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Mitt Romney Picks Up Key Endorsements in SF Swing

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney was is in South Florida Tuesday morning to pick up several key endorsements in his bid for a presidential nomination.

During an appearance at Conchita Foods in Medley, Romney was joined by key Cuban-American politicians: U.S Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart along with his brother, former congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart.

"Governor Romney knows how the economy works," Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart told the gathering.  "Governor Romney is a problem solver."

"It's not only about preparation but electability," said Lincoln Diaz-Balart, "I think we need to focus on that."

In 2008, Romney lost the Republican nomination when he got beat in the Florida Primary by Arizona Senator John McCain. Miami-Dade is the state's largest and most Hispanic county. Seventy two percent of the roughly 368,000 registered Republicans in the county are Hispanic. Romney lost Miami-Dade by 52,000 votes.

With the endorsement of the Diaz-Balarts and Ros-Lehtinen, Romney hopes for a big turn around from 2008.

"I wish more Americans would get to know Mitt," said Fausto Diaz, "Once they get to know him, they'll vote for him."

Diaz owns a small business and was cautiously hopeful when Romney talked about getting the economy back on track.

"We employ over 200 people and with a president like Mitt Romney, hopefully we'll have 400 employees in a year," said Diaz.

Romney will follow his Miami visit up with a visit to the Tampa Port Authority Tuesday afternoon where he will address trade policy.

Romney's front-runner status is in jeopardy after the New Hampshire Union Leader endorsed former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich for the Republican nomination in 2012.

Romney has been trying to walk a tight-rope between the extremist wing of the Republican Party and more moderate Republicans.

But, as his lead has started to fade, Romney has begun to discuss more hard-line policies in an attempt to capture the more conservative voters who are likely to drive the primaries. The problem with this is that rival Republican candidates, and the Democrats, are saying Romney is flip-flopping on issues based on which way the political wind blows.

Democrats are seeking to undermine Romney because he represents the best chance for the GOP to unseat President Barack Obama in 2012.

Florida's Republican Presidential Primary takes place on January 31st.


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