MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Former President Bill Clinton spoke to a standing-room only crowd at Florida International University’s U.S. Century Bank Arena Tuesday night.
Before the speech to promote President Obama’s reelection campaign, Clinton stopped by the Fuddrucker’s restaurant in Doral where he surprised customers and employees.
“That was the first time I see somebody big like that,” cook Viscente Medina said. “It was amazing. A very good experience. “
The former Commander in Chief paused for pictures outside the burger joint. After the impromptu stop, it was back to business.
Clinton’s remarks Tuesday night echoed his recent message at the Democratic National Convention.
“A society that basically says, you’re on your own is never going to be as successful in a highly competitive, interconnected world as a society that says we don’t have a person to waste,” Clinton said. “We’re all in this together!”
About 2,300 people filled the arena. Many battled the elements both inside and outside just to get a glimpse of the former President. An afternoon thunderstorm forced people to wait in line huddled under umbrellas. In one section of the arena, a roof leak drove some people from their seats.
But none of that could deter Linda Bryan.
“This is, you can’t even imagine, the thrill of a lifetime for me,” Bryan said. She attended the speech with her elderly mother.
Clinton’s remarks focused on healthcare and the economy.
In the arena filled with hundreds of college kids, his comments about how he thinks a Republican administration would affect student loans hit close to home.
“They also want to repeal the student loan bill,” Clinton exclaimed. That drew a round of boos from the crowd.
Young people, many of them first time voters, said his remarks solidified the choice they plan to make in November.
“He spoke to me,” 19-year-old Xavier Moreno said. “I understood everything he said. I agree with the policies Obama stands for. I loved every second of it.”
According to the latest Gallup Poll released Tuesday, President Obama leads Republican Challenger Mitt Romney 50% to 44%.
Another Gallup Poll rating Clinton’s popularity shows 69% of American adults view the former president favorably.
Democrats are hoping his star power will lead them to victory.
Clinton will continue his swing through the Sunshine State Wednesday.
CBS4 News has learned he’ll attend a private fundraiser in Palm Beach County before making another speech in Orlando