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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Romney in Jax: It's the economy, stupid




Mitt Romney, victorious in Nevada but running a distant fourth in South Carolina, looked ahead to Florida. After a speech in Jacksonville, he went on CNN and took questions from Wolf Blitzer. At each turn, Romney saw opportunity to tout his business experience.

Q: Tell us why voters in Florida should support you instead of Rudy Giuliani, "who has invested so much of his political prospects in that state right now?" A: "Well, Mayor Giuliani is a wonderful fellow. ... The difference with me, of course, is he has spent his life working in the public sector, in the governmental sector. I spent my life, 25 years, working in the private sector. When it comes to try to help Florida see jobs come back, see the housing market come back, see our economy stronger, they are going to want someone who really understands how the economy works and someone who, like Rudy Giuliani, has run something. And someone from the outside (who) can finally get inside Washington and turn the place inside out."

Q: What's the biggest difference for Florida voters between you and John McCain?

A: "Sen. McCain is a fine man and an honorable and courageous individual. But he has been in Washington all of his career and I don't think you are going to see change in Washington by somebody who has been part of it all of these years. I think people recognize, particularly with the challenges we face in our economy, it's essential to have somebody who's had a job in the economy ... ."

Q: Mike Huckabee is certainly not a creature of the beltway. A: "No, that's right. And his experience was in the government, in another not-for-profit. And my experience was was working in the economy. I've seen how jobs come, how they go... If it comes time to sit down on a trade agreement with another country, I know how that will affect jobs right here."

Apparently Gov. Romney forgot he was head of one of those non-profits, too -- the state of Massachusetts.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 2:16pm]


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