Candidates claim high ground in Florida

Oct. 21, 2012 at 3:45 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney will focus on the economy in hotly contested Florida, officials of their respective campaigns said Sunday.

Florida is considered a critical state as the U.S. presidential race hits the home stretch, and both candidates will be campaigning hard to win over voters.

Romney adviser Kevin Madden said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Florida was grappling with the same economic malaise, rising energy prices and high federal debt the rest of the United States has been contending with since Obama was elected.

"I think right now there's a lot of anxiety amongst the American people, particularly people here in Florida, about the state of the economy," said Madden. "And Gov. Romney has focused on that, and he's focused on what he would do better over the next four years, versus the failed policies that we've seen over these past four years."

Madden contended the president remained fixated on relatively trivial issues in his campaign jousting with Romney rather than on articulating a workable economic plan for the next four years.

Stephanie Cutter, deputy manager of the Obama campaign, argued it was Romney's plan that lacked specifics. "His singular economic policy is a tax cut that gives a $250,000 tax cut to those at the top and forces the middle class to pay for it," she said. "That's not a way to move this economy forward and I think the people of Florida know that."

Cutter said Obama would benefit from the economic recovery, which while slow had started to re-energize the housing industry and had created jobs in the alternative-energy sector. "We have made significant progress here in Florida," she said.

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