“That’s the wrong way to go,” Obama said. “It’s wrong to ask seniors to pay more in Medicare just so millionaires and billionaires can pay less in taxes. We shouldn’t be squeezing more money from seniors who are just barely getting by right now.”
Romney’s response in the past to similar attacks has been to accuse Obama of stripping $500 billion from Medicare to pay for his health-care legislation. This is a reference to the difference, over 10 years, between anticipated Medicare spending and changes made by the law to reduce spending.
Florida remains the biggest swing-state prize in this election, with 29 electoral votes, and is considered a must-win for Romney, who is expected to accept the GOP nomination at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August. A recent Miami Herald-Tampa Bay Times poll found that 46 percent of the state’s likely voters backed Obama and 45 percent favored Romney, with 7 percent still undecided, almost erasing an advantage of four to 10 points that the president had held for months.
Obama’s popularity has been buffeted by Florida’s 8.6 unemployment rate, which is above the national average, and the housing market’s downturn, which hit portions of the state particularly hard.
The same newspaper poll also showed that 52 percent of Florida voters view Obama’s health-care act unfavorably, compared with 43 percent who support it. In his remarks in Jacksonville, Obama touted the legislation, saying it would help seniors reduce their prescription drug costs.
“The Supreme Court has spoken,” Obama said, referring to the court’s 5 to 4 decision to uphold the individual mandate.
In Boston, Romney stopped by his campaign headquarters to address his staff members, thanking them for their hard work.
A few hours later in Roxbury, Mass., Romney resumed his attacks on Obama at an unscheduled campaign stop, painting him as out of touch on the economy and hostile to small businesses.
Speaking at Middlesex Truck and Coach, a vehicle-repair facility, Romney for the second straight day pointed out that Obama’s jobs council has not held a meeting in six months.
Picking up on recent Republican attacks on the president, Romney reminded his audience of an Obama rally last week in Virginia during which the president used the phrase “you didn’t build that” while arguing that the government helps the private sector by building the roads, bridges and education system that businesses rely on.