Curtis Loftis may be a latecomer to politics, but he’s an early riser. He recently left a message for a journalist at 5 a.m., advising him to call as soon as he gets up. Indeed, Loftis has been plenty , so his schedule could very well match that of a drill sergeant.
But this week he’s in Tampa as co-chair of the South Carolina delegation to the Republican National Convention.
The convention is the culmination of a whirlwind year for Loftis, a Tea Party favorite who was 52 when he entered electoral politics for the first time. He was the , was Romney's chair for the state and on the former Massachusetts governor’s behalf.
From the moment Romney announced his candidacy, Loftis was convinced he was the man for the job. He also knew that Romney did not necessarily have to win South Carolina to win the nomination. It was not a popular view, and .
“I look at politics a little differently than most,” Loftis said. “I don’t put much stock in spin and strategists. I knew Gov. Romney he would represent himself very well all down the line and that’s exactly what he’s done.”
The 2012 GOP Convention will be Loftis’ third, but his first as a delegate. He went in 2004 and, in 1976, when he was just 17. Times have changed a lot since his first trip. “The security was so insignificant that I sat down right next to (Pres. Gerald) Ford, (fmr. Secretary of Defense Donald) Rumsfeld and (fmr. Secretary of State Henry) Kissinger,” Loftis said. “Now each convention gets $100 million just in security.”
Though he’s spent quite a bit of time with Mitt and Ann Romney, Loftis is looking forward to how the rest of the country views them. “You meet them and you like them. They’re the type of people you want to have as your neighbors.”
As Treasurer, Loftis knows better than most that times are tough for a lot of people. “We are not in the best condition right now as a country,” Loftis said. “But (Romney) is the man to get us out of it.”