Making a closing pitch to Florida voters, President
"You know what I believe. You know where I stand. And you know no matter what happens I'll fight for you and your family every single day," Obama said. "So when you're trying to compare the two candidates' agendas, and we're talking about change, you know, I know, what real change looks like. Because I fought for it. Because I've brought it. Because I've got the scars to prove it. Because I've got the gray hair doing it."
Appearing in Florida for the last time as a candidate just 38 hours before the polls open Tuesday morning, Obama spoke for 24 minutes to a crowd of 23,000 people who packed the grandstands and jammed the football field at
The Obama rally left Mary Robinson, 66, a Democrat from
Leonard Carey, of
Romney surrogates criss-crossed the state on Sunday, including former New York
In his final stop Monday morning in the Orlando area, the Republican nominee is hitting Obama hard as he makes his own final pitch for Florida votes.“He cared more about a liberal agenda than about repairing the economy,” Romney said. “Almost every measure the president took made it harder for the economy to recover…. Do the people of America want the next four years like the last for years? Or do you want change finally?”
And he jabbed at
He mocked Obama's plans for the next four years. "He calls this plan 'forward.' I call it forewarned," Romney said. "With the Right leadership, America is about to come roaring back."
South Florida is the most important territory in the state for Obama. Without a high Democratic turnout in Broward,
"When we do our job, we will knock it out of the park in Broward, giving Barack Obama the margin to win Florida," said U.S. Rep.
And Cuban-American rap artist
In Florida on Monday, Romney ran through a lengthy list of failings of the Obama presidency. "Unemployment today is higher then when Barack Obama was elected president. Think of that," he said. He said Obama promised to propose a plan to save Social Security but failed to do so. He said Obama promised lower insurance premiums and didn't deliver. He said Obama promised to reach across the partisan aisle in search of common ground but failed to do so.
The crowd is responding with boos for mentions of Obama's supposed failings and cheers for Romney's promises.
In Hollywood, Obama depicted Romney as a believer in a "top down" vision that "crashed our economy." He recalled progress the nation made under Democrat
's presidency, and used it to mock Romney. "At the time, the
in Congress and a Senate candidate by the name of Mitt Romney [at which point the crowd started booing], I don't want you to boo, I want you to vote. I want you to vote. But a Republican candidate by the name of Mitt Romney said Bill Clinton's plan would hurt the economy and kill jobs. Turns out his math was just as bad then as it is now."
The crowd erupted with excitement as the sirens of the police cars escorting the presidential motorcade were heard in the distance — drowning out U.S. Rep.
Just as the main event was beginning and the warm-up speakers were wrapping up, the sun started to fade, a breeze picked up and the afternoon morphed into an exquisite South Florida fall day.
"We've made real progress, Florida, in these last four years," Obama said, citing more jobs, a resurgent auto industry, rising home prices, less dependence on foreign oil, the end of the war in Iraq, the wind down of the war in Afghanistan and the
"Florida, after four years as president, you know me by now. You may not agree with every decision I've made. You know Michelle doesn't agree with every decision I've made. You may be frustrated with the pace of change. I'm frustrated with the pace of change sometimes. But here's the thing: You know I say what I mean and I mean what I say."
Obama also touched on the suffering of the victims of
Tribune Newspapers' Seema Mehta contributed to this report.