Watch CBSN Live

Obama Introduces Himself to Florida Voters


From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:

KISSIMMIEE, FLA. -- As he wrapped up his first full day of campaigning in Florida, Barack Obama told a predominately Hispanic and African-American crowd here tonight about his "mixed up" background in an effort to introduce himself to the state's voters. "When you get my family together, you've got people who look like Margaret Thatcher. You've got people who look like Bernie Mac. You've got my sister," Obama said, "she looks like Selma Hayak. I don't know if you've seen her. She looks Latin."

He encouraged the diverse crowd not to get caught up in differences because "we all have a piece of each other." Obama also used his background to support his argument that he is still connected to the middle class. "Since I'm somebody who comes from a working class, middle class family, and my wife does too, I don't forget that I was raised by a single mom, I don't forget that we had to get food stamps for a few years while she was still going to school," Obama said.

"I don't forget that up until five years ago when my books started selling, we were still trying to figure out how we were going to pay for our kids college education because we had just finished off our loans. So I think about it all the time."

In recent weeks, Obama has made a considerable effort to reacquaint voters with his biography. After a slew of questions about his patriotism and religious beliefs, Obama has decided to take on questions about his background head on. Although he has blamed his opponents for stirring up the controversies, he is beginning to realize that many voters want to learn about him in his own words.