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Florida Tea Party CONFOOSED?

Tea P: Romney Most Electable; Paul Best President

FORT WALTON BEACH — Mitt Romney is a close first choice to be the Republican presidential nominee for some 75 Fort Walton Beach Tea Party members.

They also said Romney was the most electable candidate, despite their belief that U.S. Rep. Ron Paul would be the best president, according to a recent straw poll.

“This is good news,” said former Florida House Speaker Allan Bense, who drove from his home in Panama City to speak on Romney’s behalf Tuesday night at American Legion Post 235 in Fort Walton Beach.

“Mitt Romney won. He’s not supposed to win,” Bense said.

Indeed, Romney would hardly seem the GOP choice in conservative Okaloosa County.

Newt Gingrich, the darling of conservative voters at the moment, had handily won straw polls conducted by other county tea party organizations, said Fort Walton Beach member Tom Nelson.

Nelson attributed Tuesday’s interesting developments to the infiltration by about 15 libertarian Ron Paul supporters.

“When you advertise things like this, the libertarians come out,” Nelson said. “I expected them to go to Romney instead of anybody else. They influenced Romney’s numbers because they see him as most electable.”

The straw poll was the highlight of an evening that began with speeches supporting each of the four Republican presidential hopefuls by representatives of their campaigns.

Bense and Wendell Brock spoke on Romney’s behalf. Denese Haywald from Santa Rosa County highlighted Gingrich’s campaign. Randy Henning spoke for Paul and Jack Cukjati stumped for Rick Santorum.

Bense said he met Romney about six years ago and was impressed with the way he carried himself. His more conservative friends also were impressed, he said.

“I want someone that has been successful. I think Mitt Romney is the perfect person to take out (President Barack) Obama,” said Bense, citing Romney’s business acumen.

“Who would you rather have, someone successful like Mitt Romney or a teacher?” Bense asked rhetorically. “Nothing against teachers, but I’d like someone successful.”

Brock called Romney “the only one in the fight with executive experience.”

“He’s run a state (Massachusetts), and if you saw what he did with a Democratic-run Legislature you’d be amazed,” he said.

Henning defended Paul as electable. He noted that the Texas congressman has been elected 12 times and at 76 years old is in top shape.

Read more: http://www.nwfdailynews.com/articles/most-46979-tea-party.ht...

SO, Paul 'best President', but we'll vote for the tall, good-looking smooth-talking rich guy, or we might get left behind or look bad?!?

C'MON, FLORIDA! Do 'the right thing'...

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