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Palin rallies GOP in Florida, says time to dig deep

By Michael Schneider

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Oct. 23 2010 11:25 p.m. MDT

ORLANDO, Fla. — The momentum of the midterm elections is with the GOP, but now is not the time for supporters to let up, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin told a jubilant crowd of Florida Republicans on Saturday.

"Now is the time to dig deep," Palin said with 10 days to go until the elections. Hundreds of Republicans with "Fire Pelosi" and "Listen to Me!" signs clapped, hooted and waved American flags in the ballroom of an Orlando hotel near Walt Disney World. The gathering was cast as a fundraising rally but had the feel of a county fair.

Appearing with Palin were top GOP fundraisers, Republican national committee members and conservative activists such as anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist. The former Alaska governor also was joined by Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio.

Polls have shown Rubio with a large lead in a three-way Senate race with Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running as an independent after dropping out of the Republican Party when it appeared he wouldn't win the GOP primary race.

Rubio said to cheers that he would work to repeal health care reform and would have voted against stimulus money.

"This election is about turning out and voting," Rubio said. "This is all it's about right now."

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele thanked Tea Party supporters for their contributions to the Republican Party.

"They restored our faith in the Constitution," Steele said.

The RNC chairman also had harsh words for incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, a congressman from metro Orlando who has been accused of getting a third-party candidate to run in his race under the Tea Party label in order to siphon votes from his Republican challenger. Grayson has said he did no such thing.

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