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Video: The well liked conservative decries shrill tones among Republicans, declines to reveal his choice.

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Florida Rep. Webster says candidates should focus on Obama

Video: The well liked conservative decries shrill tones among Republicans, declines to reveal his choice.

ORLANDO, Fla. — One of the few Members of Florida’s Republican U.S. House delegation who is neutral in the presidential primary Tuesday took some time to discuss the heated GOP race, the fall campaign, and the issue of illegal immigration with HUMAN EVENTS.

Freshman Rep. Dan Webster is a much-loved conservative in the Sunshine State since he became the first Republican speaker of the state House of Representatives in 1994.  Two years ago, Webster’s reputation among conservatives nationwide was enhanced when he unseated Rep. Alan Grayson, by far one of the most outspoken liberal Democrats in Congress.

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Courted by presidential hopefuls for his blessing, Orlando-area Rep. Webster steadfastly remains “publicly neutral,” but explained that this does not mean he won’t have a choice when he goes into the voting booth January 31.

Like many conservatives in Florida, Webster voiced concern about the increasingly shrill tone the presidential primary has taken among the Republican hopefuls. He noted that there is one person that criticism and disagreement should be focused on “and that’s Barack Obama,” who, he said, has a very different agenda for America than any of the Republicans.

We mentioned one issue that has divided Republicans and it is particularly come to the surface in Florida: illegal immigration. Could Republicans come together on this, even though some may differ over related subjects such as the DREAM Act (to provide college tuition for the children of illegal immigrants). Webster believes that differences on points of the issue aside, Republicans will present a sharp contrast to the position of President Obama, who, in his words, “has a ‘dream’ of his own and that’s a dream that all people regardless of their legal status come into the United States and get full benefits that citizens do.”  He emphasized that Obama “is very clear about this” and it shouldn’t be difficult for the eventual Republican nominee to draw a contrast with the Democratic president.

For all the invective and charges that fly like shrapnel in the GOP contest, Webster made it clear to HUMAN EVENTS he feels the party can come together, focus on differences with Obama, and put Florida’s electoral votes in the Republican column in the fall.

Written By

John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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