President Barack Obama canceled his scheduled appearance at the University of Central Florida early Monday morning to return to Washington D.C. ahead of Hurricane Sandy.
Former President Bill Clinton, who was scheduled to appear with Obama, headlined the campaign event instead.
Despite chilly weather and Obama's cancellation, 7,600 supporters turned out to hear from Clinton, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson and former Governor Charlie Crist.
The crowd was not as enthusiastic as some others on the campaign trail this election season, but Clinton received big roars for mentioning UCF several times.
He also touted UCF and the metro Orlando area, as he has in past appearances around the country.
"You know, I give you guys so much free publicity around the country, I should be on the payroll," Clinton said.
He called Central Florida's burgeoning military simulation industry an example of how the public and private sectors can work together.
Clinton spoke for about 45 minutes and touched on several policy topics. On college loans, he blasted the plans of both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
"He wants to get rid of the guarantees for the tuition tax credits, and he wants to make college loans more expensive and harder to pay. On this issue alone, every person within the sound of my voice should vote for Barack Obama for president of the United States."
Clinton said Medicare and Medicaid, plus green energy, are reasons voters should choose Obama. He said Republicans are the only major political party in the developed world that does not believe in global warming. For their part, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's campaign sent out a statement calling Clinton's statements false and desperate.
Clinton also highlighted UCF's efforts in being a leader in computer science programs, which he said helped build Orlando's tourism industry and will continue to be a centerpiece of the nation's economy going forward.
Clinton drew laughs when referring to Romney's presidential ambitions.
"I'm not mad at anybody. Shucks, I don't mind Governor Romney wanting to be President. I did too."
The Associated Press was used in this report.