Obama mocks Romney, says rival is hiding his views

By Ken Thomas

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Oct. 11 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

President Barack Obama is greeted by Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., center, and Florida State Rep. Dwight Bullard, left, as he steps off of Air Force One at Miami International Airport, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Miami.

Carolyn Kaster, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Mocking his Republican rival, President Barack Obama says Mitt Romney once described himself as "severely conservative." But these days, Obama says Romney is trying to convince voters he was, in Obama's words, "severely kidding."

Obama says Romney is trying to mask his past stances on tax cuts and health care.

Obama's critique follows last week's debate between the two candidates and signals a new aggressiveness by the president on the same day that Vice President Joe Biden and Romney running mate Paul Ryan were getting ready to debate.

Obama says Romney will "rubber stamp" a conservative economic agenda. He says Romney's more moderate image amounts to "an extreme makeover."

Obama spoke Thursday at a rally at the University of Miami in Florida.