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Decision 2012: Republicans working to color blue states

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By Damon Lawrence

For those who want to see President Obama defeated on Election Day, Tennessee is not the state they have to worry about.

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“It’s clearly a red state,” U.S. Congressman Chuck Fleischmann said.

That’s why members of the Roane County Tea Party have spent time in battleground states this election season.

“I spent the weekend in Ohio two weeks ago going door-to-door,” Co-Chairman Gary Johnston said.

Tea Party Treasurer Ron Harwell said Friday that he was headed to Virginia for the weekend.

“We’re all committed to seeing Obama gone,” he said. “I think we’re involved as much as we can be with the lives we have to live besides this.”

With the country’s unemployment rate hovering around 8 percent and millions of Americans out of work, Bob Tonachio said he believes Republican candidate Mitt Romney is the man who can fix the economy.

“This country is like a big business, and you need someone who can understand that who’s experienced,” he said.

“Romney’s experience is he’s a turnaround man. He can go into companies that are burdened with problems and he can turn them around and make them a success. He’s the man to do the job.”

Chuck Smith said he believes Romney, who served as governor in the blue state of Massachusetts, can break through some of the partisan gridlock in Congress.   

“This president drew a line in the sand on the health care bill, and he didn’t care if he got one Republican vote — and he didn’t,” he said. “Mitt Romney won’t do that. He’ll reach across the aisle, and he’s proved it in Massachusetts.”

Tea Party members said they see this as the most important election of a lifetime.

“Romney is adept at working with both sides for the betterment of a particular goal,” Tonachio said. “The goal is to save America. It’s not keep on the path that we’re on.”

Smith said he believes Romney is also the man who can tackle the country’s debt problems.

“We have a $16 trillion debt,” he said. “We are ripe for collapse. Romney can’t fix this overnight, but if we just stop adding to the debt, that’s a major step.”

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has been the president’s most controversial piece of legislation. Those who want to see it repealed should keep a close eye on the U.S. Senate races Tuesday.     

“If we do not get a Republican majority in the Senate, even if we get the White House and hold the House of Representatives, there will be no way to repeal Obamacare,” Fleischmann said.