Michele Kirk: Hasner preaches to the choir at tea party event

Former Florida Rep. Adam Hasner was the second U.S. Senate candidate to speak in front of the newly formed Palm Beach County Tea Party’s Boca Raton chapter. He drew multiple rounds of applause from the supportive audience of about 150 on Tuesday, but disappointed a few when he said he would not support abolishing the Federal Reserve.

“It’s not about electing any Republican to Washington; it’s about electing the right Republican,” Hasner said in separating himself from other candidates, including Mike McCalister, who spoke to the local tea party group a few months ago.

He recalled his eight years in the Florida House and the “tough” issues he faced as the Republican majority leader in 2007. As Charlie Crist was trying to advance center-left policies, Hasner said, “I was the one standing up, fighting against it.” As examples, he pointed to the fights against blocking off-shore drilling and cap and trade, among other controversial matters.

“I have proven myself,” he said. “After the 2006 elections, it was the establishment of the Republican Party that was saying that the best thing for Republicans to do is to be more like Democrats. I didn’t buy into that.”

Hasner came out strongly against what he called the United Nation’s attempts to undermine American sovereignty.

“The United Nations is a corrupt organization, plain and simple,” he said, adding that he took a stand when Hamas and Fatah created a unity government and was one of the first to propose cutting off U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority.

Many in the crowd praised Hasner before asking questions and chattered approvingly in response to his answers. Most in the room gave him a standing ovation when he was finished speaking. The admiration was mutual, according to his own comments about the Tea Party movement. (see video)

Interviewed after the event by a BPR reporter, many attendees said they supported Hasner even before hearing him speak Tuesday, and most couldn’t name the other candidates in the race.

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Michele Kirk

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