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. s

    Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart have you looked at your record lately!!!

    April 13, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    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.
    Those deals stunk. The US taxpayers are the losers in the Panama agreement. Since the Swiss are now turning tax cheats over to the IRS, they needed some place else to go. Watch how many banks get set up down there over the next year or two.

    April 13, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. Tyrone

    Ok Mitts posse, Lets talk about lilly Ledbetter Act, Run everybody, Run COWARDS

    April 13, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  4. Willis

    Mittens Is makin it rael tough for Minorities & Hispanics & the Elderly to Vote, what up wit Dat??? Yo this Aint China!!!

    April 13, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  5. Logic N LA

    Obama record is bad- he failed to hold a gun to the heads of the Congressmen in his own party to get the original bill passed for healthcare so now it is watered down. He failed to tell Republicans where to go on the extension of the Bush Tax cuts. He failed to be totallly honest as to the affects of the actions of Congress on our financial recovery. He failed becuase he thought there may be some sense of country left in the Republican party.
    Shame on you Barrack for trying to do things the right way first.

    April 13, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    As a Floridian, I can tell you that Canadians have done more for our economy than any elected republicans.

    April 13, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. Willis

    Make no mistake about this race, Its the middle class vs the rich, richer & richest.

    April 13, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  8. American

    The Obama administration actively worked to accomplish successful agreements leftover from Pres. Bush, and Romney politicos still dishonestly complain in their negativity. Same ol', same ol'...

    I guess Romney cannot talk about how Mitt promised to veto The Dream Act in direct assault against the Latin communities. President Obama would pass it.

    Si se puede

    April 13, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |

    Obama 2012!!! This is going to be an uglyrace....I'm already turned off......

    April 13, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. Terry

    Screw the far rightwingnuts in Florida where I live. They do not speak for the vast majority in this state who have been trashed by our crook Guv Republican Scott and his cronies in Tallahassee. Retribution and correction is coming as the "Repudiation" Party faces a mass rout this November and Democrats who really care about the other 99% of us to trash and overturn all the nasty garbage the "Republic" Party has been shipping out in D.C.

    April 13, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. Bill from GA

    Diaz-Balart of Florida calls President Obama's record an "abysmal failure." Yet, since the first year and a half of the Obama Presidency, when the economy was turned from falling off a cliff, every effort made to continue the recovery has been blocked by repugs, first with their 41 votes in the Senate, then with their majority in the House.

    If the repugs want to call President Obama's policies a failure, they should at least let us try them. Dems gave W his tax cuts and wars; we know what they did to our country. But repugs are afraid to let our President lead.

    April 13, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  12. Joi Gibson

    The Republicans in this state have nothing to crow about. After all, these are the people who brought us "stand your ground." And Lurch just vetoed a, for once, bi-partisan bill letting non-violent drug offenders go to rehab for some of their incarceration as opposed to staying in jail (forgive my paraphrasing if I have something wrong, but I believe that is the gist).


    April 13, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  13. Thomas

    Mitt Romney / Allen West
    Restore our Insanity 2012

    April 13, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. Laverne

    We all know if ever there is a place where it is and will be dirty politics is Florida right next to SC. This race is going to get nasty and I just hope the dems are up for the fight and will have Obama's back because he can not do this alone! It really is us against them!

    April 13, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Rick 7809

    The conservative and talk radio approach is if you tell a lie loud enough and long enough it becomes the truth. What the Democrats need to start taking about is how in the last three years a significant reason why things have not been getting better faster is that the republican party did not want it to. They put all there eggs in the Rush Limbaugh basket of "I hope the president fails" and if the country does too, so be it. The Republican party has had opportunities to make positive impacts in the last 3 years, and they chose not to. Why should we trust them now.

    April 13, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  16. Lolo

    The republicans will do anything negative to win the white house. They are so pathetic. Mitt will bie in the history books just like McCain as a loser. Mitt has no morals but for himselve. Also Hillary Corey told the truth about Ann. Ask her how much a gallon of milk cost on the spot. Don't give her a chance to research it first. See what she says. This lady chose to stay home which is fine, but trust and believe if she did not have those millions she would have be singing a different tune. She does not understand the struggles of middle class women who have had to rob peter to pay paul. Remeber this lady has nannies, housekeepers, cooks and what ever else she can afford to pay to make her life easier. You people need to pull your heads out of the sand and deal with the real world. Ann is a stepford wife and her husband is a robot. He treats her like an underling and she just nods her head. I know you republicans will deny this, but it is true. Just look at them when they are together.

    April 13, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    TeamRomney is an "abysmal failure".... I understand completely why John McCain beat Mitt Romney in 2008.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    April 13, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  18. Justin

    Results are in Mitt, you've already lost.

    April 13, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. Monrob

    I love how a ll the Cubans vote Republican, but they sure love all those Democratic social programs that most belong to. They sure love waiting for their "chequesito" every 3rd of the month. They come to this country, yet they don't learn to respect other peoples opinions. Hypocritas que son.

    April 13, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  20. SayWhat?!

    Promote trading in Latin America it's NOT in the interest of Pres. Obama. Brazilian President was in US this week, what you did not know that? Yeah...CNN didn't say much about it....Pres. Obama did not give her more than 2 hours of his time and DID NOT want to do any business with Brazil...who is now number 6 in the largest economies of the world, a country that sustains themselves in fuel...could help USA a lot. But instead Pres. Obama was rolling eggs on the grass. Brazilian tourist spends the most money in USA averaging at about $5000 each. Brazilian president asked if visa limitations could be eased and got a great big no and he even said that what Brazilians had now it was great and waiting 35 days to get a visa to come here was not bad at all. Florida has one of the biggest concentration of Brazilian in any other USA state...good luck campaigning among Latinos there President Obama.

    April 13, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  21. Reggie from LA

    Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart
    Maybe President Obama has been too busy trying to pull our a$$es out of the fire in so many other ways, he MAY have back burnered that, but neither you nor I know for sure. By the way MD-B, what have you been doing to aid the President in trying to ge things accomplished? That's what we all thought.

    April 13, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  22. Lee R

    As usual the repubs distort the truth any way they can. Romney is just following suit. He has no record to stand on. To him and the repubs middle class workers are insignificant. They have proved that over and over again by trying to bust up the unions. With the Koch brothers backing along with Rove and his gang of thugs the Democrats will have to fight tooth and nails this election. No excuses.....all Democrats must get out and vote no matter what. Truth must prevail!

    Go Obama/Biden 2012!!

    April 13, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  23. John

    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.

    April 13, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  24. ART

    Actaully the only failure is that of a do nothing Rethuglican congress who would prefer to see American flushed down the toilet as long as it means the failure of the Obama presidency

    April 13, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  25. ted

    The idiot republicans are at it again.

    April 13, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
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