JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Mitt Romney today referred to the Obama administration as a "Groundhog Day presidency," opening a new line of attack on the president while wholly ignoring his GOP rivals.
"This has been a Groundhog Day presidency," Romney said, speaking outside Paramount Printing, which is going out of business. "He keeps saying the same things and we keep waking up with the same things going on. Nothing changes. He said he was the candidate of change but you still have 25 million people out of work you still have almost 10 percent unemployment here in Florida. You still have home values down and continuing to go down. You still have record number of foreclosures in Florida. You still have medium incomes suffering.
"He keeps saying these great things he's going to do and, yet, it's the same picture every single morning," Romney said to a crowd of about 200. "It's been a Groundhog Day presidency and that's going to end if I'm president.
"If you believe things are on the right track in America, then you ought to vote for Barack Obama," Romney said. "If you believe, like I do, that he has not put things on the right track, that we're on the wrong track and that we need to change course in this country and to get back to American values and American principles, then I want your vote.
Without naming any of his GOP rivals by name, Romney did spend part of his speech drawing contrast between himself and those who have "lived in Washington D.C."
"Florida is going to make a decision about who is going to be our nominee, and I've got something to admit: I've never lived in Washington D.C.," Romney said. " I'm not part of the culture of Washington D.C. I spent my life outside of Washington D.C. I lived my life on Main Street and on other streets across this country. I want to use the experience I've had, working in the real economy, to go to Washington and fix it.
"Now if you think that you really need someone who has been part of the culture of Washington for the last 35 years to go there again and continue in Washington, why there are other people you can choose," Romney added.
Romney, who has no more public events today before tonight's CNN-sponsored debate in Jacksonville, made reference to the event, predicting that "it's going to be fun again."
"We are getting ready for another debate tonight," Romney said. "I can't wait. We are going to have some choice times talking about the president and his failures.
"We may talk about the differences between ourselves as well," Romney said, without referring to Gingrich by name. "There may be some good give and take that's always fun and entertaining, I know. If you all can get there, we'd love to see you there cheering and be a part of that."
When some members of the crowd screamed that they had no tickets, Romney encouraged them to "just storm in."
"This is going to be a lot of fun," Romney said.