Romney Holds “Victory Rally” At UM
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While President Barack Obama takes another day off the campaign trail so he can see first hand the damage left behind by Hurricane Sandy in Atlantic City, Governor Mitt Romney is in Florida hoping to sway undecided voters and urge supporters to get out and vote.
Among the swing states, Florida has the biggest prize with 29 electoral votes. If Romney loses Florida, he will have an uphill battle to an electoral victory.
On Wednesday, Romney started his Florida swing in Tampa where he attended a rally at Landmark Aviation.
In the afternoon the Massachusetts governor was be joined by Senator Marco Rubio, Governor Jeb Bush, Congressman Connie Mack for a “Victory Rally” at the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami.
The Romney campaign said Miami-Dade County is very important to them as is the Hispanic vote.
“Since we are a swing state I do feel fortunate that we are having him. You know it’s the second time in five weeks that he’s coming and we did have President Obama two weeks ago,” said UM student Michael Monteleone.
Romney’s visit to the UM is actually the fourth visit by presidential candidates since September.
“We have confidence that we are going to elect Mitt Romney as our President on Tuesday,” said former Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart told the crowd before Romney took the stage.
With clean up still underway in the Northeast, it’s a tricky balance to get on the campaign trail. Wednesday rally’s had a dual role; rally the electorate and raise money for the American Red Cross.
The crowd of 2500 listened enthusiastically as an all-star cast of Republican politicians, including former Gov. Jeb Bush, explained why their vote meant so much this time around.
“Washington has to begin to come together. Do you honestly think that this President is capable of bringing people together,” Bush asked the crowd. “His entire strategy is to blame others, starting with my brother of course.”
Sleeves rolled up, Romney spoke for about 30 minutes.
“I think we are going to win Florida, you know that,” said Romney.
The Massachusetts governor said if elected, getting the economy back on track would be one of his first priorities.
“Today the start up of small business is at a 30 year low. We need to make business want to invest, grow in America. Why? Because we want the jobs and the rising take home pay.”
Romney spoke about increasing trade with Latin America, modeling school choice programs nationwide after former Gov. Bush’s plan. He also pledged to bring Congress back together if elected.
“This can happen, it has to happen,” said Romney. “We can’t continue on the road we are on. We can’t change the course of America if we keep attacking each other. We’ve got to come together and get America on track again.”
Before Romney arrived a small group protested outside the arena over remarks made by Romney on the Federal Emergency Management Agency. During a primary debate last year, Romney said he supported the idea of cutting federal disaster aid. He said he would like to see the FEMA’s responsibilities given to the states and private companies.
On Tuesday, he acknowledged there was a need for FEMA but dodged questions about its funding if he were president.
Romney will wrap his Florida swing in Jacksonville where he will lead another “Victory Rally” at Metropolitan Park.
Romney won’t be the only heavy hitter in town this week.
On Thursday afternoon, First Lady Michelle Obama is scheduled to speak at a rally at the James L. Knight Center at 400 SE 2nd Street in Miami. The event is free but a ticket is required.
Tickets to hear Mrs. Obama are available at:
3250 Grand Avenue
South Dade Regional Library
10750 SW 211th Street
Joseph Caleb Center
2211 NW 54th Street
North Dade Regional Library
2455 NW 183rd Street
There are limited supplies, only one ticket per person.