WINTER PARK -- President Barack Obama drew about 2,400 people to Rollins College Thursday afternoon, where he blasted Republican Mitt Romney’s tax plan and touted a new bipartisan study that concludes middle-class families will wind up with paying more taxes to pay for tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans.
“They found that folks making more than $3 million a year — the top one-tenth of 1 percent — would get a tax cut under Romney’s plan of almost a quarter of a million dollars,” Obama said. “This analysis also found that if Gov. Romney wants to keep his word and pay for his plan so it does not increase the deficit, the average middle-class family with children would be stuck with a tax increase of more than $2,000. I want everybody to understand here: He’s not asking you to pay an extra $2,000 to reduce our deficit, he’s not asking you to pay an additional $2,000 to help care for our seniors, he’s not asking you to pay $2,000 in order to rebuild America or to fight a war. He’s asking you to pay more so that people like him pay less, so that people like me pay less.”
Obama turns 51 in two days, and just as he started his speech the crowd broke into a chorus of Happy Birthday.
“If I’d known you guys were going to sing, we would have brought a cake,” he said. “I would have made a wish that probably had to do with electoral votes. Winning Florida wouldn’t be a bad birthday present.”
Before Obama’s event in Winter Park, Sen. Marco Rubio rallied an enthusiastic crowd of Republicans in nearby Orlando. He cast the election as a simple choice.
“Mitt Romney understands free enterprise, he has worked in it. He has seen companies succeed and he has seen them fail, too. He knows what people think about when they invest their money,” Rubio said. “Barack Obama doesn’t believe in free enterprise. He’s never going to admit it. For instance, he’s never going to come straight out and say, ’If you own a business you didn’t build it.’ Alright, maybe he will.”
Rubio did offer some praise for the president. Obama appears to be a good family man, he said. And an excellent golfer.
“He’s so dedicated to his golf game that he will go and play golf even if it means he can’t meet with his Jobs Council,” he said.
Obama can’t run on his record, Rubio said, so instead he will try to destroy Romney and divide the country.
“Unlike any figure in American politics he has divided us against each other deliberately because it’s the only way he thinks that he can win. It’s gone from hope and change to divide and conquer,” Rubio said. “I can’t think of a figure in modern American history who had more goodwill than this one, and he’s walked away from all of it. Today he’s just another politician in Washington, D.C., with the same old divisive class warfare of the past.”