After high-energy rallies over the weekend in Virginia, North Carolina and Wisconsin with his new running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney took the stage Monday morning in St. Augustine as a solo act.
"This president is out of ideas and he's out of excuses, and we're going to make sure in November Florida helps us take this country back," Romney told a cheering crowd on the west lawn of Flagler College. "There are better days ahead when we get a better leader in Washington."
Romney was introduced by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who had not appeared with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee during his during previous campaign swings in the Sunshine State.
Romney spoke for about 18 minutes, praising his new running mate and attacking what he called the failed policies of President Barack Obama.
"I'm convinced our economy is going to come roaring back," Romney said. "I know what we have to do to make that happen."
Romney is defending his running mate's Medicare proposal, telling Florida voters that he and Ryan both want to "preserve and protect Medicare."
Romney said Obama's decision to take $700 billion from Medicare for his health care law was "not the right answer."
Romney waved to those who could not make in into the rally, apologizing they could not get everyone who turned out onto the lawn where the rally was held.
Channel 4's Jason Law said hundreds lined up on King Street who could not get into the event did not seem upset.
"I wish more people could have gotten in," said Dawn Hilderbrand, who did get in after waiting in line for more than hours. "It was wonderful. I’m so glad we were able to get down here."
The speeches began nearly an hour after Romney was initially scheduled to take the stage. The program began with remarks from Florida Republican Party Chairman Lenny Carry, Florida Sen. John Thrasher, Attorney General Pam Bondi and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.
Rubio, once widely considered a front-runner to be Romney's vice presidential choice, gave no hint of disappointment that Ryan was tapped for that job.
"This is our time. This is this generation's chance to make the same decisions that those Americans before us made: That if we want to be special, that we want to stay exceptional, that we will not become like the rest of the world," Rubio said.
Introducing Romney, Scott touted that Florida's economy is getting better already, but is poised to take off but said it could take off under a pro-business president.
"We cannot afford another four years of Barack Obama. His policies have failed us," Scott said. "He actually believes his policies are working. What do you think?"
After the crowd shouted, "No!" Scott added, "He doesn't get it."
One Flagler College employee said Romney was the first presidential candidate to campaign on campus since Pat Buchanan.
Romney's campaign canceled a midday housing roundtable in Orlando -- campaign officials telling Channel 4's Jason Law the candidate was exhausted after joint appearances with Ryan in three states over the weekend.
Romney will appear at a rally in Miami on Monday afternoon and a private fundraiser in South Florida in the evening. Romney heads head to Ohio on Tuesday.
Ryan, meanwhile, campaigned Monday in Iowa.