MIAMI (CBSMiami) – After getting pummeled in South Carolina, Mitt Romney put all his eggs on a quick turnaround in the Sunshine State; and it looks like his efforts are paying off.
Romney returned to South Florida Friday afternoon to talk to the Hispanic Leadership Conference, just hours after Newt Gingrich gave a speech to the same crowd. But Romney came in flying high after a solid debate performance Thursday night.
During the debate, Romney continually landed verbal jabs on Gingrich and had the former Speaker of the House retreating for much of the night.
“When I’m shot at, I’ll return fire,” Romney said after the debate ended. “I’m certainly no shrinking violet.”
For Romney, he needed a strong performance to continue the momentum he has been building throughout the last few days.
Every Florida poll has Romney leading by anywhere from two to eight points over Gingrich.
Romney also took time Friday to announce that he had received the endorsement of Puerto Rican governor Luis Fortuño.
“It’s an honor to have Governor Fortuño’s support,” Romney said in a statement. “As president, I look forward to working with Governor Fortuño on the issues most pressing for the people of Puerto Rico – job creation, public safety, and the island’s 113-year political status question.”
Still, Romney had some flubs in the debate. He couldn’t recall a Spanish-language ad that his campaign was running and he continually had to deal with questions over his vast wealth and how it was divided among Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Islands accounts among other places.
Romney is expected to win the Florida primary and after that, barring any major flubs or embarrassing revelations, should cruise to victory and secure the GOP presidential nomination.