Obama presents second term agenda to Delray Beach crowd


McClatchy Newspapers

Don't trust Mitt Romney, a fired-up President Barack Obama told a boisterous crowd of about 11,000 in this South Florida city Tuesday, as the candidates began their final push for votes.

Obama started his day a few miles from the Lynn University site of Monday night’s third and final debate. He spent much of his 20-minute talk at the Delray Beach Tennis Center pointing out his Republican rival’s frequent changes in position.

“This is about trust,” Obama, often shouting, said. “There’s no more serious issue in a presidential campaign than trust.”

Romney’s first public event will be held Tuesday afternoon in Nevada. He also plans an evening rally in Colorado.

Obama answered Romney’s charge of no second term agenda by distributing “A Plan for Jobs & Middle Class Security,” a 20 page description of that agenda. The plan is to become the subject of television ads and mailings.

The plan has little that hasn’t been proposed before. It stresses classic Obama themes, such as “building an economy from the middle class out,” and promising 1 million more manufacturing jobs by2016, keeping in place the 2010 federal health care law and recruiting 100,000 math and science teachers.

“I’ve laid out a plan for jobs and middle-class security. And unlike Mitt Romney, I’m actually proud to talk about what’s in it -- because my plan actually will move America forward,” Obama said. Romney has not specified all the specific steps he would take to reduce the deficit by trillions of dollars.

Romney, Obama charged in his speech, can’t be trusted to accomplish any such goals, and would take the nation back to a not-so-pleasant past.

“His foreign policy is from the 1980s, his social policies from the 1950s and his economic policies from the 1920s,” Obama said. Under his presidency, the president said, “We will remain a generous, inclusive country.”

Romney has been under fire for softening or changing his views on a number of topics recently, including policies toward younger illegal immigrants, tax cuts, and other subjects.

Obama was introduced first by former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, elected governor as a Republican in 2006, but ran an unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign as an independent in 2010. He warned that Romney “has bowed down to the Republican party’s right fringe, and that’s just wrong.”

The biggest crowd cheer, though, went to the next speaker: Scott Van Duzer, owner of a Fort Pierce pizza restaurant, who leaped into the national spotlight last month when he gave Obama a bear hug.

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