Obama speaks to supporters at Rollins College



ORLANDO, Fla. - President Barack Obama spoke to a crowd of supporters at Rollins College Thursday afternoon.

Air Force One touched down at Orlando International Airport early in the afternoon. Earlier in the day, the Secret Service conducted a security sweep at the college.

Obama spoke at the college's Harold and Ted Alfond Sports Center, where crowds of people lined up early.

"And the goal for today?" WFTV reporter Jorge Estevez asked.

"To see the president," replied Tialda Williams, a ticket holder. "We have water a lot of water, juice and a lot of snacks."

On the drive from the airport to Rollins, the president's motorcade stopped at Lechonera El Barrio, a small Cuban cafe on Semoran Boulevard.

The president ordered take-out lunches and spent several minutes talking to patrons and workers in the cafe.

Obama then went outside and spoke to campers and families from a summer camp program run out of the New Beginnings Church, next door to the cafe.

After taking time to pose for pictures, the president's motorcade resumed the trip to Rollins for his speech.

Obama emerged to instant cheers from 2,500 supporters at the Winter Park college.

"You deserve a job, healthcare and education for your children," Obama said to the crowd.

And then he began talking about a new plan for tax cuts for middle class families making less than $250,000 a year.

"We need more tax cuts for working Americans. We need tax cuts for families who are trying to raise their children," said Obama.

"I think middle class families will be happy with it. I don't think the extravagantly rich will be, but then again they are extravagantly rich," said Tom Bland, who attended the President's speech.

"You are the tie breaker. You choose the direction," Obama told the Rollins crowd.

The president's direction for the crowd at Rollins was clear; fight to get Obama four more years in office, despite a presidency plagued with an economic crisis.

"There is one thing the crisis did not change. It has not changed what made us great, how we came together in 2008," said Obama.

In his message to the Rollins crowd, Obama spoke of reinstating the American dream for the middle class.

"We are here to build an economy. Here in America you can make it if you try," said Obama.

Obama's emphasis on the middle class resonated with a Republican veteran who was on hand.

"There are certain things I like about Obama, but it is his stance on taxes and the middle class and fighting for us, like I fought for them," the man said.

Obama also told the crowd that he needed them to volunteer to get his message out.

The president spoke for nearly 25 minutes.

It was the second attempt to bring Obama to campus. The first visit was canceled hours before it began, after the Aurora, Colo., theater shooting.

Obama's trip to Rollins College came after a day of campaigning in another swing state, Ohio.