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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Post-debate glow still evident, Romney fires up Orlando crowd



dscn0315.jpgORLANDO -- "I had fun last night," Mitt Romney said to raucous applause at a manufacturing plant here tonight.

Still exulting from his debate performance, Romney did not mention Newt Gingrich, maintaining focus on President Obama. He suggested Obama engaged in "crony capitalism" with deals like Solyndra and pledged America would not become a "European welfare state." Romney spent much time reciting lines from America The Beautiful.

"I love America!" he exclaimed. "I love America from sea to shining sea."

He was joined by Sen. John McCain and Puerto Rican Gov. Luis Fortuno, whose endorsement may help alleviate any issues Romney has with Hispanics.

The audience, which included many Spanish speaking voters, held evidence that Romney's claim of electability was sinking in. "In my heart, I'm a Newt guy," said Jose Rodriguez, 41. "But I'll probably end up voting for Romney just to give him support of the state. Just to stay on message."

[Last modified: Friday, January 27, 2012 9:36pm]


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