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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Romney kicks off Florida swing by toning down conservative rhetoric in Pensacola



romnpen.jpegPENSACOLA. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is calling for more partisan cooperation in Washington as he rallies supporters in Florida.

Romney says this is not a time to divide the country or demonize political opponents, but to, quote, "build bridges" to the other party.

The comments came before thousands of supporters who packed the Pensacola Civic Center. It's the first of three stops Romney planned for Florida Saturday. Romney's been toning down conservative rhetoric as he courts women and independents as Election Day looms.

But the moderate tone did not last long.

Romney said that Obama is "shrinking from the magnitude of the times" by focusing on "small things." He also said that the president has shrunk from the promises he made as a candidate.

And Florida Sen. Marco Rubio employed sharp rhetoric in introducing Romney, saying Obama's ideas are, "the ideas of countries people come here to get away from.” Video in jump.

Buzz Feed reported that Rubio was asked by reporters about that comment. His response here.

[Last modified: Saturday, October 27, 2012 3:18pm]


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