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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

As GOP presidential candidates bash President Barack Obama, voters clamor for specifics



For three days last week Republican activists in Orlando heard an unrelenting stream of taunts, slams and jokes against President Barack Obama, a feast served by the candidates who want to replace him.

Raucous cheers followed. But some left Presidency 5 wondering if it was too much of a good thing.

"I don't like the Obama bashing," said Judy Gordon, a Tampa retiree. "I can figure that out for myself. I want to hear what people are going to do. People want answers, and they want solutions."

The sentiment was driven home by Herman Cain's shocking straw poll victory over front-runners Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. Delegates said they were drawn to Cain's "9-9-9" tax reform plan and his call to overhaul Social Security by using a model from Chile.

Most of all, people were drawn to his enthusiasm. While his rivals slung mud, Cain inspired with a booming voice and a preacher's cadences, implicitly offering to lift people up in a down economy.

Few expect Cain to go much farther, but his win emphasized worries among some Republicans that a good chance to win the White House could be squandered by a flurry of anti-Obama negativity. (story here)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 29, 2011 11:35pm]


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