Romney friends take aim at Obama in Florida
April 13th, 2012
11:26 AM ET
10 years ago

Romney friends take aim at Obama in Florida

(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.

Also see:

Obama ahead in New Jersey, even with Christie on ticket

Florida Rep labels congressional Democrats as Communists

Barbour won't formally endorse Romney, but offers advice

Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Jeb Bush • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Trade
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    This is so priceless. ThenPresident's record, job growth, auto industry saved, healthcare reform, etc., and let's notmforget bin laden is dead against the flip flopper flipping on everything he ever stood for including women's rights, gay rights, planned parenthood.
    The millionaire is beginning to remind me of mcnasty who sold his should and his integrity for power and has become somebody shoo is just a footnote in our history.

    April 13, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  2. Maria

    Mario Diaz-Balart who??? And really, who cares???

    April 13, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. once upon a horse

    fits right into the ugly lying half-truth say ANYTHING to get elected campaign Romney is running. If Newt Gingrich can come forth and call Mitt Romney a LIAR (even though he never really said what all the lies were) there really has to be something to it.

    April 13, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  4. Jess C

    John, you need to deal more with facts and less with what you hear on fox noise.

    April 13, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. the Situation

    How funny is this, Jeb Bush taken his swipe at the President. Does Jeb remember that if it wasn't for him and his Secretary State, whatever her name is, handing the election to Dubya, all what would of happen over those 8 years of 2 unnecessary wars, the financial disaster on 2008, collapse of the banking industry, housing industry, the elderly losing on their investments, etc, etc, etc, all that has happen, America and the rest of thw world wouldn't have been suffering to this day. If though Obama is the President, many people still blame his brother for this mess.

    So Romney, if you want to make Jeb your friend, that's all good, just remember Jeb gave us Dubya and all the current mess that America is inflected with.

    April 13, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. the Situation

    Flying around America on the taxpayer dollar campaigning / fundraising / comunity organizing / vacationing, all things Obama can do. Running a country, building an economy, creating jobs, all Obama failures and we the American people suffer. November 2012 is coming!

    And last but not least, (Obama now has the lowest job approval of any president ever).
    04/13/2012 Romney tops Obama by 46-44 percent if the election were today.

    Are you dumb? Obama doesn't even come close to have the lowest approval rating of a sitting President. The honor goes to Dubya. I also sure the H.W, 41 had a worst rating too.

    April 13, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. The Real Truth and Nothing But the The Real Truth

    I wonder if it is possible for a citizen to file complaints about the use of taxpayer funds in the Obama campaign? I mean these are pure political appearances at this point. WHY ARE WE PAYING FOR THIS?!!!

    April 13, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  8. Jarod

    Hey John, this "The lowest job approval of any President ever" non sense/crap you rethugs keeping spewing isn't working nor is it true. Like many who think like you, you're listening to Rush/Sean and the every-so-popular-dingbat-combo of Palin/Coulter and NOT doing your own research. It is because of that I say, "stay dumb if you'd like, but dont profess to be proud of that". People like YOU are the ones ruining our great country.

    April 13, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  9. coy4one

    Hello?! An "abysmal failure?" The GOP is the least liked party right now with GOP in Congress at an all time low, and Diaz calls the President a failure? As I have said before, "when you point at someone, you are actually pointing three fingers at yourself!" This EX-Republican is calling the GOP a "abysmal failure!" And to the comments about Obama flying around the country on the taxpayer dollar compaigning (made by the Situation), you need to research before making ignorant comments. Any President is required to travel using Airforce One. The cost of his travel is paid entirely by the campaign funds, NOT the taxpayer. If you research, you will find this as it IS PUBLIC INFORMATION!!

    April 13, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  10. American

    Please turn of the biased propaganda of Fox News. Their nonsense is proven not accurate figures & cannot be trusted at all. Gallup has President Obama's approval at 49% (+5) and beating Romney by 7 points, particularly among American women.

    That's mainly because of Romney's promise to get rid of women's healthcare planning & his support of an amendment outlawing contraceptives.

    April 13, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  11. latina

    Mitt Romney all the way. Yea, Mitt/2012.

    April 13, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  12. aaron

    Jess C, you need to deal more with actual facts. Not made up facts to suit the story or other noise you hear on your beloved nbc news.

    April 13, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. Dr. Knowitall

    Just reflecting on all the flak after Ms Giffords terrible ordeal, isn't "take aim" a little too violent a term to use in discussing political leaders ?

    April 13, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
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