ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Presidential candidate Mitt Romney made a campaign stop in St. Augustine Monday morning, speaking on the west lawn of Flagler College.
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Following an introduction by Gov. Rick Scott, Romney centered in on the economy, saying that 8.5 million homes have been foreclosed on. He laid the blame with President Barack Obama.
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"A record level is not success Mr. President. We need to help the people in Florida with housing policies that get housing prices up again and let people stay in their homes," said Romney.
"The right course for this country is to have a president who will work to actually reign in the spending. I'm going to take every government program and apply this test: is this government program so critical that it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it, and if it's not, we'll get rid of it."
Romney also defended his new running mate's Medicare proposal, telling Florida voters that he and Paul Ryan both want to "preserve and protect Medicare."
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Romney said Obama's decision to take $700 billion from Medicare for his health care law was "not the right answer."
Hundreds of people were not admitted to the likely GOP presidential nominee's appearance after security screeners couldn't clear them in fast enough.
Other than defending Ryan, Romney barely addressed Medicare while visiting a state with a large population of senior citizens who rely on the program.
Scott took his most visible role so far in helping Romney's campaign during Monday's rally. While Scott has raised money for Romney and told Republican groups to work to elect him, Democrats had questioned whether Romney was avoiding Scott because of his low approval ratings.
Scott said Florida's economy is getting better and will improve even more if former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is elected president.
While Romney campaigned in St. Augustine as part of a Florida bus tour, Ryan was meeting voters at the Iowa State Fair, campaigning alone for the first time in the same state where Obama is launching a bus tour of his own.
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Gov. Romney has cancelled his Orlando stop that was slated for Monday after intense campaigning over the weekend. He will still be speaking at an event in Miami on Monday night.
Look for more coverage of Romney's St. Augustine visit on First Coast News beginning at 5 p.m.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
First Coast News