And so does Mitt Romney, according to Atwater.

In fact, the Bain Capital cofounder interprets deregulated freedoms as big business building blocks. "[Romney] knows that a 39-year-old American by the name of Charles Goodyear vulcanized rubber, and he did it without the Department of Environmental Protection."


Mark, a Democrat, and friends live in the woods outside of a DeLand, Fla., flea market.
Jacob Katel
Mark, a Democrat, and friends live in the woods outside of a DeLand, Fla., flea market.
Holy Land visitors are split on a candidate.
Courtesy of The Holy Land Experience
Holy Land visitors are split on a candidate.

About an hour later, the Mittens finally waltzes onstage with his bride of 43 years, Ann. He delivers a 23-minute stump speech peppered with positions that change like baby's diapers to a rich white sea of 10,000 or so Central Floridians who just may swing the state's 29 electoral votes.

Eden Byler, a female Romney supporter from nearby Oviedo, is smitten. Not only does she think "He's the man we need for this country" but she also holds he is the better-looking candidate.

Still, she says, "It's the inside that counts. Mitt Romney's the man!"

Score: Romney — 3, Obama — 1 bird.

When Mike Buck encouraged us to "meet Jesus Christ" at some point along our road trip in DeLand, we brushed it off the same way we do Mormonism.

But then more people we spoke with started mentioning religion as one of the determining factors in Tuesday's presidential election. Take 69-year-old John DiCenzo of Orange City, a small burg just outside Sanford where Trayvon Martin was killed.

DiCenzo wears a quirky assortment of right-wing pins on his hat that boldly declare his political positions. A quick assessment tells me that he's unapologetically pro-life, pro-gun, and anti-Obama. DiCenzo says he'll vote for Mitt Romney because President Obama allegedly "never speaks up when Christians are attacked" but is "very much in defense of Islam."

"Anyone who has good moral values," he adds, "expects more out of a president than we've seen the past four years."

This made us wonder: What would Jesus do? So we headed southwest to the corner of Conroy and Vineland in Orlando, where a facsimile of God's only son is the main attraction at a Christian theme park called Holy Land Experience.

We paid the $40 for admission and passed through a replica of the Damascus Gate, the park's entrance. Built to look like Jerusalem circa 12 A.D. — but proudly serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches — this mega-blessed tourist trap is located not far from I-4's exit 75. Christ is resurrected here every Tuesday through Saturday at the 2,000-seat Church of All Nations around 4:15 p.m. He then helps out around the baptism pool until the park closes at 6.

After passing a casual cardboard version of Our Lord wearing blue jeans, a white T-shirt, and angel wings shaped like a heart, we found a disciple named Frank Grate who was on his fifth trip to the Holy Land Experience from Fort Lauderdale. He backs Mitt Romney and an end to all abortions.

"Who's going to choose for the baby?" Grate asked rhetorically.

The woman?

"No, she shouldn't," he declares. "The baby should have his or her own rights."

That makes sense. Next, it's on to a quiet garden just outside of the Holy Land's main gate, where Kris Hoke of Orlando is also hoping Romney will triumph over evil. A sun-soaked middle-aged lady in a purple athletic tank top, she's worried that President Obama may eliminate "God" altogether. "I think it's important that [Romney] has the faith," she says. "I think it's important to keep 'In God We Trust' on the dollar bill."

Neither candidate has proposed eliminating that phrase.

Finally, four women from Orlando file out of the Holy Land Experience and into the parking lot. They're fired up and ready to go home after watching Jesus' Crucifixion. "It was very powerful," says Laura Fisher. "I encourage anyone to come to the Holy Land."

Fisher works as a manager at McDonald's; she's as passionate about President Obama as she is the salvation of man and still gets goose bumps when she thinks about the country's first black president. "It's all about Barack Obama!" she yells joyfully, accentuating each syllable in the commander in chief's name. "It took all that time for Bush to mess it up; then Barack came in for four years, and he needs four more years to get it straight."

Corine Peterson, one of Fisher's friends, is a retired nurse from Orlando who, like her friend, will vote for Obama this year as well. "First, I'm not a Republican," she says. "And I think he's done a good job in four years being in that big mess."

Fisher adds, "Yay, Democrats!"

Soon, a dumpy 30-something in a powder-blue patrolman's uniform armed with a spiral reporter's notepad hurries past the exit and stops in front of a New Times reporter in the parking lot. We smile. "Who're you voting for in the presidential election?" we ask, hoping to break the ice.

"You need to leave, sir," says Michael Cavallary, Holy Land's hired security.

Definitely a Romney supporter, we gather. "Right, would you mind helping us find our vehicle?"

Cavallary's at a crossroads: Honor thy badge or keep playing hardball. He chooses the latter and follows us around the parking lot for ten minutes until... oops, silly us! The car was right there all along. God provided.

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frankd4 topcommenter

well comparing my notes on these things i find it difficult to see how anyone can be so supportive on such short notice - and i don't care who anyone actually VOTEs for - just that they VOTE - period


all politicians are self-promoting grandstanders who sling mud - there is too much money in it to be CIVIL anymore


NONE of our founding fathers would QUALIFY for public office today ! NONE ! NO ONE !


truth is: wE aRE brOKE - and just like a chicken still runs around immediately AFTER it's head is cut off, it's going to soon meet it's demise - just like the USofA and "we the people" today without any possible hope for the future


if you think a politician, any politician, gives a damn about YOU are delusional


JESUS only saw elected officials as a necessary evil to overcome civil disorder with laws and anticipate needs with resources used efficiently OTHERWISE a person could just go off into the wilderness and live unattached and disinterested and self-sustaining on one's own which is impossible today because everyTHING is owned by someone who want rent


How about covering some breaking news tomorrow?  On September 11th, there was a terrorist attack on our under-protected Embassy in Benghazi.  It was Al Quada, and they murdered our Ambassador, and three other people, including two Navy Seals who refused to stand down after three requests to the White House, State Department, etc. to send help.  


Obama and Hillary Clinton (and others) watched real time and refused to send anybody, watching Ty Woods be murdered on video.  Then they blamed it on a silly video riot which never happened.  They lied about in for six weeks - still refuse to talk about it.  Answer any questions at all.  Rather than do a press conference regarding the deaths, Obama packed up and went campaigning in Vegas, then to Denver.  Then to  the East Coast for the hispanic vote.  I know that sounds like treason.  And it is.  Everyone in the know understands they're buying time until 11/6, stonewalling.  But American people should know what a coward and liar their president is so they can see him for the unpatriotic self-centered and arrogant person he is. Why did he do it?  According to first rate patriotic sources, Obama's campaign was about getting binLaden, destroying Al Quada and that the millions we have to Libya were worth it because they're now our "friends and a terrorist attack was not acceptable  (A few of our Libyan "security friends" assisted Al Quada is the timeline.  How fun!) 


Obama and his staff allowed U.S. citizens to be murdered on U.S. soil for political purposes.  They knew that Obama couldn't win the re-election if the truth got out , so they covered it up, in as disgraceful a manner as possible  Right now, four people are dead (one sodomized before he died), leaders who are whistle-blowers are being relieved of their command, Obama administration announced true American hero Ty Woods who (after 7 hours) could no longer stomach the idea that our president would let these people have a death sentence, and his lost own life in the rescue that did save 20 people,,,this hero is not going to get a pension because he was recently retired.  You know, all that $1,000,000,000,000 lost green energy money given to his supporters has us in a pinch.


 Oh! And the innocent guy they blamed that bogus video on?  They perp-walked him and he's still in jail right now.


I think (and hope) Mitt Romney wins and throws Obama's happy ass out on the street.  Either way, there is a rallying cry being heard around the world. And it's from the Navy Seals whose motto is "No Man Left Behind".  Obama's White House sanctioned Facebook,  not allow the Seals to tell their story,in a depicable act of a dictator, but this is too big to be contained much longer, there are three scandals of epic proportions on his hands.   Leon Panetta, Patreas, Clinton, Obama, Biden...despicable actions won't go silently to the background. Oh!  The rallying cry:



BTW, the Navy Seals are furious over Obama using them for political gain and campaigning about  getting binLaden in his re-election.  That wasn't the understanding, that wasn't the deal.  He didn't get binLaden, and the GM bailout?  Lucky him if he gets re-elected...he gets bail them out again!  They're on the verge bankrupty and taxpayers will forever have lost $254 million dollars on that "bailout". 


What, if anything, in the above story do you or your liberal readers not believe?  I could continue, but karma on this one will be fast and furious.  Maybe not until after 11/6, but it will come.  


Right this wrong of 2008 and vote Romney/Ryan. I dedicated my vote for Mitt Romney to fallen American hero Ty Woods.  Consider doing the same.


Now get out there and cover this atrocity.  Your government betrayed you.  The only people who didn't get the truth were the American people.  Al Quada and everyone else knew.  Barack Obama has double-crossed America for four're gong to hear about two big stories, probably by friends.  One is mass fraud in the green energy payouts (Obama) and two agencies (today) have put video and evidence into senator's hands to explode this lie.  While people have demanded Obama answer questions and release the drone video, he has said  "it's under investigator and will be addressed after the election" and "the video/audio tapes are classified".  So Intel on the ground has found some extra copies. 



DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Jesus was a Liberal ... and a Jew.




 @bcconfidential Strange all the attention now on these four victims, but no mention of the thousands of dead soldiers and innocent civilians of the illegal and completely unnecessary Iraq war. Smells like desperation.