Democrats: Close race ahead in Florida
July 18th, 2012
06:29 PM ET
9 years ago

Democrats: Close race ahead in Florida

(CNN) – Gearing up for a heated battle in the Sunshine state, top Obama surrogates tried to draw a stark contrast between the President and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney Wednesday.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the Obama campaign press secretary, Ben LaBolt, said the campaign won’t be “ceding any ground to the Republicans,” particularly noting two Florida counties the President lost badly during the 2008 election - Lee and Collier.

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"We have no expectation that either candidate will get to the point of 10 points up or down," LaBolt said in a conference call to reporters Wednesday. "We think this will be close and competitive right up until the election and that's why we're building the largest grass roots campaign in history."

“Florida is always a close state and we don’t expect that to change,” said LaBolt added, highlighting demographics where the campaign perceives an Obama advantage – Hispanics, seniors (a reliable portion of the electorate) and the youth vote.

The campaign said it is a matter of turn out, not persuasion among young voters, hoping to draw support from voters who were too young to cast a ballot for Obama during the past election when the candidate garnered outsized support the younger demographic.

Wasserman and LaBolt also drew a line between the two candidates on issues like Medicare for seniors, immigration and the economy.

“The question facing Floridians voters will be the same question facing voters around the country," said LaBolt. "Do you believe that we need to take action today to restore economic security for the middle class? And do you think the path to doing that is making investments specifically targeted to the middle class like education and research and development and infrastructure and clean energy? And if you agree with that you are going to vote for the president. If tax cuts for the wealthiest are the path to doing that you’re going to vote for Mitt Romney."

After the President’s call earlier this month to extend the Bush era tax cuts for middle-income families, the Romney campaign responded with this statement, also highlighting the dueling campaign’s different economic plans:

“The President’s latest bad idea is to raise taxes on families, job creators, and small businesses. Almost half a million fewer Americans are working today than the day Barack Obama took office, and we’ve just come through the worst job creation quarter in two years. Unlike President Obama, Governor Romney understands that the last thing we need to do in this economy is raise taxes on anyone. He has a plan to permanently lower marginal rates, help middle-class Americans save and invest, and jumpstart economic growth and job creation,” wrote Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul.

The top Obama surrogates also addressed the Romney campaign’s latest refrain, using remarks from Obama’s Virginia speech last week to paint the incumbent as supporting government dependence and failing to give credit to successful businesses.

LaBolt said Romney is using the president’s “if you've got a business – you didn't build that” remark to change the conversation from his economic record.

“I think that what Mitt Romney has done is taken the President's words out of context to change the subject from questions that are coming into his campaign about whether or not he was responsible for the outsourcing of American jobs or bankrupting companies by ripping the President's remarks out of context,” said LaBolt, pointing to Obama’s message that there is more the government can do to support business environment.

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soundoff (15 Responses)

    Romney has no chance in Nov ,I think he should be Sara s vp pick if he shows ten years of tax returns ,Gop train wreck coming and I hope there all on board ,mittens is driving and BACHMANN is the co. Pilot !!!

    July 18, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  2. Ronald Levin

    As a true conservative, I just can't see voting for Romney because I am no hypocrite, I will not stoop to the Democrats level and stay home on election day. The whole tax thing stinks to me, I hate to say it. If the tables were turned we would be screaming louder than the Demsocrats for financial disclosure. Romney is hurting us, if he had nothing to hide, he would release his tax return. We need to cut our losses people!

    July 18, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  3. danedemp

    Should be no problem for Obama, he can just continue his class warfare attacks on a group of Americans for political purposes. It has the added benefit of distracting our attention from his failed economic policies as well as appealing to resentment and hatred in his "base" Its interesting the press considers him the more likeable. Guess we have another great actor in the White House!

    July 18, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  4. Jim Hahn

    More whining from Mitt. They're Republican donors (not job creators) and he makes it sound like the neighbors next door. They would be if you lived in a gated community with three golf courses and have your choice Cadillacs and homes to drive and live in. The 99% don't live this way.

    July 18, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  5. Four and The Door

    “The question facing Floridians voters will be the same question facing voters around the country," said LaBolt. "Do you believe that we need to take action today to restore economic security for the middle class?
    Yes! The middle class has taken it in the shorts for the last 4 years and they will vote to improve their opportunities. Romney 2012!

    July 18, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  6. Thomas

    Right FLA off , They will go Romney / Bush .

    July 18, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  7. CRAIG

    It will be close in the swing states but Obama should win most of them & he'll get a large percentage of the independents. He may also get some old school republicans as they realize that Romney is a complete joke. I'm a Republi-crat & I vote for the man & my man is Obama!!!

    July 18, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  8. Rousseau Luzincourt

    Obama2012 all the way!

    July 18, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  9. gt

    florida....and the other 49....except far west and north east...sick of no jobs,,,,

    July 18, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  10. Ins1te

    Florida's governor = leading in voter suppression. Bring back Jeb Bush.

    July 18, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  11. Larry L

    Florida seniors need to realize Mitt Romney plans to support the Ryan budget plan – including transfering Social Security and medicare over to Wall Street to allow the "free market" to determine costs and benefits. How did deregulation work out for oil and the housing market? Do seniors trust the Wall Street executives to "do the right thing"? Romney will go after your Medicare plan and your Social Security check – regardless of what that windbag Rush Limbaugh tells you on Fox News. Do you trust the corporate leaders? Really?

    July 18, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  12. enuff

    If voters have to show i.d. to prove who they say they are, candidates should have to show tax returns to prove who they say they are. We don't want to have any fraud, do we?

    July 18, 2012 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  13. J.V.Hodgson

    I am fed up with sound bite politicians sound bite media taking words out of context headlining them and making it a story that only deserve any where between 1-4 fact check bad marks in thier own right.

    July 18, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  14. R Finelli

    R you people Nuts The President walk into a Mess that Bush Left. We r fighting a worthless war now. Where do u think the Money is being spent. The War. you Greedy Rich Spoiled Brats do not know how to Share and most of You Inherited your Wealth. You Gets Grants from Goverment to buy Property U hide your Wealth Off Shore. and when u Died u can't take it with you Grow Up U spoiled Brats. I Share when I have Money. Worthless spending on $250 wedding for Dogs OMG . Feed animals that don't have homes in Shelder's. I am sick and Tired listen to Rommey Lying and Who did he Married Are Of Hunts. and a Morman, yet he complains about Other Relion's the?Man is a Nut.

    July 19, 2012 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  15. lies from obama (and mabye his father)

    Raising taxes on the rich is not a cure-all like Obama thinks it is. If we take money from the private economy, how is the private economy going to grow? It is also a proven fact that increasing taxes does not equate to greater revenue. This is because rich people spend more on tax evasion and accountants to lower their taxes. Obama 2012-coming out with some of the bullsquirtiest ecomomicpolicies in history!

    July 19, 2012 01:45 am at 1:45 am |