U.S. Connie Mack, R-Fort Myers, doesnt believe he needs Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to carry Florida for him to knock out long-serving U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Orlando.
But Mack adds that if Mitt Romney wins, I win. If I win, Mitt Romney wins.
We are certainly going to be tied together, said Mack, who was given valuable stage time on Thursday night at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. This is something Im proud of. Im proud to stand next to Mitt Romney.I think hes got great vision. Hes got a fantastic record, whether in his business life or personal life. Hes a success.
On stage Thursday night, Mack called Romney and vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., new leaders on the horizon."
The hope is that Mack can use momentum from the national spotlight being shone on the Sunshine State to erase polls that have shown the better-funded Nelson ahead and near the critical 50 percentage-point threshold.
Cook Political Report analyst Jennifer Duffy, speaking earlier in the week during a panel discussion in Ybor City, expects the race to remain close and that Mack will still have time to overtake Nelson.
I think this is going to end up being a closer race than most people think, Duffy said.
Meanwhile, Romney has been at a near even clip with President Obama in the key battleground state for the White House.
Mack, who easily won what had been a contentious and crowded primary field, said the final push is for the independents that are waiting to hear specific proposals from candidates, not negative ads.
Theyre the ones who are sitting there waiting to hear a message that speaks to them, that talks about the future for them, not the slanderous attacks that come from Nelson and Obama, Mack said, following his Thursday morning appearance before the Florida delegation at the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor.
Mack recently was the target of an ad from a super-PAC -- the Democratic-favoring and union-backed Majority PAC -- supporting Nelson. The ad simply brushed off the efforts of a primary attack piece for former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux that compared Mack to the staggering promo for TMZ, actor Charlie Sheen.
Mack has responded by focusing his attacks on Nelsons vote in favor of the Affordable Care Act and how it could impact Medicare.
Mack may see financial help come from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, as speculation has grown that the NRSC may redirect resources from Missouri, where Rep. Todd Akins run for U.S. Senate has taken massive hits for his legitimate rape comment.
Macks remarks as prepared for the address at the Republican National Conference:
Congressman Connie Mack
August 30, 2012
Republican National Convention - main stage
Once again, its morning in America.
There are new leaders on the horizon: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, Americas comeback team.
Growing up, I had a plaque on my wall that read: 'Lifes battles dont always go to the fastest or the strongest, sooner or later those who win are those who think they can.'?
Weve always been the land of big dreams and limitless potential.
After all, this is America.
Our success is built on our values and our principles, but today our very way of life is under attack. Our commitment to freedom and liberty, and to everything that makes our country great, seems to embarrass the blame-America-first crowd.
They penalize individual achievement while praising the power of government. But they have not, cannot, and will not destroy our spirit.
We are proud to be Americans. We are proud of our nation, of our heritage, and our success.
And it is our commitment to the American story. Its our athletes in London who brought home more medals than any other country. Its our best and brightest who land an extraordinary Rover on Mars.
Its the Nobel Prize winners, scientists, writers, and artists, second-to-none, who inspire us all.
These are the achievements that are brought about by a free society that honors individual effort.
We owe it to those who have given so much to regain our strength, and remain the strongest force for freedom the world has seen.
Our allies deserve our unwavering support, and our enemies need to know we stand to defend freedom at all costs.
America was built on the belief in free enterprise, hard work, passion and faith.
We have the awesome task here tonight to make that dream a reality.
That dream is not an impossible dream. Its the American Dream. Its sure, its strong, and its steady.
Together, Mitt Romneys plans to restore Americas promise and purpose will be realized and the American dream will once again be available to all her children.
We are a nation of dreamers Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, the Wright brothers. Dreamers like Neil Armstrong who sought new lands and took giant leaps into American exceptionalism. And dreamers like my friend, Kiko Villalon.
You know the story of the others; now let me tell you the story of Kiko.
In 1960, Kiko fled Castros Cuba. He came to New York. He became a taxi driver. He worked hard, saved his money, and moved to Florida. He started a business building boats. He raised a family. He put his children through school. He sold his business. Now he worries about what opportunities lie ahead for his children and their children.
Kiko has lived the American Dream, as have so many others. Thats what this election is all about making the American Dream a reality again.
Its not about the past. Its not about what was done wrong. Its not about blaming America. Its quite the opposite.
Tonight we embark on a renewal of the American Dream.
Tonight we honor those who have come before us and done so much. Many even giving their lives.
And tonight we honor our children and their children to ensure their dreams whether its playing under the lights, or starting a business, or being a doctor or a nurse, or a soldier or a sailor, or even a president or a vice president can become realities.
After all, this is America and its morning once again.
Thank you, God bless the United States of America.
Reach Jim Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (772) 215-9889.