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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

They're with Fred 'to the very end'



Call them consistent at least. Fresh from Fred Thompson's dismal 1-percent showing in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, nearly a dozen state legislators stood firm in support of the former Tennessee senator's presidential bid. The lawmakers were led by U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Bartow, who said Thompson "absolutely" needs to do well in South Carolina and Florida -- and will.

Dscn1883 "This is an election season very much in flux," Putnam said. "People wrote John McCain off last summer, and he's the champion of New Hampshire. People wrote off Fred Thompson before Iowa and he placed a strong third." With Michigan up next, followed by S.C., Putnam said "absolutely" Thompson will not exit the race before Florida.

Others on hand for the keep-a-stiff-upper-lip Thompson event included Sen. Paula Dockery and Reps. Marty Bowen, Larry Cretul, Clay Ford, Doug Holder, Denise Grimsley, Seth McKeel, Bryan Nelson, Steve Precourt and Garrett Richter.  All of them signed a letter last May urging Thompson to enter the race for president -- before the Thompson boomlet burst. "We will be withhim to the very end," Cretul said.

Precourt, a freshman lawmaker from Orlando, offered a little Mitt Romney-bashing, too. "Mitt Romney ahs been pro-life and he's been pro-choice. Mitt Romney has been for higher taxes and he's been a fiscal conservative."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 2:14pm]


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