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Politics / Issues

Mitt Romney Exhorts Faithful at Tampa Stop

Mitt Romney made a whirlwind tour of Florida today, as the latest polls show him tied with President Obama in the nation's biggest swing state.  Gov. Romney spoke to about 1,500 of the GOP faithful in a hangar at Tampa International Airport. There, he softened his usual attacks on President Obama, noting the President was touring storm-damaged areas of the northeast. Instead, he continued his recent string of statements pledging to overcome the nation's political divide.

"We have 47 million people on food stamps - think of that," Romney said. "Richest country in the history of the earth. Largest economy in the world. And yet 47 million people need food stamps. So I believe this is the year for us to take a different course. I will bring real change and real reform in a presidency that brings us together."

He then rallied the GOP faithful to vote early.

"We're going to keep it strong. We're going to overcome our challenges and keep America the hope of the earth," he said. "I need your vote on November 6th. Get out and vote early."

Credit Alex Cook / WUSF
Gov. Romney shakes hands after his speech

Romney was flanked by Florida's biggest Republican names, including former Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio. Romney thanked Bush for helping forge his education plan.

"You might be inclined to think that that was just a brilliant idea by me and my team," he said. "But the truth is about a year and a half or two years ago, I happened to be meeting in the office of one former Governor Jeb Bush, and I said 'What can I do to encourage school choice?' And he said you could always connect federal dollars to school choice, which is precisely what I've done. Thank you, Governor."

Bush then returned the favor.

"We need a man who has practical business experience," Bush said. "Who has worked in many ways as a problem solver - in the private sector, in saving the Winter Olympics, as governor of the great state of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney is made for this job as president of the United States, to bring people together to begin to solve the problems that we face."

Bush then continued on one of the main themes of the rally - with the election too close to call, the outcome could hinge on getting the party faithful out to the polls.

"I hope that you will get 10 people who may not be as committed as you are to be able to get them to commit to vote - either early or on election day, the old-fashioned way," he said. "I hope that you've gotten those 10 that you've got to commit to get 10 other people to do the same thing, and if you do your part, you will have a glorious election night next Tuesday."

The mood that night is still up in the air. The latest polls show in Florida, the race is still too close to call.

To watch a video of the event, click HERE.

Mitt Romney Exhorts Faithful at Tampa Stop

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