President Barack Obama talks health care, retirement with seniors

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- President Barack Obama put forth his vision of how to grow the economy, create jobs and pay down the nation's debt as he hammered at presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney during a campaign visit to West Palm Beach on Thursday evening.

Obama, who spoke before an estimated crowd of 675 people at Century Village, a retirement community, drew clear distinctions between the accomplishment of his presidency, Romney and Republicans.

"Their plan is to cut taxes more for the wealthy, cut more regulations on banks and insurance companies and unscrupulous lenders, and cut more investments in things like education and research -- and hope that somehow all that is going to create more prosperity for everybody," he said. "That's a good theory if we hadn't just tried it.  We tried it for a decade before I got elected, and it didn't work.  It got us into this mess in the first place. "

The president made a case for two issues residents there said were important to them -- the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Medicare.

It's an important audience; the president lost this sizable Florida demographic -- the vote of those over 65 -- by 10 points in 2008.

"He wants to roll back the Affordable Care Act -- health care reform -- forcing 200,000 Floridians to pay for their prescription drugs," he said. "Seniors would have to pay $6,400 for Medicare than they do today. Where are you going to get that from? We shouldn't be squeezing more money out of our seniors," he said.

Most recent polls show the race is a dead heat in this pivotal battleground state.

Obama, who said it was time to do "nation-building at home," did not miss the opportunity to build a case for a second term.

"Mister Romney said, let's "let Detroit go bankrupt." There were a million jobs at stake. So I said, "no, let's bet on American workers," he said. "America is safer and more respected because of the unbelievable service of our troops. And because of their efforts, we ended the war in Iraq, as I promised. We've been able to refocus on al Qaeda and those who caused 9/11, and we have decimated their leadership and taken out [Osama] bin Laden."

The president's visit to West Palm Beach was the second of a four-city, two day swing through Florida.

On Friday, Obama was scheduled to campaign in Fort Myers and Orlando.

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