Former President Bill Clinton began his remarks at a Miami campaign event for President Barack Obama Tuesday by reflecting on the 11th anniversary of 9/11.
He talked about how his wife, Hillary Clinton, was then a New York senator, and how their daughter Chelsea, then 21, was working in Lower Manhattan. Chelsea was one of the thousands of people told to walk north after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, and for a time, "we could not find her," the former president said.
Clinton held a grassroots event at Florida International University's U.S. Century Bank Arena, where he discussed Obama's vision for the future of the economy. He said that Obama's Republican opponents want to spend $2 trillion more in a decade than the Pentagon has asked for, and want to cut taxes by $5 trillion over the next decade and pay for it by repealing exemptions, but won't give details for either plan.
Obama's budget, higher education, economic and other plans are better than the Republicans' proposals, Clinton said.
He urged students to register to vote, pointing out that they have just 27 days left to do that before the fall election.
“We’ve got lots of reasons to vote, and we’ve got a good candidate to vote for, and we need to get out here and do that. And besides, if you sit out here on the sidelines, you are responsible for the consequences," Clinton said.
FIU students snapped up tickets for the event, with all of the tickets set aside for the students gone by Monday afternoon.
Young voters lined up for their chance to hear Clinton, fresh off his well-received speech at the Democratic National Convention.
“I’m here waiting in line to hopefully see Bill Clinton's speech here at FIU," student Ethan Dominguez said. "... I'm pretty excited for the former president of the United States. He seems like a very charismatic speaker and I’d love to hear his words."
Clinton brought up the debt clock the Republicans had at their national convention in Tampa, and argued that the debt is "a big problem, but not today, not this day."
"On this day, there’s not enough private economic activity to allow us to grow the economy fast enough to allow us to reduce the debt," he said.
When the Republican Congress reduced aid to state and local government, unemployment went up, Clinton said.
But Obama and Congress did the right thing with his 2009 stimulus package, which helped to limit job losses, Clinton said.
On the debt issue, he noted that Obama has a plan to reduce the debt by $4 trillion over 10 years.
On Wednesday, Clinton will make a similar appearance at the Rosen Plaza in Orlando.
Clinton's two-day visit to Florida comes just days after Obama took his own two-day bus tour through the key swing state, which included a stop in West Palm Beach Sunday.