TAMPA — Calling Hillsborough a swing county that could move the dial on the presidential race, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn stumped for President Barack Obama Tuesday, ahead of the election's first debate.
Former Gov. Mitt Romney and Obama will square off at the University of Denver to discuss domestic policy on Wednesday at 9 p.m.
"This debate is very important. I've lost races by less than 5 percent," Buckhorn said at a news conference at Tampa's Obama for America office. "If Tampa goes, so goes the I-4 corridor, if the I-4 corridor goes, there goes Florida, and if Florida goes, there goes the entire race."
Buckhorn praised Obama's vision of equal opportunity for Americans and cast Romney as the candidate "that would divide us based on economics, based on the haves and have nots."
State Rep. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, also took jabs at Romney, criticizing his record as governor of Massachusetts.
As governor, Romney raised fees on simple necessities and laid off police officers, causing crime to go up, Cruz said.
"The failures of Mitt Romney's governorship affected real people," she said. "We need Americans to know the truth."
Brittany Alana Davis can be reached at (850)323-0353 or [email protected]