The two Republicans serve together in Florida's House of Representative, have very similar solidly-conservative voting records, have co-sponsored legislation, both endorsed Adam Hasner for Senate, and describe themselves as "good friends."
So I was surprised - nay, shocked! - to read in yesterday's Palm Beach Post that the two were on opposite sides on an issue:
Palm Beach Post | George Bennett | GOP debate continues trend of steady-going Romney vs. latest anti-Romney
State Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, the first Florida legislator to endorse Cain, was pleased with his candidate's first debate performance since his breakout in the polls.
"Clearly the other candidates recognize that Cain is a top-tier guy," Plakon said. "If a third of the debate is talking about one of your signature issues, you're doing something right."
State Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, another Romney backer, said the former Massachusetts governor and businessman exhibits the highest "competency quotient" in the GOP field and is best positioned to defeat President Obama in 2012...
"What we need is a steady hand and a new direction. I think at the end of the day his bona fides are solid, yet he doesn't scare the establishment," Baxley said. "We need somebody that can draw converts if we're going to have a change in the White House. I think Mitt Romney has that."
Those kinds of arguments don't sway conservatives like Plakon and perhaps explain the continued quest among many Republicans for a Romney alternative.
"A lot of people I think are picking Romney because they think that being more moderate is a better choice to beat Barack Obama," Plakon said. "But we did that with (John) McCain in 2008 and that didn't work out so well."
Wild stuff, hmmm? Florida political insiders should get a chuckle at the line "conservatives like Plakon," which comes close to insinuating that Baxley is somehow "not conservative."
Somehow I feel pretty confident in saying I doubt we will see Plakon and Baxley becoming the next Preston Brooks and Charles Sumner. ;)