In Florida, Obama aims to keep pressure on Romney

President Barack Obama is trying to keep the pressure on rival Mitt Romney, opening two days of campaigning in Florida in search of military veterans, seniors and unaligned voters in the state's crucial midsection.

Obama was holding events Thursday in Jacksonville and West Palm Beach as his campaign urges Romney to release more years of his tax returns and keeps a sharp focus on the former Massachusetts governor's tenure as the head of a private equity firm.

Obama will speak at a public rally Friday at Harborside Event Center in Fort Myers.

Florida is the largest and most coveted of the nation's Election Day toss-up states, a place where Romney could severely damage Obama's chances of winning re-election. Republicans are holding their national convention in Tampa in August in hopes of giving themselves an edge in the state.

Yet, if Obama can lock down Florida's 29 electoral votes, it would be difficult for Romney to mount enough support elsewhere to capture the White House.

Polls have shown Obama and Romney in a dead heat in the state, which has struggled with an unemployment rate of 8.6 percent, above the national average, and a still-recovering housing market. Florida provided the deciding margin in George W. Bush's victory in 2000 and has been closely contested ever since, with Obama carrying the state in 2008.

Obama aides noted that since 1992, Floridians have cast more than 32.5 million votes during the past five presidential elections and only 57,000 votes have separated the two parties in those campaigns. "Florida's always a close state and we don't expect that to change between now and November," said Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt.

Both sides are jockeying for an advantage.

Obama has repeatedly criticized Romney's private equity firm, Bain Capital, arguing that it promoted the outsourcing of jobs to countries like China and India. And Democrats want Romney to make public past tax returns, noting that the one year for which he has released returns showed investments and offshore accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.

Several Republicans have joined in the call for more transparency, including several GOP senators and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who challenged Romney for the GOP nomination earlier this year.

In an interview aired Thursday on WTOL-TV in Toledo, Ohio, Romney said one reason not to release more of his returns was that "the Democratic party and the opposition has all these people that comb through and try and find anything they can to distract from the issues people care about, oftentimes in a dishonest way."

In recent days, Romney has pointed to Obama's record on the economy and noted that the Democrat hasn't met with his jobs council in more than six months. He told supporters in Bowling Green, Ohio, on Wednesday that Obama's priority "is trying to keep his own job. And that's why he's going to lose it."

The president was starting his day with a campaign event in Jacksonville, home to a large swath of veterans and military members connected to Naval Air Station Jacksonville. Before military audiences, Obama has talked about his efforts to bring home U.S. combat troops from Iraq and wind down the conflict in Afghanistan and pressed Congress to promote job opportunities for veterans.

Obama is expected to make a pitch to seniors in West Palm Beach, where he'll visit Century Village, a condominium complex home to thousands of retirees, long a bastion of reliable Democratic voters. Obama and Democrats have warned that Romney would seek to implement a budget plan authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., that includes an overhaul of Medicare that would change it into a voucher-like program for those who retire in 10 years.

"Under the Romney-Ryan budget, Florida seniors would be left on their own," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

In addition to the early stop in Fort Myers, Obama was holding events on Friday in Orlando, the heart of the state's Interstate 4 corridor, which is home to many independent voters.

After three days of aggressive attacks against the president, Romney moves into a relatively quiet period, with just one public event scheduled through the weekend.

Aides said Romney would spend most of Thursday meeting privately with staff at the campaign's Boston headquarters. The former Massachusetts governor is expected to attend a private Boston-area fundraiser Thursday evening before heading to his lakeside vacation home in New Hampshire.

While his vacation home is usually reserved for family and relaxation, Romney is known to hold campaign strategy sessions there with senior staff and family members. He was expected to hold a public event in the Concord, N.H., area Friday.

Despite the light schedule, speculation about Romney's selection of a vice presidential candidate looms large. Romney said Wednesday that he has yet to make his choice, but aides say the decision could be reached as early as this week.

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Comments » 127

streetrodder writes:

Since the 2012 campaign began in earnest, the Obama campaign has tried to portray itself as the victim of a powerful, wealthy Republican opponent whose success renders him hopelessly out of touch with normal Americans, and who cannot possibly be seen as a viable alternative to the President precisely because he is so out of touch. They have also claimed that they are speaking truth to power and must be seen as a small, courageous band trying to keep government in the hands of the people and out of the mitts of the greedy, rich and powerful.
Obama thinks that if he lines up the Welfare Recipients, the Gays, The Blacks, the Hispanics, the Hollywood Stars, and the Tree Huggers, he can get 4 more years to transform our Country into a total Welfare State. I agree with Sununu when he recently said "I wish this president would learn how to be an American"

donkeydrone writes:

Funny, Obama sent billions of dollars over seas and south America (out sourced jobs) investing in oil discoveries and production to little countries and he accuses Romney of out sourced jobs that he can't prove. Now he punishes hard working companies for creating profits and building businesses and creating jobs by saying they didn't get there by themselves other people put them there. I would love to know how those marbles roll around in his head.

furball writes:

a health care tax no one wants...
unemployment above 8%.......
5 trillion more in debt....
he has trashed the Jews, Catholics, successful business people, veterans, police, on and on.
Wow good luck Barry!
Barry and his Chicago thugs better lawyer up when we send him packing.
The title of the book after his presidency will be "The Raping of the American Taxpayer".

Coastal writes:

When will the Obama stop the distractions and tell us how he plans to grow the economy?

Max_Headroom writes:

in response to furball:

a health care tax no one wants...
unemployment above 8%.......
5 trillion more in debt....
he has trashed the Jews, Catholics, successful business people, veterans, police, on and on.
Wow good luck Barry!
Barry and his Chicago thugs better lawyer up when we send him packing.
The title of the book after his presidency will be "The Raping of the American Taxpayer".

You missed gas rising $1.50 from the inauguration and RISING!!!

DinNaples writes:

It's clearly the Obama team that's out of touch with America.

MisterK writes:

President Obama for re-election. He's a respected world leader. He's promoted a level of stability in America that has fostered economic growth. Many of the NDN readers probably don't realize how bad a shape this country was in 4 years ago. This President has righted the ship and is working on leveling the playing field. That's what is best for America. Re-elect President Obama.

NeezDutz writes:

Weird, shouldn't it be the opposite? Usually it's the President's position to lose.

romneygate writes:

in response to donkeydrone:

Funny, Obama sent billions of dollars over seas and south America (out sourced jobs) investing in oil discoveries and production to little countries and he accuses Romney of out sourced jobs that he can't prove. Now he punishes hard working companies for creating profits and building businesses and creating jobs by saying they didn't get there by themselves other people put them there. I would love to know how those marbles roll around in his head.

When did Obama work for Bain Capital? Do they make marbles in China?

romneygate writes:

in response to furball:

a health care tax no one wants...
unemployment above 8%.......
5 trillion more in debt....
he has trashed the Jews, Catholics, successful business people, veterans, police, on and on.
Wow good luck Barry!
Barry and his Chicago thugs better lawyer up when we send him packing.
The title of the book after his presidency will be "The Raping of the American Taxpayer".

You sound like a "Ghost writer"!

pittraul writes:

in response to MisterK:

President Obama for re-election. He's a respected world leader. He's promoted a level of stability in America that has fostered economic growth. Many of the NDN readers probably don't realize how bad a shape this country was in 4 years ago. This President has righted the ship and is working on leveling the playing field. That's what is best for America. Re-elect President Obama.

Smashing the ship on the rocks is not righting the ship. Not much has changed for me in 4 years with the exception of higher gas prices, taxes & cost of living in general. I haven't had a raise in four years and I don't see it getting better.
If by economic stability you meant no growth and bouncing at the bottom I agree with you. Otherwise show me who is making more money today than they were four years ago except the foreclosure lawyers.
You are right in saying he has leveled the playing field...we are all broke & making less money. If thats the America you want vote OBAMA

romneygate writes:

in response to Coastal:

When will the Obama stop the distractions and tell us how he plans to grow the economy?

Well he keeps trying with infrastructure and jobs bills, but congress still insists on addressing the "issues" like abortion, voting rights, cutting Medicare, eliminating Social Security and other plans to cut "spending". It's an uphill battle, but you have to understand that his opposition's top priority is to make him a one term president. Mitch McConnell made that perfectly clear, right?

romneygate writes:

in response to Max_Headroom:

You missed gas rising $1.50 from the inauguration and RISING!!!

Right, and you "pass gas" for FREE!

hoperequired writes:

I want to know WHY Obama's people are calling states to put MORE people on food stamps by having food stamp parties, even saying he'll give them bonuses if they do? Does anyone have the guts to ask him at the rally?

romneygate writes:

in response to DinNaples:

It's clearly the Obama team that's out of touch with America.

Right, they should use your Braille system.

hoperequired writes:

Why is Obama trying to EXPAND food stamp participation without people asking for it? Buy votes? Who's going to pay for the $80 billion program this year?

Sanity writes:

in response to romneygate:

Right, they should use your Braille system.

Do you really think you are funny or clever?

hoperequired writes:

in response to MisterK:

President Obama for re-election. He's a respected world leader. He's promoted a level of stability in America that has fostered economic growth. Many of the NDN readers probably don't realize how bad a shape this country was in 4 years ago. This President has righted the ship and is working on leveling the playing field. That's what is best for America. Re-elect President Obama.

Really? What do you think of a President who has his administration CALLING people to put them on food stamps!!! Who's going to pay for it? The 51% who are already carrying everyone else in this country? How LONG do you think THAT can go on?

romneygate writes:

in response to pittraul:

Smashing the ship on the rocks is not righting the ship. Not much has changed for me in 4 years with the exception of higher gas prices, taxes & cost of living in general. I haven't had a raise in four years and I don't see it getting better.
If by economic stability you meant no growth and bouncing at the bottom I agree with you. Otherwise show me who is making more money today than they were four years ago except the foreclosure lawyers.
You are right in saying he has leveled the playing field...we are all broke & making less money. If thats the America you want vote OBAMA

Well, maybe we can see how people have made money over the last four years as soon as Romney releases his tax returns for that period? You should pay special attention and just maybe you can have an off shore bank account etc., etc., etc.

Sanity writes:

in response to romneygate:

Well he keeps trying with infrastructure and jobs bills, but congress still insists on addressing the "issues" like abortion, voting rights, cutting Medicare, eliminating Social Security and other plans to cut "spending". It's an uphill battle, but you have to understand that his opposition's top priority is to make him a one term president. Mitch McConnell made that perfectly clear, right?

How are we going to pay for all of this? Do you believe that just raising taxes will fix everything?

hoperequired writes:

With 30 million unemployed or under employed, WHY would you vote for Obama again? More of the same?

romneygate writes:

in response to hoperequired:

I want to know WHY Obama's people are calling states to put MORE people on food stamps by having food stamp parties, even saying he'll give them bonuses if they do? Does anyone have the guts to ask him at the rally?

They need only go to the source of that information. Rush and Fox noise are on everyday with "directions", right?

Sanity writes:

in response to romneygate:

Well, maybe we can see how people have made money over the last four years as soon as Romney releases his tax returns for that period? You should pay special attention and just maybe you can have an off shore bank account etc., etc., etc.

Romney doesn't need to release squat especially for you liberals to use it as ammo. If the man did something wrong he would have been audited and sent to jail. Plenty of people have off shore accounts and at the rate this bloated government steals our money to give it to you moochers non moocher Americans should practice "financial self defense" and protect their money.

romneygate writes:

in response to Sanity:

Do you really think you are funny or clever?

No, I'm doing penance for having voted for Richard Nixon once.

ex31539er writes:

The one thing Obama cannot do is run a Reaganesque, "Morning in America," 1984-style re-election campaign.

Maybe Obama should adopt the homophone "Mourning in America?"

romneygate writes:

in response to Sanity:

How are we going to pay for all of this? Do you believe that just raising taxes will fix everything?

It has in the past. You get what you pay for. Too many people think that a unilateral approach to making money is an inherent right no matter what consequences ensue as a result. There is no cure if the patient dies.

romneygate writes:

in response to hoperequired:

With 30 million unemployed or under employed, WHY would you vote for Obama again? More of the same?

With so many jobs outsourced in the past and now (Freeport, Illinois, a Bain Capital property) would anyone vote for Romney and more of the same?

Sanity writes:

in response to romneygate:

They need only go to the source of that information. Rush and Fox noise are on everyday with "directions", right?

Please stop embarassing yourself so frequently.

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/p...

Maybe you should read more before mashing the keyboard like a wild chimp (no offense to chimps).

romneygate writes:

in response to Sanity:

Romney doesn't need to release squat especially for you liberals to use it as ammo. If the man did something wrong he would have been audited and sent to jail. Plenty of people have off shore accounts and at the rate this bloated government steals our money to give it to you moochers non moocher Americans should practice "financial self defense" and protect their money.

The very fact that you acknowledge Romney's tax returns as AMMO defeats your entire "argument" and makes the case for voting Democratic.

Ruger writes:

in response to romneygate:

With so many jobs outsourced in the past and now (Freeport, Illinois, a Bain Capital property) would anyone vote for Romney and more of the same?

There is no evidence that Romney has been involved in outsourcing, but the Obama's have left a trail...

http://washingtonexaminer.com/obama-h...

Obama has accused Mitt Romney of raking in profits from investing in companies that ship American jobs overseas, but according to his most recent financial disclosure, he and First Lady Michelle Obama have hundreds of thousands of dollars in a mutual fund that has large holdings in corporations that outsource jobs.

hoperequired writes:

If Bain was asked to come into failing companies to help them survive or prosper, which they did in over 70% of the companies, how is that ROMNEY outsourcing jobs? If the companies already had overseas plants? Give me a break!

hoperequired writes:

Obama continues to accuse Romney of outsourcing jobs, but in Obama's 2011 financials released on him and Michelle, they have Mutual Funds that are invested in large US companies that outsource!!! Not only THAT, but they have 94 million shares of GE, which is a HUGE outsourcer of jobs!! What a bunch of hypocrites!!

romneygate writes:

in response to Sanity:

Please stop embarassing yourself so frequently.

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/p...

Maybe you should read more before mashing the keyboard like a wild chimp (no offense to chimps).

What would you do without U-Tube and conservative talking points? As for "embarrassment", you know what they say. If the shoe fits wear it. Do you have a pair of clogs?

romneygate writes:

in response to hoperequired:

Obama continues to accuse Romney of outsourcing jobs, but in Obama's 2011 financials released on him and Michelle, they have Mutual Funds that are invested in large US companies that outsource!!! Not only THAT, but they have 94 million shares of GE, which is a HUGE outsourcer of jobs!! What a bunch of hypocrites!!

America needs to get out of the stock market, right? Who knows what other evils are perpetrated on Wall Street? No wonder people are putting their money in Bermuda, The Cayman Islands and Switzerland, right? Switzerland has a stock market, but I'm not sure about the other two. LOL

Sanity writes:

in response to romneygate:

It has in the past. You get what you pay for. Too many people think that a unilateral approach to making money is an inherent right no matter what consequences ensue as a result. There is no cure if the patient dies.

What let me see if I understand your thought process:

1. I invent a product, service or idea that makes me tons of money.

2. Because I made this money and filled a need I according to your liberal brain MUST have taken advantage of somebody else and screwed over my middle school math teacher or some other less succesful person?

3. Everybody is equal and nobody should make more money or be more succesful than anybody else?

Please clarify.

hoperequired writes:

in response to romneygate:

America needs to get out of the stock market, right? Who knows what other evils are perpetrated on Wall Street? No wonder people are putting their money in Bermuda, The Cayman Islands and Switzerland, right? Switzerland has a stock market, but I'm not sure about the other two. LOL

Is that why Obama is going to do campaign fund raising dinners in Switzerland and China? What do you think they'll want in return?

Sanity writes:

in response to romneygate:

The very fact that you acknowledge Romney's tax returns as AMMO defeats your entire "argument" and makes the case for voting Democratic.

Just because you say so doesn't mean its true. The man doesn't need to feed the liberal trolls. Keep foaming at the mouth liberals, Romney is playing this right.

hoperequired writes:

With 11% of hispanics and 14.4% of blacks unemployed, WHY would you vote for Obama again? Four more years of the same misery?

Marine628 writes:

Obama, has an agenda and its to reduce the stature and influence of America worldwide. If you have not read "The Roots of Obama's Rage" and "The Amateur" please do and you'll find the real Obama. Dirty Chicago politics, lies, distortions and bribing the poor with with handouts are his tools to achieve his objective. All under the guise of social justice.

elf writes:

Looking at Obama's tax return I see he had over 800,000 of foreign earned income and took a 20000 tax credit on that income. Now you only get that credit if it was withheld by the foreign country. Hmmm.

elf writes:

that was 2010 - funny how in 2011 he shows less that half the income but still has Millions of Treasury Bills to cash out. His tax rate 23%.

DinNaples writes:

in response to romneygate:

Well he keeps trying with infrastructure and jobs bills, but congress still insists on addressing the "issues" like abortion, voting rights, cutting Medicare, eliminating Social Security and other plans to cut "spending". It's an uphill battle, but you have to understand that his opposition's top priority is to make him a one term president. Mitch McConnell made that perfectly clear, right?

ET,

Occasionally you just go too far off the deep end. Who is cutting Medicare except Obama with the health care bill? Who is taking away voting rights? Who was bringing up abortion? Who's eliminating Social Security?

Who only wants to raise taxes and not cut spending? That seems to be the President. He only wants to cut spending minimumly some time in the future when it probably will never happen. I think it is perfectly clear that he should be a one term president. If you weren't so biased you probably would agree.

DinNaples writes:

in response to romneygate:

America needs to get out of the stock market, right? Who knows what other evils are perpetrated on Wall Street? No wonder people are putting their money in Bermuda, The Cayman Islands and Switzerland, right? Switzerland has a stock market, but I'm not sure about the other two. LOL

Do you "spit" as you type?

Ed_Foster writes:

OOPS! Again,

Laid-Off Worker in Anti-Romney Ad Now Says He Won't Vote for Obama; Will Media Report?
By Randy Hall | July 18, 2012 | 15:32

Donnie Box, a steelworker in Missouri who lost his job at GST Steel and is the focus of an anti-Mitt Romney advertisement being run by a Super PAC that supports President Barack Obama, now says he will not vote to re-elect the president in November.

"I could really care less about Obama," the lifelong Democrat says in an article written by Mike Elk on the In These Times website before criticizing the president as "a jerk, a pantywaist, a lightweight, a blowhard. He hasn’t done a dadburned thing that he said he would do," he complained, adding:

When he had a Democratic Senate and Democratic Congress, he didn’t do a blasted thing. He doesn’t have the guts to say what’s on his mind.

romneygate writes:

in response to puckdog:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Oh c'mon puckdog, tell us about the 23,000 nstinks posts that have enlightened your life, right? You count very well so it should be a "breeze" (of hot air), right?

romneygate writes:

in response to DinNaples:

Do you "spit" as you type?

Only the things out that conservatives rue and hate.

romneygate writes:

in response to DinNaples:

ET,

Occasionally you just go too far off the deep end. Who is cutting Medicare except Obama with the health care bill? Who is taking away voting rights? Who was bringing up abortion? Who's eliminating Social Security?

Who only wants to raise taxes and not cut spending? That seems to be the President. He only wants to cut spending minimumly some time in the future when it probably will never happen. I think it is perfectly clear that he should be a one term president. If you weren't so biased you probably would agree.

It would appear you haven't gone far enough. You need to examine Paul Ryan's "plan" regarding Medicare and Social Security. Check the increase and preponderance of bills and legislation enacted and proposed by Republican legislators in efforts to undermine Row vs. Wade while neglecting the need to create jobs with programs that only the government can provide, particularly with regards to infrastructure. Your "head in the sand" party orientated stance has done more damage only extending the calamity of the Bush administration over their eight years of plundering the economy. That's (tax) cutting it, right?

Sanity writes:

Romneygate,

Are you going to address my question or just post insult and s----- comments that are neither witty or funny?

Lets try this again:

1. I invent a product, service or idea that makes me tons of money.

2. Because I made this money and filled a need and/or want I according to your liberal logic MUST have taken advantage of somebody else and screwed over my middle school math teacher or some other less succesful person?

3. Everybody is equal and nobody should make more money or be more succesful than anybody else?

4. I don't deserve the fruits of my hard work because somebody else didn't get a cut?

Please clarify.

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