PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Mitt Romney painted a dark vision of a second Obama term Sunday, telling more than 10,000 cheering supporters at a rally that the president would raise taxes on the middle class, weaken the military and explode the deficit if re-elected.
“I don’t want four more years like the last four years,” Romney, speaking in a rapid-fire tone as rain threatened from a gray sky, said to chants of “USA! USA!”
Before a boisterous crowd spread out on a grassy field next to the town square, Romney tried to capitalize on his momentum from his widely praised debate performance Wednesday.
“We had a little debate earlier this week, and I enjoyed myself,” he said, adding that President Obama has been making excuses for his own performance ever since.
“Now of course, days later, we’re hearing his excuses, and next January, we’ll be watching him leave the White House for the last time,” Romney said.
He also expressed confidence that he would capture this critically important state and its 29 electoral votes, saying to loud cheers, “We’re going to win in Florida, and we’re going to take back the White House.”
Meanwhile, Obama had no public appearances Sunday but was scheduled to hold two fundraisers in Los Angeles.
Obama’s main event was a “30 Days to Victory” concert at the Nokia Theatre, where Stevie Wonder, Katy Perry and Earth Wind and Fire were scheduled to perform. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and actor George Clooney were also to speak before the president delivered remarks. Six thousand tickets were sold for the event, beginning at $250 each.
Obama was to begin his evening with a small group of longtime donors at the home of entertainment mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, where Obama would be joined by former President Bill Clinton.
The president was scheduled to wrap up his night at Wolfgang Puck’s WP24 restaurant, on the 24th floor of the Ritz-Carlton hotel in downtown Los Angeles. With 150 people expected at a cost of $25,000 per person, that event alone could have raised $3.75 million.
Obama’s fundraising efforts were a topic on the Sunday political talk shows. On Saturday, the campaign announced it had raised $181 million in September, a near-record haul that pushed the overall total for the campaign to nearly $1 billion.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Sunday called Obama’s September fundraising “impressive” and said he did not know whether Romney and the RNC will match it.
“I think we all understand this race isn’t going to come down to money,” Priebus said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” He added, “This is going to come down to work on the ground.”
From the Obama campaign, senior advisers hit the Sunday shows in an effort to take the sheen off Romney’s performance at the first presidential debate, saying it was rooted in dishonesty.