Priority No. 1 for Republicans around the nation is ensuring that Barack Obama is a one-term president. At the Hillsborough County Republican Party's 2012 Lincoln Day Dinner, the importance of Florida's role in completing the party's mission was made clear.
Gov. Rick Scott addressed a crowded banquet hall of registered Republicans on Saturday night as surf-and-turf dinners of filet mignon and salmon followed an introductory salad course. Scott's message was clear as he outlined the party agenda for what he believes will be a successful 2012.
"We have got to change the direction of our federal government," Scott said. "We're not going to be able to change Florida as much as we want without changing that. We have got to elect somebody that understands that business creates jobs, not government. This is a no-brainer; we've got to make this a successful 2012."Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories just like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone everyday with our free newsletter. Fast signup here.
The event was attended by a wide range of Hillsborough Republicans, average citizens and politicians alike. While Scott has his detractors and doesn't boast the charm of a seasoned politician, his speech and his term in office so far has won him support amongst the party's faithful.
"I think he's a smart business man and an honest person set on doing the right thing," Scott's former opponent in the Gubernatorial race and U.S. Senate hopeful from Plant City Mike McCallister said. "I ran against him but, since he's been in office, he has won my respect. His message is consistent and he's doing the things he said he was going to do."
Those in attendance agreed with the message of his speech, condemning Obamacare and maintaining that his business intiatives are the ones that will create more jobs for Florida.
Carrolwood's Deborah Tamargo was on hand to support the party and the governor she believes is working hard to repair Florida's economy and pump up Republicans for Election Day.
"I think he's a work horse, not a showman," Tamargo said. "He's not a great speech maker, but he's a man that makes thing happen and that's why I like him. I think he'll help deliver a victory for Mitt Romney in Florida."
South Tampa's Andy Graham is a Scott supporter and enjoyed the governor's no-frills style of speech delivery.
"I thought he did well and was straight to the point," Graham said. "Since he got elected, he has taken steps to balance the budget and our state government is functioning efficiently in tough economic times. While other states are in terrible economic condition, we're doing relatively OK."