(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — President Obama warned a Florida rally Thursday against what he predicted would be a flood of negative ads from Republicans even as he was cited for his own barrage of negative ads.
The president told about 3,000 supporters at the Prime F. Osborne III Convention Center that Republicans will be “spending more money than we have ever seen in our lifetimes,” airing ads to oppose his vision and attack the administration for an economic mess inherited in 2009.
“Florida, I’ve been outspent before, and I’ve been counted out before. But through every campaign, what has always given me hope is the American people. You have the ability to cut through all that nonsense,” he said.
“When we push aside all the talk and all the politics and get down to that core of what it means to be American, all that money doesn’t matter. All those negative ads don’t matter,” he said. “When you come together, you cannot be stopped.”
Unmentioned in Obama’s speech is his own campaign’s flood of ads. The Miami Herald has estimated he has spent $17 million on ads in the Sunshine State and most of them have been negative, the paper concluded.
The president’s travel was delayed by torrential downpours, but when he arrived he urged patience and optimism for his economic plan to take hold.
“Ever since I first ran for this office, I’ve said it’s going to take more than one year or one term or maybe even one president to restore the dream that built this country. And the financial crisis and economic crisis made our job that much harder,” he said the rally.
“But I don’t get discouraged because the cynics who say that our best days are behind us, they haven’t witnessed the everyday courage and the essential character of the American people.”
And as GOP rival Mitt Romney hammers him as economically out-of-touch, responsible for a sluggish and slowing recovery, Obama Thursday insisted he has the plan that’s been tested and works.
“Our opponent’s entire plan, same plan of his allies in Congress, is to cut more taxes for the wealthy, cut more regulations for banks, insurance companies, cut more investments in things like education and research, all with the hope that somehow, that will create jobs and prosperity everywhere,” the president said.
“Well, you know what, Florida? That’s not what you and I believe,” he said. “This country was not built on top-down economics. This country was built from the middle class out. It was built from the bottom up.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Stephen Collinson and MJ Lee, CNN
Brian Stelter, CNN
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Eric Bradner, CNN