On the campaign trail, Mitt Romney has hit President Obama hard for not presenting a future agenda for the American public, but instead being reduced to using words like "Romneysia" to criticize his opponent. Mainstream media pundits have said the same.
CL asked Emanuel, the chief-of-staff for Obama for the first two years of the president's administration, if that was a fair criticism. Not surprisingly, the mayor disagreed.
"First of all, there are choices in an election, and I do think that the president has put together exactly the right set of policies based on the middle class (to succeed)," he said.
Emanuel said the policies include: the ability to own a home, to afford health care, to save for retirement, to save for children's college costs, and to get job training skills if needed to move up the economic ladder.
The mayor got specific, saying that tax reform will be a job for the next president, and he'd rather it be the Democratic candidate.
"Having been in a White House and help create the Hope and Life Time learning Credits be tax deductions for the middle class. Do those survive? Or is it tax breaks for the Cayman Islands and Switzerland bank accounts to survive? Because you can't have both ... I'm for the clear choices, and I will say the president's choices have been clear ..."
Emanuel spoke to a group of about 25 volunteers jammed into the Temple Terrace campaign office in what was billed as a pep talk, though there were only a couple of volunteers who appeared to be making phone calls shortly before the Chicago mayor's appearance.
"If Florida is ground zero, Tampa is the center of ground zero," he said to the group. "If you think you made your last phone call, you've got 10 more. If you think you've knocked on your last door, you've got 10 more. Never give in, never give up."
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn joked that when he travels to conferences with other mayors, they thank him for accepting federal funds originally earmarked for a high-speed rail line from Orlando to Tampa that Florida Gov. Rick Scott rejected in 2010.
Mayor Emanuel will be the last person to make such a remark.
"And you here in Tampa would have been the recipient of that investment, had you kept your high-speed rail ... I'll just tell you this right now. Our senator and our secretary of transportation just took high-speed rail from Chicago ... from Juliet to Normal (Illinois). So I came down here to thank you for not taking your money," he said to laughs.
Emanuel was seen earlier in the day at Tre Amichi in Ybor City, and he'll speak to the Jewish community in an event in South Florida on Sunday. He said he will travel next weekend to the very critical battleground state of Ohio, and will make phone calls to get out the vote in the last weekend before the election.