DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – President Barack Obama was cracking jokes and continuing the assault on Republican rival Mitt Romney that he began during Monday night's debate at a rally here Tuesday.
Speaking before a raucous crowd of more than 10,000, Obama continued to mock his opponent's "Romnesia" for his recent apparent shifts on foreign policy positions, citing inconsistencies on the ending of the war in Iraq, troop withdrawal in Afghanistan, Israel, and the decision to go after Osama bin Laden.
"We had a severe outbreak last night, it was at least Stage 3 Romnesia," Obama said. "If you can't seem to remember the policies on your website or the promises you've been making over the six years you've been running for president, if you can't even remember what you said last week, don't worry. Obamacare covers pre-existing conditions. We can fix you up."
But Obama said the ailment amounts to more than just a joke.
"The person who leads this country, you've got to have some confidence that he or she means what he or she says," he said. "It doesn't mean that every candidate is going to get everything done all at once, perfectly, but you want somebody to be able to look you in the eye and say, 'here's what I believe, here's what I stand for, here's what I'll fight for, here's what I care about.' "
The president, who has overseen a slow economic recovery from the worst recession since the Great Depression, acknowledged voters are unsatisfied with the current state of affairs.
"Yes, we've been through tough times, but you've never seen me quit and there's no quit in America," he said.
Obama also took a dig at Romney for failing to mention American troops in Afghanistan and elsewhere during the foreign policy debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton. Romney also did not mention them during his nomination acceptance speech earlier this summer.
"He may write off half our country as victims behind closed doors, but the men and women and their families who have served this country so bravely, they deserve better from someone who is applying to be commander-in-chief," Obama said. "It is my greatest honor, serving as their commander-in-chief and I will fight for our troops and our veterans every single day."
And having faced criticism in recent days from Romney and Republicans that he did not have a plan for the next four years, Obama showed off a 20 page 'book' enumerating his economic plans for a second term, which includes government spending on science and technology, expanding energy policies, and raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
Willie Farrington of Delray Beach said he was impressed with the president's debate performance and was taken aback by Romney's.
Attendees got fired up Tuesday at President Obama's post-debate rally at the Delray Beach Tennis Center in South Florida. (Rebekah Metzler/USNWR)
The president "did an outstanding job in the way he presented himself and his foreign policy and calling Mitt Romney out on it," Farrington says. "He has no foreign policy experience. He stood up for the last three or four years saying we have the worst leader, we've been leading from behind, he's been calling out the president for all the foreign policy moves and then he got up on stage and said, 'I agree with you.' It's like, woah, where is he coming from?"
Both candidates are scheduled for whirlwind campaign tours with Election Day looming in just two weeks. Romney begins his push in the western states of Nevada and Colorado, while Obama will head to Iowa, Colorado, and Nevada.
Rebekah Metzler is a political writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.