President Barack Obama campaigns in South Florida

Obama stumps at UM, fundraises in downtown Miami

Published On: Oct 11 2012 07:31:30 AM EDT   Updated On: Oct 12 2012 08:18:11 AM EDT
MIAMI -

President Barak Obama spoke to a crowd of more than 800 donors at a campaign fundraiser in downtown Miami Thursday night.

Mr. Obama told the audience at the JW Marriot Marquis Hotel that Mitt Romney's campaign is offering "politics of the past."

"The American people have worked too hard to get to this point...after all we've been through, why would we go backwards?" said Obama.

Supporters said they were hoping to see more spirit from Obama after a lackluster performance at the first presidential debate with Romney.

"I think I want to see his energy back," one woman said.

The president used the speech to discuss his ideas about the economy, clean energy and education.

"If our kids have the skills they need to compete, then our economy will grow," Mr. Obama said to a cheering crowd.

Earlier Thursday, the president told 9,000 students and supporters at the BankUnited Center at UM in Coral Gables that voters must choose between two visions of America.

"On October 27th, you get to start voting early, and everything that we fought for in 2008 is on the line in 2012," said President Obama. "So I'm going to need you fired up. I'm going to need you ready to go. I need your help to finish what we started. Think about where we've been and how far we've come."

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Local 10 Senior Political Reporter Michael Putney reported that the president was more engaged than he appeared at the first debate.

"The centerpiece of Governor Romney's economic plan is a new $5 trillion tax cut that favors the wealthiest Americans," President Obama said to a chorus of boos. "Don't boo -- vote."

President Obama said Romney has undergone an extreme makeover.

"These days, Mitt Romney's for whatever you're for. Suddenly he loves the middle class -- can't stop taking enough about it. He loves Medicare, loves teachers. He even loves the most important parts of Obamacare," said the president. "My opponent says over and over that he can cut taxes, increase military spending, close the deficit, but the only thing he's pointed to that he's going to get rid of his Big Bird."

The Romney campaign issued a statement about the president's mention of Big Bird, saying: “Today, after his campaign said that the terrorist attack in Libya is only an issue because of Mitt Romney, the President hit the campaign trail and talked more about Big Bird than his failure to lead at home or abroad. President Obama is obsessed with talking about a puppet rather than presenting a vision for a stronger foreign policy and a vibrant economy. The choice over the next few weeks couldn’t be clearer for middle class families. President Obama can continue to launch false attacks and focus on the small issues, but Mitt Romney will continue to address the serious issues confronting our nation and present his bold vision to grow our economy and keep America safe.”

Putney said Obama mentioned Big Bird once in the 25 minute speech.

An unemployed UM student told Local 10 that Obama's speech restored her faith in the president.

"...I have the hope that I didn't have before I came in here today because I know that we have someone who's a good guy and someone who is on target," said Alex Angara.

Miami-Dade Transit will be impacted by his visit.

READ: Traffic advisories for Brickell | Downtown Miami