Bill Clinton Obama’s Florida Stand-In

Photograph by John Raoux/AP Photo

Former President Bill Clinton greets supporters after speaking at a campaign rally to for President Barack Obama at the University of Central Florida, on Oct. 29, 2012, in Orlando, Fla.

President Barack Obama may have left Florida before an Orlando campus rally today.

But the Sandy-occupied president left former President Bill Clinton as a stand-in.

Clinton addressed a crowd of more than 7,000 at the University of Central Florida.

And he went for 33 minutes, as the Orlando Sentinel’s man on the scene notes, with a speech that “belittled Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for not addressing 21st century problems ranging from global warming to higher education costs.”

“Clinton connected with the university student-heavy crowd by describing Obama’s plans for higher education, including the student loan reform that ties payments to income while saving $60 billion on costs then using that savings for Pell grants and research,” Scott Powers writes. “Romney, he charged, wants to repeal the student loan bill Obama pushed through Congress this past summer.”

“On this issue alone, every person within the sound of my voice should vote for Barack Obama for president of the United States,” Clinton said.

“I’m not mad at anybody. I don’t blame Gov. Romney for wanting to be president. I did too,” Clinton said. “But this is not about the candidates. It’s about you and your future… I say let’s give the job to the man who has done the job so he can finish the job.”

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who served as a Republican and ran for Senate as an independent, opened the rally. Crist spoke for Obama on stage at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in September and sat behind first lady Michelle Obama at the final presidential debate in Florida.

“In this campaign, optimism is up!” Crist told the crowd. “Pessimism is down! Jobs now are up! Unemployment, down! Equal pay, up! Discrimination, down! Home sales, up! Interest rates, down! Domestic energy, up! Foreign dependency, down! Auto industry, up! Plant closings, down! Troops home, up! Wars, down! Improving education, up! Blaming teachers, down! Barack Obama, up! Mitt Romney, down!”

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