BOCA RATON, Fla. -- President Barack Obama spoke to a crowd of more than four thousand people Tuesday at Florida Atlantic University.
President Obama's FAU speech, which started around 3:00 p.m., focused on economic fairness and the so-called Buffett Rule, an economic principle which would require the wealthiest Americans -- those who earn more than $1 million annually -- to pay no less than 30% of their income in taxes.
"America has always been a place where anybody who is willing to work and play by the rules can make it. A place where prosperity doesn't trickle down from the top, it grows from the bottom, it grows outward from the heart of a vibrant middle class and I believe that we cannot stop investing in the things that help create that middle class. That create real long-lasting broad-based growth in this country and we certainly shouldn't be doing it just so the richest Americans can get another tax cut. We should be strengthening those investments. We should be making college more affordable," the president said.
According to the Palm Beach Post, President Obama raised at least $600,000 for his reelection campaign at a lunch in Palm Beach Gardens before he spoke to about 4,500 people in FAU's gym. After the FAU speech, Obama left Palm Beach County for fundraisers in Hollywood and Golden Beach, where he raised nearly $1.5 million more. His visit to Palm Beach County is being considered a rousing success.
Political analysts said the purpose of the speech was two-fold: to put pressure on Congressional Republicans as Democrats introduce tax reform legislation, and draw attention to the income tax former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney paid in 2010 -- approximately 13.9 percent on $21.7 million.
"The President came to Florida – where our families, farmers and small businesses are struggling to make ends meet under the pressure of $4 per gallon gasoline – to ask for money for his campaign and to demand that people pay higher taxes. Mr. President, Florida voters are not ATMs, and even if they were, they'd be running out of cash under your failed policies," Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney said in a statement.
"The President's tax rate hike proposal would be so paralyzing to investment and growth that it wouldn't just hurt the economy and cost us much-needed jobs, but history shows that it could also lead to lower revenues and therefore higher deficits," Rooney added.
One of Romney's challengers, Rick Santorum, suspended his campaign Tuesday. Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul say they will continue campaigning for the GOP nomination.