The outgoing Florida State Speaker of the house and US senate candidate Johnny Byrd held an event to make himself seem supportive of small business this afternoon. He chose EEI manufacturing in Clearwater, a company that makes components for missiles and missile defense systems. He was given a tour of the facility by Sue Englander, EEI’s president and owner

SOUND ‘This is the missile warning system�

Byrd has made national defense a cornerstone of his campaign. His campaign kickoff was aboard a warship, when he told supporters that he was traveling to Israel to learn about their methods for fighting terrorism. In a speech to EEI employees, Byrd echoed President Bushes phasing to talk about his priorities.

ACT “The war on terror is personal to me..if you are involved in the war, every one of us is engaged in the war, I'm running for senate is to win the war on terror, to make sure I support the president, to make sure we have the intelligence, when they are out taking down the bad guys, the best defense is a good offense…�

Sue Englander, the president and owner of EEI, said she agreed to have Byrd visit not because they are a defense contractor, but because she wants exposure as a small business that needs support.


“Keep up the good work…keep up the defense spending..�

WMNF asked Byrd about his statement “the best defense is a good offense.�

ACT “We need to go on the offensive. I was in Israel recently, they are taking the offensive war to Hamas, I think we are at war wit terrorist organizations, we need to invest the money…but Israel has more terrorist attacks than any other country, Israel is in the middle of an area, where their neighbors don’t like their traditions, I will support the state of do you see the US being in a perpetual state of war for a long time, well that not up to us. As long as we press ahead will not be safe if we follow peace at any price…�

Since announcing he was running for senate, earlier this year, before the state legislature was even done with its session, Byrd has continually been slipping in the polls, many polls find him in 3rd or even 4th place behind, Mel Martinez, Bill Mcollum and Doug Gallagher in the race for the republican nomination. Byrd was endorsed by the national right to life foundation earlier this week, but many politicians, have taken back their endorsements of Byrd in the past couple of weeks Byrd says he’s not worried however.

ACT ‘I'm a core republican, pure republican… the final days of the campaign, we will have 1 million dollars, most people get all their info from television…so well be competing’

The republican primary is August 31st. For more information on the campaign, logon to

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