Hundreds turned away from Mitt Romney event

Screeners at Florida city can't keep up with crowd

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Hundreds of people were turned away Monday morning at a St. Augustine campaign stop featuring Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who defended his running mate's Medicare proposal.

The people were not admitted to the event after security screeners couldn't clear them fast enough.

At the event, Romney told Florida voters that he and Paul Ryan, tabbed as Romney's running mate on Saturday, both want to "preserve and protect Medicare."

"The president's plan for the budget deficit was to make it worse. And Paul Ryan and I are going to get America to cut spending and to finally get us to a balanced budget," Romney said. "This president is out of ideas he's out of excuses and where going to make sure in November that Florida puts him out of office."

Romney said President Barack Obama's decision to take $700 billion from Medicare for his health care law was "not the right answer."

Other than defending Ryan, Romney barely addressed Medicare while visiting a state with a large population of senior citizens who rely on the program.

" I will restore America strength in our homes, strength in our economy strength in our military second to none were going to keep America the hope of the earth," Romney said. "Thank you Florida, I'm counting on you to help me win November."

Romney was on his first solo campaign swing since introducing Ryan as his running mate over the weekend. He will continue his swing-state tour by going to Ohio and Wisconsin this week.

Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Scott says Florida's economy is getting better and will improve even more if Romney is elected president.

Scott took his most visible role so far in helping Romney's campaign during the St. Augustine rally.  While Scott has raised money for Romney and told Republican groups to work to elect him, Democrats have questioned whether Romney is avoiding Scott because of his low approval ratings.

Democrats have also said Scott's message that Florida's economy is improving conflicts with Romney's message that it is still in the tank because of President Barack Obama's policies.

Scott was well-received by the crowd as he took credit for Florida's job growth and added he can do more to create jobs with Romney's help.

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Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.