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Fla. lawmakers: Elderly resisting Obama

Barack Obama has problems with Jewish seniors in Florida, say two Democratic lawmakers there.

Florida state Sen. Nan Rich told JTA that Obama surrogates have been “shocked” by the hostility they have encountered at condominiums in her area aimed at their candidate.

Steve Geller, who serves as the Democratic minority leader in the Florida state Senate and represents parts of Broward County, said he was nearly chased out of the “condos” – shorthand for retirement communities – when he said he backed Obama.

“I’ve noticed almost a mob mentality,” Geller said. “I can change people’s minds in a group of five or 10. When there’s 300 people in the room, they feed off each other and don’t want really to listen to us.”

Both lawmakers made their remarks Monday in Denver following a panel discussion on the Jewish vote held in conjunction with the Democratic convention.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) expressed confidence that Obama would do well with Jewish voters in the end, but needed to spend more time in the Sunshine State. She said more face-to-face encounters with Obama are needed.

“He needs to come down and have bagels and cream cheese in the condos and he will be fine,” Wasserman Schultz said.

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