It was a Sunshine State of mind Thursday for both Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. Both rivals are vying for Florida's 29 electoral votes and both are making pitches to key groups. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
The inauguration stage is literally being built and whoever stands on it in January probably won't regret all that time in the Florida heat.
Trying to reboot his campaign after a tough week, Mitt Romney came to the sweltering state wielding a new zinger.
"The president today threw in the white flag of surrender again," Romney said. "He said he can't change Washington from the inside. He can only change it from outside. Well, we're going to give him that chance in November. He's going outside!"
Romney has also repeatedly talked about the inability to change Washington from inside.
Obama said the same thing moments before on Florida's other coast.
"I've learned some lessons over the last four years and the most important lesson is that you can't change Washington from the inside," he said at a Univision forum. "You can only change it from the outside. That's how I get elected."
Obama said that's also how he passed his health care law, ignoring that it also took his party's control of Congress.
Even with that advantage, Obama couldn't reform the nation's immigration laws, as he was repeatedly reminded at the Univision forum.
"I haven't gotten everything done that I wanted to get done," he said.
Romney defended himself on immigration a day earlier. He has called for self-deportation of illegal immigrants.
There was also no mention of immigration in his rally. It was tailored for another key Florida bloc.
"I hope the people in Florida understand this," Romney said. "He cut medicare by $716 billion. And if I'm President of the United States, we're going to put that $716 billion back into Medicare, back into the care of our seniors."
Romney ignored the fact that his own running mate called for those same savings and that experts see the cuts as ensuring the program survives.
Less than seven weeks before election day, national polls have Obama with a slight lead. The president is also ahead in key swing states, including Florida, by single digits.