Republican presidential candidates Sam Brownback and Mike
Huckabee were well received by a socially conservative group
in Orlando, Fla., who applauded their antiabortion,
anti-same-sex marriage, and pro-faith messages
mentioned topics like the Iraq war, taxes, and health
care during speeches in front of a Florida Family Policy
Council dinner, instead sticking with a strong message
on values. They received rave reviews from attendees,
including Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida, who also
serves as the Republican National Committee general
''I am completely
blown away by the two men we heard tonight,'' Martinez
told the crowd of about 650 at the event.
The crowd, some
of whom are looking for an alternative to major
candidates like former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, Arizona
senator John McCain, and former Massachusetts governor
Mitt Romney, also seemed impressed.
''The top tier,
in my estimation, does not fit the definition of what a
true conservative has historically been in this country,''
said Roy Tanner, 50, of Orlando. ''If it is meant to
be, these guys will break out of the pack. I'd be
happy if either got elected.''
urged the group to keep working on their efforts to put a
marriage equality ban in the state's constitution. The
Florida Family Policy Council is leading a petition
drive to place a proposed amendment on the 2008
''You need to
redefine the definition of marriage as a union of a man and
a woman. It's critical,'' Brownback, a Kansas senator, said
to loud applause. ''We've got to be the rebuild the
family. I'm going to be the president that's the
family president that helps rebuild this fundamental
former Arkansas governor and former Baptist pastor, touted
his voluntary covenant-marriage law he pushed for that makes
divorce harder to obtain.
''I realized that
the laws in my state were such that it would be easier
to get out of a marriage than it was to get out of a
contract for having purchased a used car,'' Huckabee
said. ''We realized we need to make some changes.''
(Brendan Farrington, AP)