Under a banner calling for the repeal and replacement of "Obamacare" and in front of a campaign-funded backdrop reminder that "Florida Is Romney Country," he suggests EPA regulations are borderline unconstitutional. "The power of freedom gives us the greatest opportunity of all the world," he says. "That constitution is what I believe in."

And so does Mitt Romney, according to Atwater.

In fact, the Bain Capital cofounder interprets deregulated freedoms as big business building blocks. "[Romney] knows that a 39-year-old American by the name of Charles Goodyear vulcanized rubber, and he did it without the Department of Environmental Protection."

Zing?

About an hour later, the Mittens finally waltzes onstage with his bride of 43 years, Ann. He delivers a 23-minute stump speech peppered with positions that change like baby's diapers to a rich white sea of 10,000 or so Central Floridians who just may swing the state's 29 electoral votes.

Eden Byler, a female Romney supporter from nearby Oviedo, is smitten. Not only does she think "He's the man we need for this country" but she also holds he is the better-looking candidate.

Still, she says, "It's the inside that counts. Mitt Romney's the man!"

Score: Romney — 3, Obama — 1 bird.


When Mike Buck encouraged us to "meet Jesus Christ" at some point along our road trip in DeLand, we brushed it off the same way we do Mormonism.

But then more people we spoke with started mentioning religion as one of the determining factors in Tuesday's presidential election. Take 69-year-old John DiCenzo of Orange City, a small burg just outside Sanford where Trayvon Martin was killed.

DiCenzo wears a quirky assortment of right-wing pins on his hat that boldly declare his political positions. A quick assessment tells me that he's unapologetically pro-life, pro-gun, and anti-Obama. DiCenzo says he'll vote for Mitt Romney because President Obama allegedly "never speaks up when Christians are attacked" but is "very much in defense of Islam."

"Anyone who has good moral values," he adds, "expects more out of a president than we've seen the past four years."

This made us wonder: What would Jesus do? So we headed southwest to the corner of Conroy and Vineland in Orlando, where a facsimile of God's only son is the main attraction at a Christian theme park called Holy Land Experience.

We paid the $40 for admission and passed through a replica of the Damascus Gate, the park's entrance. Built to look like Jerusalem circa 12 A.D. — but proudly serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches — this mega-blessed tourist trap is located not far from I-4's exit 75. Christ is resurrected here every Tuesday through Saturday at the 2,000-seat Church of All Nations around 4:15 p.m. He then helps out around the baptism pool until the park closes at 6.

After passing a casual cardboard version of Our Lord wearing blue jeans, a white T-shirt, and angel wings shaped like a heart, we found a disciple named Frank Grate who was on his fifth trip to the Holy Land Experience from Fort Lauderdale. He backs Mitt Romney and an end to all abortions.

"Who's going to choose for the baby?" Grate asked rhetorically.

The woman?

"No, she shouldn't," he declares. "The baby should have his or her own rights."

That makes sense. Next, it's on to a quiet garden just outside of the Holy Land's main gate, where Kris Hoke of Orlando is also hoping Romney will triumph over evil. A sun-soaked middle-aged lady in a purple athletic tank top, she's worried that President Obama may eliminate "God" altogether. "I think it's important that [Romney] has the faith," she says. "I think it's important to keep 'In God We Trust' on the dollar bill."

Neither candidate has proposed eliminating that phrase.

Finally, four women from Orlando file out of the Holy Land Experience and into the parking lot. They're fired up and ready to go home after watching Jesus' crucifixion. "It was very powerful," says Laura Fisher. "I encourage anyone to come to the Holy Land."

Fisher works as a manager at McDonald's; she's as passionate about President Obama as she is the salvation of man and still gets goose bumps when she thinks about the country's first black president. "It's all about Barack Obama!" she yells joyfully, accentuating each syllable in the commander in chief's name. "It took all that time for Bush to mess it up; then Barack came in for four years, and he needs four more years to get it straight."

Corine Peterson, one of Fisher's friends, is a retired nurse from Orlando who, like her friend, will vote for Obama this year as well. "First, I'm not a Republican," she says. "And I think he's done a good job in four years being in that big mess."

Fisher adds, "Yay, Democrats!"

Soon, a dumpy 30-something in a powder-blue patrolman's uniform armed with a spiral reporter's notepad hurries past the exit and stops in front of a New Times reporter in the parking lot. "Who're you voting for in the presidential election?" the reporter asks with a smile, hoping to break the ice.

"You need to leave, sir," says Michael Cavallary, Holy Land's hired security.

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101 comments
dol1phins1
dol1phins1

TO all I hope things get better for all of us. Good luck and pls be happy.

 

speck_of_star.dust
speck_of_star.dust

Patriotism is to politics what faith is to religion: The unquestioned acceptance of information that is either unverified or that may actually be in conflict with factual evidence. Patriotism is the incubator of wars.

Similar to religion, patriotism is an emotion, as opposed to a rational thought process. Studies and surveys have consistently indicated that approximately 90% of persons in any given country have strong patriotic sentiments. This percentage is similar to the percentage of people involved in other faith-based activities, such as religion. This same percentage also reflects the bell-curve of the general intelligence level of a population: 90% of all persons in a Caucasian population group register an IQ below 120.

The high IQ people of this world run the world and earn high incomes. The higher the IQ of a person, the greater will be his rationality and his ability to see Objective Reality clearly and without blinders.

speck_of_star.dust
speck_of_star.dust

Our worldview is of our own making. For better or worse, we all have to lead our own lives, one day at a time.

Gods do not exist and we have to sleep in the bed we make for ourselves. We, as individuals, have the cognitive power to choose happiness or unhappiness. No other person, and certainly no gods, can make us happy or unhappy. Only we, ourselves, can choose to be happy or unhappy. The choice is ours.

 

clearingaccount
clearingaccount

I will be glad when this is over.  The name calling and hate mongering is almost too much to take anymore.  People have lost their sense of civility in political discussion.  The infiltration of political operatives in almost every social medium is pathetic.   I'm sure there are people who are afraid to voice their opinions about a particular issue, or support a particular candidate, out of fear for their own safety.

People complain about the childish behavior of our politicians; their unwillingness to even consider differences of opinion.  In my opinion they, in many ways, reflect the electorate; intolerant and unbending.  

God Bless America... 

 

hlain9152
hlain9152 topcommenter

What the hell does the fact that he doesn't use his full name have to do with any damned thing? Do you always use your first, middle, and last names? I don't and I know no one else that does either. I also know a lot of people that go by their middle names instead of their first name. If my middle name was "Hussein I would damn sure keep quiet about it.

dol1phins1
dol1phins1

Willard Mitt Romney  IS HIS FULL NAME DID YOU KNOW THAT IF YOU DIDNT YOU SHOULD VOTE AT ALL AS YOU ARE TO STUPID TO EVEN KNOW THE NAME OF THE PERSON YOU WANT TO RUN THIS COUNTRY.  HE NEVER USES IT AND HE NEVER CHANGED IT EITHER WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU PEOPLE HUH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dol1phins1
dol1phins1

 Lets how good Florida has done in the past. HMMM we got G.W. Bush elected now that was good and helped getting him elected 4 yrs later. Well look and see just who it the spotlight again Jeb Bush the man whose FRAUD got his brother elected  Listen to Colin Powell he know what happened not the lies you been fed 

Carter
Carter

Obama is going to get crushed. The desperation of the left is invigorating.

peterperez1976
peterperez1976

Can Obama win without Fla > Don't think so , Bye Obamie.

Veteran68
Veteran68

I wonder if Romney would do the same thing after he leaves the office of Presidency like he did when he left the Governorship of Massachusetts. Romney and his 11 top aides took 17 hard drives out of the computers leaving no possible trace of any bad conduct as well as leaving the commonwealth in a complete mess. People, do you think he had information he was trying to hide like Richard M. Nixon? Everyone should be aware and skeptical of this man’s intentions regarding the representation of the American people.

howard1111
howard1111

The Economist has endorsed Obamas as sadly Romney's economic policies do not add up mathematically. Somehow however he has fooled alot of the media and voters into thinking that it does...shaking my head. 

gelliephish
gelliephish

I just read part of your I-4 corridor story. You racist piece of shit! Crackers is just as offensive as nigger or spic. Go somewhere else and spew your crap. We do not need it here.

reality
reality

Nobody thinks Florida will decide the race this year. Ohio remains the key, with Obama holding on to his (slim) edge there. If he wins there, Romney has virtually zero shot regardless of how Florida goes.

separatechurchstate
separatechurchstate

Whatever happened to the seperation of church and state? Did evasive, unaccountable, sworn to secrecy, and buzzword Republican presidential hopeful Willard Mitt Romney say he plans to get tough with China?  I truly do not think he would do such a thing, especially since the religion to which he is a devote member (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - the Mormons) has for years pleaded with the Chinese government to allow Mormon missionaires to proselytize in their mainland country.  The LDS church has settled for having only a "presence".  Now as for controlling government spending.  I certainly hope Mitt Romney makes it a priority to eliminate all of U.S. federal tax dollars spent to support the funding of the LDS Missionary program (60,000+ worldwide).  In October 2012 the number of enrollees increased from 700 to 4,000 per week since LDS church leaders lowered the eligibility of missionary minimum age. There seems to be no maximum age limit (55+).  Worst yet upon their return of serving their LDS missions, U.S. federal tax dollars will then be used to pay for an educational stipend they recievie for tuition assistance (which can be transferred to another family member) because they supposedly served as community "volunteers".  The loophole being exploited is the proselytizing cannot be in "scripted" form.  The U.S. federal tax payers can hold Utah Senator Orin Hatch (senator of host state of worldwide headquarters of the LDS/Mormon Church and Romney's 2002 Winter Olympics) and other LDS faithful lawmakers, responsible for sponsoring early amendments to and finally the 2009 Kennedy-Hatch bill Serve America Act.  The irony of the entire situation is the LDS faithful pay zero to little U.S. federal tax dollars (and in some states lower state taxes) to payout to the Hatch Serve America Act since their 15% tithings are considered eligibile federal tax deductions to a private non-profit.  The LDS church collects a tithing for a Missionary fund and a Temple Building fund why are these monies not being used instead of U.S. federal tax dollars to support its growing worldwide missionary program? 

greeneyerish
greeneyerish

There are  many dumb right wing fools, who don't care if they work for .99 an hour under Vulture Capitalist, Willard the Rat Romney.

 

Thankfully, President Obama has the Electoral Votes to counter the idiots, bigots and buffoons

Amasuah
Amasuah

North of I-4 is decidedly Romney's territory. South of I-4, democrats and independents are split between Romney and Obama as republicans are for the most part voting for Romney.  Broward County has over 500,000 registered democrats, about 280,000 independents and near 230,000 republicans yet the county newspaper: Sun-Sentinel is endorsing Romney.  I strongly believe that floridians are voting on the economy, because without a sound financial health, it is difficult to talk about social issues.  Florida is definitely voting for Romney.

dol1phins1
dol1phins1

 I hate to tell the American public if you are waiting for any President to help you. I will promise you that you will wait a long time. Its a sorry state of affairs that our goverment is burring us the middle class. They need to remember that when they suceed in doing that they will not have anyone to pay for there f__kups. They need a strong middle class to pick up all the mistake they make. Since they dont realize this the next big one is on them. Good Luck

dol1phins1
dol1phins1

 @speck_of_star.dust Are you sure your not sniffing this dust as your statement has nothing to do with the tea in china either.  For those who can think on there and really want to know what happening the read and due research to learn the answers. Other listen blindly to other that also considered FAITH and that is dangerious in the way those people do thing and never know why. So faith yes can be a wonderful thing used correctly. But deadly if used the wrong way

dol1phins1
dol1phins1

 @speck_of_star.dust  Wow do you shift gears. I'd would sure be careful of you as you come from both sides &that is scarey.

 

dol1phins1
dol1phins1

 @hlain9152 first he didnt conseal it and second he running for president you moron his full name isnt on the ballet either stupid. I guess that doesnt mean anything to you. Oh by the way do you have  alias also or maybe a few AKA's also

but you know better.

dol1phins1
dol1phins1

 @Carter I sure hope you know your left from your right or you could hurt yourself

dol1phins1
dol1phins1

 @Veteran68 Yes Willard would so it wouldnt show that he didnt have an orig. thought

dol1phins1
dol1phins1

 @Veteran68 these people dont do there homework like us. He is a liar and a fraud see Perez knows because Romney told him. I can now understand how stupid a country we have become. We dont research anything anymore we listen to the media has to say. How sorry the media is because they let these lies stand so these candiates can get away with this. They could stop this in a heart beat. They choose not to they dont need these other political people to tell any side of there stories. It all in black and white. Its the old saying if you dont look you wont find anything !!!!!!!!!!!

I am not fighting for me it to late for me. I am fighting for my grandchildren like you should be also. Look what we are leaving them. I know they dont deserve this. I know Obama has had a hard time of it and didnt deliver on some of his promises. Remember this NOTHING THAT ROMNEY HAS SAID ADDS UP HIS TAXS CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY. HIS PROGRAM TO LIMIT THE MIDDLE CLASS DEDUCTIONS. HE HIMSELF SAID HE DOESNT CARE ABOUT 47% OF AMERICANS & HE GOT CAUGHT SAYING IT. HE ONLY SAID HE WAS SORRY CAUSE HE GOT CAUGHT.THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT TO RUN THIS COUNTRY SOMEONE WHO ONLY CARES ABOUT THE 53% OF AMERICANS THINK ABOUT THAT. WOW I CAN GO ON AND ON BUT YOU PEOPLE THINK IM BABALING. LOOK IT UP AND SHE IF THIS IS THE MAN YOU REALLY WANT.  ONE LAST THING REMEMBER ROWE VS. WADE. IF THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT DONT COMPLAIN WHEN HE'S DONE WITH YOU. 

peterperez1976
peterperez1976

 @reality

 1/10 of one per cent lead ? and 4% undecided in Ohio don't think Obamy will take it.

eddiejs2000
eddiejs2000

 @Amasuah Good thing most people stopped reading the Sentinel a long time ago. Worst newspaper ever and rarely correct on politics. I live in Fort Lauderdale and know of nobody voting for Romney..

hlain9152
hlain9152 topcommenter

 @dol1phins1

 What in the HELL are you trying to talk about now? Everyone in the fucking country knows that Romney's first name is Willard. And no, I don't have any aliases or Also-Known-As's. No one said that Obama has tried to conceal his name and Mitt Romney chooses to go by his middle and last name. SO FUCKING WHAT? (and, no, it does not mean anything to me.) What in the hell is your problem. It doesn't matter because the election was today and I voted for Romney and you voted for Obama so we canceled each other out. Happy now? Let's end this dialogue.

peterperez1976
peterperez1976

 @dol1phins1  @Veteran68 It doesn't add up because Obama said it doesn't add up , you repeat stuff like a well trained Liberal Parrot. You and Obama do not understand business because you and him never ran a business , that is why it doesn't up and Obama has brought this economy to the ground as a good communist would !

 

Veteran68
Veteran68

@dol1phins1 I agree, Romney and his boy toy are lower than a snakes belly. This is for Romney, Ryan, Indiana GOP U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock declared he opposes aborting pregnancies conceived in rape because “it is something that God intended to happen.”and those other middle state republican weirdoes who think women should take a back seat to abortion even if forcibly raped, its gods will. I believe they are all nimwits. They all have to get their religions in for votes. What is it with Republicans, can't they leave their religion out of their politics. You can believe in what you believe in, but the Republicans always need to sell their bible banging beliefs in their political speeches. Politics and Religion do not mix. I realize this is a free country of speech, but when you use your religion to try and gain votes you are the one who is a hypocrite. If you cannot separate your religion from your politics, how can anyone be sure that you can take a national problem and look at with a complete open mind without interference from your religious background or any other organization that you might belong to or for that matter taking an opinion from a close friend or a relative? You are already passing your judgments on a subject matter based on your religious background. God is not going to make you a President, Vice President, Senator, or congressman and neither is the general public if you republicans continue to try and shove your religion down peoples own thoughts, maybe their own religion which might see things differently from your religion. That is why Politics and Religion do not mix. Mr. Mourdock you need some more education sir.

Veteran68
Veteran68

@peterperez1976 I know this because I live in Massachusetts, and if you did your homework, you would see where the truth is coming from and its not Obama. Romney is a greedy snake.

dol1phins1
dol1phins1

 @peterperez1976  @reality I WONDER HOW MUCH YOU HAVE READ ABOUT THESE PEOPLE THAT ARE RUNNING HERE. ARE YOU LIKE THE PEOPLE THAT THEY GIVE YOU YOUR OPINON. IT DOES SEEM LIKE YOU COULD HAVE ONE OF YOUR OWN. TELL US WHY YOU LIKE ROMNEY IF YOU CAN I WOULD LOVE TO HERE THIS. 

dol1phins1
dol1phins1

Willard Mitt Romney did you even know his full name

dol1phins1
dol1phins1

HEY ONLY YOU CAN ELECT SOMEONE WHO DOESNT USE HIS WHOLE NAME  WILLARD MITT ROMNEY WOW 

dol1phins1
dol1phins1

 @hlain9152  I hope you have a wonderful life and be happy. As the good book says god looks out for the confused.

hlain9152
hlain9152 topcommenter

 @dol1phins1

 He didn't have to change anything. He used his middle and last name, this is perfectly legal. You have severe mental problems and emotional issues, possibly brain damage. The fucking election is over, your boy won. So be happy and leave people the fuck alone now.

dol1phins1
dol1phins1

 @hlain9152 You fucking moron he never legally changed it so he was on the ballot with an AKA or a alias you stupid bastard. What does that say for your assclown HA HA

Veteran68
Veteran68

@peterperez1976 @dol1phins1 Whatever, believe what you want it no skin off mine, and further more I have run a business for over 35 years, have you???

hlain9152
hlain9152 topcommenter

 @peterperez1976  @Veteran68

 Isn't it cute how dol1phins1 calls everyone else "stupid" and he has to be the dumbest son of a bitch I have ever encountered in my life. He's even raising hell about the media supporting Romney. I don't know what planet he's living on but it seems to me like the media has been as pro-Obama as they can get.

 

dolphins has to be either off of his meds or on some really badassed street drugs.

dol1phins1
dol1phins1

 @peterperez1976  @reality yo peter stop with your stupidity you dont even know the difference between a liberal and a conservative you assclown.

Veteran68
Veteran68

@peterperez1976 @dol1phins1 @reality I think you are the one who has the wool over your eyes why don't you take some time and really investigate the history of snake Romney. Read everything you can possibly find. You just might change your mind.

 
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