SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Elected with strong tea party support, South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis acknowledges that he expected a backlash over his decision to endorse Mitt Romney.
“I announced in early August, and people just didn’t understand,” Loftis said of his support for the former Massachusetts governor. “There were some problems, but I knew that would be the case. But part of leadership is doing what you think is right, and you don’t worry about the rest of it.”
The resistance came in the form of emails, phone calls and messages on Facebook, many claiming that Loftis had betrayed their principles. Loftis doesn’t see it that way.
“I think [Romney] is the one man who could send Barack Obama back to Chicago,” he told The Daily Caller while waiting for Romney to arrive at a rally here Wednesday. “He’s the most electable conservative, he’s honorable, he’s a faithful man, and he’s a man who I think South Carolina’s going to embrace on Saturday.”
Loftis likes the former governor’s ability to analyze financial problems and find a solution. It’s a skill that may not rile up a tea party crowd, but Loftis thinks it’s what the country needs right now.
“Every time I see him, I bring a problem from my desk, a financial problem,” Loftis said. “Every time he listens, he asks good questions, he’ll lean back. He’s very analytical, and he gets me a solution — every single time.”
Loftis claims that his some of his supporters — tea partiers included — who initially detested his endorsement of Romney have since joined him in backing the former Massachusetts governor.
“Every day since then, I get several emails or phone calls saying, ‘OK, Curt, I get it. I’m with you. I’m in the Romney camp,’” he told TheDC.
“Ronald Reagan ran for president twice before it was his time. He didn’t change, the country changed,” Loftis explained. “When Mitt Romney ran four years ago, the country wasn’t ready for him. This time, the economy is in crisis, the government is in freefall. Neither liberals nor conservatives trust our government. We need a leader, and that’s Mitt Romney.”