up!

      July 19, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
      • Andi

        Hey stupid, whose to say that the Weiner Haters took a photo of him at the gym? Seriously, they could have. They hate and they've been going after him for aliwhe now. Breitbart and his cronies stoop to any level to get a story! Weiner seems confused when he talks about the photo because it could be him (taken with his permission or accessed through his Facebook account illegally) and he's not sure how it got on his Twitter page or .it's not him and he still doesn't understand how it got on there! We'll find out at some point. If Weiner is the one who did it, fine. He will have to deal with his constituents if he did, but if it's found out that there was quite a conspiracy going on behind the scenes to get him, well, the reich wing will have to apologize once again to a Democrat. I look forward to it. Oh wait! They never apologize. Reich wingers go through life as sinners with jesus in their hearts!

        September 8, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Frank Marshall Davis

      Obama has shipped more jobs overseas than Romney easily. Look at GE and the green energy jobs alone, oh wait that's right, you won't look at anything that might interfere with your beliefs.

      July 20, 2012 at 5:06 am |
      • Lets Be Honest With Ourselves

        The president can not prevent a private corporation from taking jobs overseas. To get things made in other countries id more profitable and corporations have been doing this way before Obama took office. So to say that Obama sent jobs overseas is ridiculous. Mitt Romneys Whole school of thought is profit, corporate and tax loophole based. This is why its no surprise that Bain sent jobs overseas, and Romney had hid allot of his profits in off sure banks. If this was Obama doing this the GOP would be all over it.

        July 20, 2012 at 10:06 am |
      • Steveo

        @Lets Be Honest With Ourselves

        The president can not prevent a private corporation from taking jobs overseas
        -----
        1. Then why is he complaining about it? Just simple politics?
        2. He certainly can prevent the US GOVERNMENT from doing it
        3. He can certainly remove Jeff Immelt from the post of US JOB Czar, because that is EXACTLY what GE is doing!!

        July 21, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Howard

      WATCH THIS YOUTUBE VIDEO

      WHICH EXPLAINS HOW YOUR TAXES

      WILL DRAMATICALLY INCREASE

      IF OBAMA IS ELECTED ...

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wIfI2whjiM&w=640&h=390]

      July 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
      • Jesse

        This "your taxes" when what's really being raised are "taxes on the wealthy" trick is really getting old. I think it's high time we _did_ have some class warfare.

        July 20, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  2. Aprophet

    I'm upset that Mitt, who took advantage of the tax code, and was able to make money off the government through loop holes, find it diffulcult that he got help from the government to build his wealth. Also I was let go from two jobs in my life. I did'nt get the impression that the managers liked fireing people. most people feel bad when they have to take away someones livelyhood.

    July 19, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
  3. Lee 927

    To all the seniors in Florida:

    BEWARE of Romney. Don't be fooled. He will DECIMATE Medicare as you know it. He fully supports the Ryan budget which calls for a voucher system for Medicare. Seniors across this country will be suffering financially because of this voucher style system.
    President Obama OPPOSES this.

    Vote Obama/Biden 2012 to protect your Medicare.

    July 19, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
  4. 2020

    If you think the economy is bad now, you will see economic shunami if Romney elected. Repeal Obamacare, you senior will be back to square one. health care Voucher only pays half of the medical care you are receiving now. The other half, thousand and thousand of dollars will be out of your own pocket. That is Romney Ryan Care.

    Grandma will be pushed over the cliff.

    July 19, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Steveo

      $500 million is removed from seniors to fund ACA , aka Obamacare! No comment about that?

      July 19, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
      • Lets Be Honest With Ourselves

        500 million over what period of time? Also a huge amount of money spent on medicare is wasted. As part of the ACA they want to eliminate allot of the waist, and that's where allot of the 500 million will come from over the course of several years.

        July 20, 2012 at 10:12 am |
      • Steveo

        Oops. Make that $500 Billion!

        July 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • wayne

      Obama care is going to hurt seniors. it has resulted in $500 million out of medicare this year alone. is that good for senors? but you are right the majority of the hurt will come from young healthy americans they will be forced to pay for not only their own medical needs but the medical needs of the elderly as well. in the form of higher primiums than they would pay today. and have fewer coverage options. so if the only way that Obama care is going to be good for seniors is that young americans will be forced to pay for their care.

      July 20, 2012 at 2:17 am |
    • jerry

      muddled thinking at its best....please learn to think for yourself.

      July 20, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Howard

      Just Some Real Facts About Mitt Romney That We Will Not Hear About From The Lame Stream Media About The Real Mitt Romney!

      After going to both Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School simultaneously, he passed the Michigan bar, but never worked as an attorney.

      As a venture-capitalist, Romney's first major business deal involved investing in a start-up office supply company with one store in Massachusetts that sold office supplies. That company, called Staples, now has over 2,000 stores and employs over 90,000 people.

      Romney or his company Bain Capital (using what became known as the "Bain Way") would go on to perform the same kinds of business miracles again and again, with companies like Domino's, Sealy, Brookstone, Weather Channel, Burger King, Warner Music Group, Dollarama, Home Depot Supply, and many others.

      Got your calculators handy? Let's recap.

      Volunteer campaign worker for his dad's gubernatorial campaign 1 year.

      Unpaid intern in Governor's office 8 years.

      LDS missionary in Paris 2 years.

      Unpaid bishop and state president for his church 10 years.

      No salary as president of the Olympics 3 years.

      No salary as MA governor 4 years.

      That's a grand total of 28 years of unpaid service to his country, his community and his church. Why? Because that's the kind of man Mitt Romney is!

      And in 2011 Mitt Romney gave over $4 million to charity, almost 19% of his income....Obama gave 1%,
      Joe Biden gave $300 or .0013%

      This is real character vs....well you know what!

      Romney may not be the best representative the Republicans could have selected. At least I know what religion he is, and that he won't desecrate the flag, bow down to foreign powers, or squander my money on vacations. I know he has the ability to turn this financial debacle that the "Spending President" has gotten us into. We didn't know that when Obama said he'd give us change, he meant nickels and dimes, and he would get the big bucks. We won't like all the things necessary to recover from this debt, but someone with Romney's background can do it.

      But, on the minus side, He never was a "Community Organizer", never took drugs or smoked pot. Never got drunk. Did not associate with communists or terrorists. Nor did he attend a church whose pastor called for God to damn the USA .

      July 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
      • Howard, you are an idiot!

        Your comment is just cut-and-paste spam – someone's biased opinion masquerading as fact, which has been filling up inboxes and by being forwarded by sheep like you for weeks. Try having an original thought for once in your life, you may like it.

        July 20, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  5. J.V.Hodgson

    Florida will have a large issue and it will be PPACA, and the economy. Hispanics along with retires ( 31%) of voters will be critical to the Florida result and they to me lean Obama not Romney.
    As the actual election vote gets nearer, I can see obama listing what he has done, what he has proposed jobs deficit debt wise, How each was filibustered in effect by Republicans, and he should resurrect Bowles Simpson now as a best base starting point for Bi partisan ship to avoid the cliff. That would really make an impact not only in Florida but nationally.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    July 20, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • Steveo

      I'm confused, here! Why did we ask Bowles and Simpson for a plan just to ignore what they suggested?

      July 20, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • jerry

      obama-care's stripping of (an admitted) half trillion dollars from medicare and levying huge medicaid taxes on the tax payers of florida should take obama out....all Mitt need do is drive this home, and he will.

      July 20, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  6. Frank Marshall Davis

    Obama hasn't met with his "jobs" council for six months. Remember this, "I will not rest until all of those that want good paying jobs have them". It was hot air then, it's hot air now.

    July 20, 2012 at 5:02 am |
  7. Sue

    Obama hasn't met with his "jobs" council for six months. And, during a press conference when Jay Carney was asked about this he said--"Well, you know, the President has a lot on his plate". Yeah Jay, we know. We have seen what he has on his plate-–fundraising, campaigning, golfing, shooting hoops, parties at the White House, etc. The only thing that Obama cares about–is Obama's reelection!!

    July 20, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • eunice a

      AND THE ONLY THING MR RICH MITT ROMNEY CARE ABOUT IS GETTING ELECTED AND KEEPING HIS MONEY OVERSEAS ALL MITT CARE ABOUT IS BUILDING CAR GARAGES ONTO HIS HOUSE, AND FLIP FLOPPING AND LYING TGO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OH LET'S NOT FORGET OUTSOURCING JOBS - HOW DO YOU KNOW WETHER OR NOT HE HAS MET WITH HIS JOBS COUNCIL -– GO AHEAD VOTE FOR RICH M ITT AND AFTER HE TAKES EVERYTHING FROM YOU COME BACK AND LET ME KNOW HOW IT WORKED OUT FOR YOU UNLESS YOU ARE RICH DON'T FORGET RICH MITT IS CAMPAIGNING AS WELL

      July 20, 2012 at 7:17 am |
      • Steveo

        Did you just use the word "lying". Really? Who was it who said the following:

        1. "If the ecomony does not improve, I'll be a one-termer"?
        2. "In my first term, I'll halve the deficit"?

        Hint: It wasn't Romney!

        July 20, 2012 at 8:37 am |
      • Kenny K

        @Steveo:
        To respond to both of your question, President Obama's 1st term has not ended yet. It will end in January 2013. Please wait until then to get answers to your questions.

        July 20, 2012 at 9:03 am |
      • Steveo

        Make that economy!

        July 20, 2012 at 9:26 am |
      • Steveo

        @Kenny K
        I hear what you're saying and you say the truth BUT election day is in November! Secondlly, if the deficit wasn't halved in 3.5 years, what makes uyou think it will be halved in 6 months?

        July 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  8. Steve-illinois

    After Obama was campaigning in Virginia last week, he lost 4 points in the polls, and that state is now all tied up! He might want to think about staying home! LOL!!

    July 20, 2012 at 7:44 am |
  9. Out Of Touch with reality

    I wouldnt vote for obama if he was the only one on the ballot. all obama has to run on is nothing, obama has disgraced this country with his policies and needs to be removed for his lies, it is time for Florida to send a message to obama, get the hell out of We The Peoples White House.

    July 20, 2012 at 8:18 am |
  10. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Well Folks,
    There is no free lunch or magic bullet as much as some of you think therei s. Obama has learned just how hard it is to make things better thru the Government. Like it or not, the Country is in one helluva mess and it took some 75 years to get here. People still need jobs and Obama and Obama Care has just made it worse. Business won't, can't hire because of all the regulations they are facing with the democrats. States, Cities, and people are hurting. But The Liberals and Democrats can't see the forrest for the trees. Good luck if you are voting for Obama.

    July 20, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • jerry

      business's are in the process of dealing with obama care...really just more taxes. They are going to do more outsourcing and continue, as never before, building plants and facilities off shore. They must be competitive or they die....something Marxists like obama and his ilk just don't get.

      July 20, 2012 at 10:12 am |
  11. J.R

    What you lefties don't understand is,come next year if obama was to be re-elected,you would be looking at full blown communism,with no freedom in sight!!!That's why is administration is trying so hard to cram all they can down our throats before November!!!Tearing the constitution apart piece by piece!!!But ya's can't see that for the free ride you have been promised by obama!!!Nothing is free,there is always a price to pay!!!So don't think getting paid not to work,and free food is the way!!!You work your ass off,and EARN your money,that's how true AMERICANS do it!!Not gimme gimme gimme!!!Remember this great quote"ask not what your country can do for you,but what you can do for your country"!!!Go ROMNEY!!!!!

    July 20, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • C-Lo

      J.R. You are completely wrong. The lefties DO understand that if Obama is reelected we are headed down the road of full blown Socialist-communist legislation–the bigger issue is that THIS IS WHAT THEY WANT! People like jerry say this group wants to destroy America–that is not quite true, they want to completely reform America in the same way Lenin/Stalin did Russia. There is a small contingent who really understand/orchestrate what is happening, and they are pleading to the masses in terminology remincent of Lenin's speeches circa 1918. If you try to point this out, they bury their head in the sand, say they don't pay any attention to what "that whacko Lenin" said (right Cynthia L) and ignore that Communism was sold a a populist movement then as it is 100 years later on the other side of the pond.

      July 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
      • Cynthia L.

        TWINKIE!

        July 20, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
  12. judy

    romney is not a job creator. And a lousy governor. ask the people in Mass. The only good thing he did was romney care and now he is against his own plan. Flip flop all the way to the caymens.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Steveo

      You're right Judy because out of Bain came Staple's and as we all know they have hired absolutely no one!

      btw he was not against Romney care as the 10th amendment gives those powers to the states! Which amendment provides for Obamacare? I have seem to forgot!

      July 20, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • DEcember 2012

      STAPLES HIRED THOSE PEOPLE. NOT MITT ROMNEY, NOT BAIN. IF STAPLES DIDN'T GET MONEY FROM BAIN, THEY WOULD HAVE FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE IF THEIR BUSINESS IS REALLY THAT ATTRACTIVE AND IT WAS TO BAIN AND THEY MADE A LOT OF MONEY FROM STAPLES. THAT'S THE POINT, BAIN SURE WASN'T IN IT FOR JOB CREATION THEY ARE IN IT FOR PROFIT. IF STAPLES MADE MONEY WITHOUT HIRING A SINGLE AMERICAN WORKER, YOU CAN BET MITT ROMNEY WOULDN'T BE TALKING ABOUT STAPLES.

      AS FOR THE ACA. THE SCOTUS RULED IT CONSTITUTIONAL. WHAT ELSE ARE YOU GOING TO WHINE ABOUT?

      July 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
      • jerry

        scontus ruled it a TAX....and that is all...goof ball.

        July 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
      • Steveo

        Bain,breathed life into Staple's who in turn, hired people! Your saying Bain had nothing to do with it? Secondly, and again, the 10th amendment gives states certain powers the Feds don't get. Yes SCOTUS ruled ACA as const-itutional but as a tax, not under the Commerce Clause and NOT under the 10th Amendment ! I am not debating ACA I am telling you Romney Care was legal under the 10th amendment! Under the 10th Amendment Romney care is NOT obamacare as alluded to by Judy!

        July 20, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
      • DEcember 2012

        JERRY, YOU REALLY THINK THE SCOTUS RULED THE WHOLE ACA AS A TAX? THAT IS AN OPINION OF ONE JUDGE WHO THEN AGREED TO RULE IT CONSTITUTIONAL. FOR WHATEVER HE THINKS IT IS, THE ENTIRE BODY HAS DEMOCRATICALLY VOTED THAT THE LAW IS CONSTITUTIONAL.

        THAT'S RIGHT STEVEO, BAIN HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH STAPLE'S HIRING PRACTICES. OR DO YOU THINK BAIN WAS MANAGING STAPLES IN THE BACKGROUD? IT IS NOT THAT DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND. IF STAPLES MADE THE EXPECTED PROFITS BY HIRING CHINESE WORKERS, NOBODY WOULD BE BRAGGING ABOUT IT BUT BAIN WILL TAKE THE PROFITS. THAT IS THEIR CORE BUSINESS!!!!

        July 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
      • Steveo

        So you feel the same about GE? There are hiring Chinese workers AND taking profits, yet not a peep about it! If you read what i said, I never stated Bain manages Staples . I believe I said Bain breathed life into Staples, who in turn hired people! Hard to give Bain ANY credit, huh?

        July 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  13. Joi Gibson

    He was on fire! The little old ladies at Century Village were beside themselves. One lady had her hands in the air whoop whooping. It was cute. I wish I could have been there – he was just down the street from me. So close and yet so far🙂 I look forward to a return visit.

    OBAMA/BIDEN/FIRST LADY MICHELLE 2012!!!!

    July 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • jerry

      whew! I have vomit in my mouth after reading this slop!

      July 20, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
      • Harry Pelham

        Me too Jerry me too!!!

        July 20, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
  14. Harry Pelham

    Wait until the all the Race Riot's through out Florida's Major Cities once Mr. George Zimmerman is cleared of all these PHONY Thrumped-up Hyped-up Race Bait Charges lodged against at his Stand Yo Ground hearing! I am quite certain Floridian's will just be tickled pink watching there Beautiful Sunshine State go up in flames! Thanks to Barack ( If I had a son ) Obama playing dirty race-bait-politics with that there Trayvon Martin story!!!!!

    July 20, 2012 at 9:23 pm |