The Washington Times - January 24, 2012, 10:56AM

Rep. Tom Rooney said Tuesday that Florida Republicans, like other Republicans across the country, are looking for a candidate who can beat President Obama next fall.

“They want to see the guy that is going to stand on the stage with Obama and go to Election Day and feel like that is the guy that is going to win,” the Florida Republican said in an interview with The Washington Times-affiliated “America’s Morning News” radio program.


Mr. Rooney, in his second term from Florida’s 16th District, predicted that next Tuesday’s vote in his home state will prove to be the pivotal moment in the 2012 campaign.

“I may be partial, but I think that Florida really, really is going to mean much more than anything that we’ve seen yet. That’s no disrespect to New Hampshire, South Carolina or Iowa, but if you look at the last election, it’s when [Sen. John] McCain won Florida that it was pretty much sealed up.”