DELRAY BEACH, FL.--Mayor Rahm Emanuel wrapped up Monday a three-day swing through battleground Florida telling voters hours before the presidential debate President Obama's record matters more than a 90-minute debate performance.
Emanuel's events in Tampa/St. Petersburg and South Florida were aimed at energizing Obama volunteers and shoring up Jewish support, with the mayor, Obama's former chief of staff, providing personal testimony to Obama's unwavering support for Israel.
On Monday morning, Emanuel drew about 300--mostly seniors-- in the clubhouse of a condo complex here, where he was asked by one man how he accounted for Obama's "lousy" performance in his first debate with Mitt Romney in Denver.
Romney and Obama meet at Lynn University in Boca Raton at 8 p.m. Chicago time for a debate to be focused on foreign policy.
"I can't tell you what happened in that first debate, OK? I can't because there is no answer I can give that makes sense, OK?" Emanuel said.
"...I'm not that interested in the 90 minutes, I'm interested in the next four years," he said to applause. "Anybody here ever have an off day? Ok? Nobody has been harsher about it..than himself," he said of the president.
That said, even if both Romney and Obama have decent debates Monday, "I know the record for the past three-and-a-half years and I am not going to shortchange that just for a debate performance," Emanuel said.
Later on Monday, Emanuel rallied Obama supporters at a West Palm Beach campaign office before flying back to Chicago.