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McCain stumping for ex-rival Romney

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Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 12:38 PM
SUN CITY CENTER -

Although they had a contentious primary four years ago, Arizona Sen. John McCain has become one of Mitt Romney's biggest cheerleaders in the 2012 Republican primary.

"Mitt Romney and I share the same values, the same principles and the same views on fiscal responsibility," McCain told a crowd of about 150 people at the Greater Sun City Center Chamber of Commerce on Thursday.

The Florida Republican primary is Tuesday, and polls show Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in a virtual tie.

McCain said the stakes are high. "I am 90 percent sure whoever wins the Florida primary will win the presidency."The senator used some of his time to tout Romney and some to criticize the president.

"We cannot have four more years of Barack Obama," he said.

McCain said the election will concentrate on jobs and the economy. He said he believes in Romney because he supports the business community and knows how to address their concerns.

Some people said McCain's appearance and endorsement of Romney will have an effect on voters in Sun City Center.

"In communities like this, where there is a heavy military presence, I think it will make a difference," said Dee Williams, chair of the Greater Sun City Center Republican Club.

"I think it will make a difference," said Sharon Wickenhauser, 77, of Sun City Center. "People respect John McCain and his beliefs."

James Alver said he was pleased that McCain endorsed Romney after the tense primary they had in 2008. It shows both men want what is best for the Republican Party, he said.

"I don't think any endorsement makes much of a difference," said Alver, 54, of Tampa. "If you can be a Republican governor in Massachusetts, you can govern the country."


lkindle@tampatrib.com (813) 627-4760

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