MIAMI - Former President Bill Clinton began a two-day Florida campaign trip for President Barack Obama with a speech at Florida International University.
Inside FIU's U.S. Century Bank Arena, flags hung to commemorate the September 11th attacks. First responder and Miami Fire Lieutenant Ignatius Carroll introduced Clinton with a fitting moment of silence.
The mood wasn't just commemorative. Tuesday's event will likely be one of many campaign rallies following Clinton's fiery speech at the Democratic National Convention last week.
In Clinton's remarks that began shortly after 6:00p.m., criticism of Republican rival Mitt Romney was toned down. Instead, Clinton talked up student loan legislation signed by President Obama.
"Every student who borrows money under the Federal Student Loan law, however much you borrow, will be able to pay that loan back for up to 20 years at a small fixed percentage of your income," Clinton said to the audience of cheering students.
Clinton also touted the President's health care reform law, and insisted that students register to vote.
"Be a good citizen. Least we can do is show up and vote," he said.
The crowd seemed to need little reminder. Most said they were registered to vote.
"I'm voting for Obama and four more years, like they said," said student Vanessa Betit.
"I thought it was really great. Especially how he focused on student loans. It's something that will hit me. I'm going to be going to law school soon," said student Kenneth Dyches.
Florida is one of a handful of swing states considered key to deciding the election between Obama and Republican nominee Romney. Obama himself spent two days over the weekend campaigning in Florida. Florida has 29 electoral votes and Obama carried the state in 2008 over John McCain
Democrats say turnout is one of the keys to winning the Nov. 6 election. South Florida's three heavily-populated counties of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach include many reliable Democratic strongholds.
Clinton is set to make another appearance on Wednesday in Orlando.
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