(CNN) – Florida surrogates for the likely GOP presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, gave a not-so-warm welcome to President Barack Obama ahead of his visit to the Sunshine State on Friday.
On a conference call with reporters Friday morning, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida cautioned the president against running on his own record, hitting it as an "abysmal failure."
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On his fourth trip to Florida this year, Obama will stop in Tampa to promote trade benefits with Latin America before heading to Colombia for the Summit of the Americas this weekend.
His last visit was Tuesday of this week when he touted the so-called "Buffett Rule" proposal and raised $1.75 million from three different fundraising events in the state, an anticipated crucial battleground later this fall.
Obama won the state in 2008 by three percentage points, but the GOP picked up the four House seats and held onto a Senate seat in 2010, as well as won over the governor's mansion.
Diaz-Balart, however, said it was "ironic" the president was talking up trade benefits in Florida, arguing that Obama attempts to take credit for trade deals initiated by the Bush administration, yet has failed to kick off a new deal under his own watch.
In October, Congress ratified agreements with South Korea, Panama and Columbia. While negotiations for each pact began under Bush's second term, they were not finalized until last year, as the White House worked out deals with leaders of Columbia, and to a lesser degree Panama, to crack down on violence against union officials and workers.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush also took the opportunity to blast the president over trade policies on Friday, saying in a statement released by Romney's campaign that Obama had stalled the negotiations for political reasons.
"President Obama's recent decision to focus on trade – a vital component of Florida's economy – comes three years too late," Bush said. "President Obama's trade inaction and political calculations are part of a broader pattern of economic failures for this president that have resulted in real pain for Floridians and Americans throughout this great country."
Also on the conference call, Rep. Dennis Ross of Florida accused Obama of holding the trade agreements hostage and labeled his record as the president's "Achilles heel."
In Tampa, Obama will highlight policies his administration is pushing to enhance business exchanges between the U.S. and Latin America, particularly.
"The President reaffirms U.S. commitment to work with our partners in the region to further reduce the gap between developing and developed economies in the hemisphere, and promote the prosperity of all peoples," read a statement released by the White House on Friday.
The president's re-election campaign responded to the attacks in a statement to CNN, saying Romney and his supporters were unleashing "flat-out untruths" about Obama's record on trade.
“President Obama helped usher through Congress and enact the South Korea, Colombia, and Panama trade agreements while maintaining key protections for American workers. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, has shown very little regard for American workers and jobs, even criticizing President Obama for standing up to China to protect the American tire industry, calling it ‘decidedly bad for the nation and our workers.’ Romney’s criticisms on trade ring hollow when–if he’d had his way and we’d capitulated to China–thousands of American jobs would have been on the chopping block,” campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said.