Volusia County GOP conservative Jim Oddie meets Paul Ryan during Saturday visit in The Villages
Headline Surfer / exclusive
Courtesy photos for Headline Surfer / Conservative Republican Jim Oddie of Wilbur-by-the-Sea, poses with Wisconsin Congressman and Romney VP Paul Ryan.
THE VILLAGES -- Volusia County conservative Republican stalwart Jim Oddie let Paul Ryan know during his campaign stop Saturday in The Villages that Floridians support the R & R ticket.
That's Romney and Ryan, of course.
The Wilbur-by-the-Sea resident not only interacted with Ryan Saturday, but with Mitt Romney himself, along with Gov. Scott, on Monday in St. Augustine.
Oddie, a one-time district representative for former Congressman Tom Feeney, R-Oviedo, was the last person to greet Ryan before he was whisked away by his handlers after speaking with an enthusiastic crowd of supporters in the sprawling retirement community known for its array of colorful golf carts.
"I got two minutes with him," Oddie said of his one-on-one with the Ohio congressman.
"I told him listen: 'The left vilifies Gov. Scott for keeping his promises and I hope the same people criticize you for keeping your promises," Oddie said. "(Ryan) told me, 'We're going to go up there and preserve and protect Medicare for our seniors. Please say hello to Tom Feeney. He's a great conservative. He's missed.' "
"I told him listen: 'The left vilifies Gov. Scott for keeping his promises and I hope the same people criticize you for keeping your promises," Oddie said. "(Ryan) said 'We're going to go up there and preserve and protect Medicare for our seniors. Please say hello to Tom Feeney. He's a great conservative. He's missed.' "
Wisconsin Congressman and vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan greets young and old alike as shown in these photos in The Villages during a campaign visit Saturday.
As for the Wisconsin congressman being Romney's VP selection, Oddie responded, "I think Ryan is a great choice who is going to fire up the base, the independents and the Conservative Democrats -- the Reagan Democrats."
Oddie said while he was talking with Ryan, he handed his cell phone to a bystander and asked that person to snap a photo of them, which he did. Oddie was so psyched with how the photo turned out, he put it on Facebook, which is how Headline Surfer discovered it.
Oddie was able to gain access to Ryan because he had worked with some of his staffers in Congress and had met the Wisconsin congressman previously, though he was quick to point out, "It's not like he knows me that well; we're not drinking buddies."
GOP Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney greets Floridians in St. Augustine on Monday, the day before Florida held its primary elections, and Volusia County's Jim Oddie was there to greet him and Gov. Scott.
In less than a week's time, Oddie has been able to do what every-day Republican followers could only dream of: Hobnobbing with Ryan, just five days after doing the same with Romney and Scott the day before Florida's primary. There was no photo op with the GOP presidential nominee, though.
Oddie, a die-hard conservative, readily conceded Romney was not his first choice for the Republication nomination, though he knew deep down inside he's get the nod. His first choice was Herman Cain and then Newt Gingrich.
"I'm definitely supportive of (Romney) going up against Obama," Oddie said. "This country cannot survive four more years of Obama as president. I truly believe that."
This was Ryan's first campaign visit to the Sunshine State as Romney's running mate in advance of this month's Republican National Convention in St. Petersburg. Back in January, Romney visited the Villages, a large-scale private community built on farmland by billionaire H. Gary Morse, one of the presidential hopeful's biggest campaign contributors.
The Florida visits are crucial to Republicans in hopes of carrying the state in the November elections. Obama carried Florida four years ago.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Oddie will be working Monday and the next 52 days after that to register voters on behalf of the Republican Party of Florida.
Editor's Note: Here is a sidebar follow-up on how the story is tremnding in the search engines: http://headlinesurfer.com/content/409897-headline-surfer-story-ryan-visit-villages-trending-search-engines.
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Henry Frederick is editor/publisher of Headline Surfer, Florida's first 24/7 Internet newspaper, launched April 7, 2008 in New Smyrna Beach, and accessed via HeadlineSurfer.com, NSBNews.net & VolusiaNews.net. Headline Surfer is a registered trademark of NSB News LLC. Frederick was the top winner in the 2012 Florida Press Club contest: 1st place for Blog Writing & 3rd place each for General News Writing, Public Safety Reporting & Best Online Presence (with social media). He's received 18 major journalism awards as a breaking news, investigative reporter & city editor for daily newspapers in Florida, Massachusetts, New York & Connecticut since the mid-1980s.
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