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Doubts In South Carolina: Is Romney Hot Enough For A Republican Revolution?

Former South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson, a conservative stalwart, has his doubts. "The Bob Dole, John McCain thing."

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MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina—As Mitt Romney looks to lock up the nomination right here this week, former South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson expressed doubts about whether the former Massachusetts governor will ever be able to inspire conservatives with the passion, anger, and raw heat needed to defeat President Barack Obama,

“Are we as a party going to do the Bob Dole, John McCain thing again — we might,” said Dawson, who supports Texas Governor Rick Perry, “but I hope not.”

Dawson said Republican voters have to get angry this year.

“We have to have the mentality to take over a government — coup may be too strong of a word — but you are going to have to have a conservative revolution to change the direction of the country in the way it needs to go,” he said.

Dawson said Romney’s inability to inspire that passion makes it unlikely that he can defeat President Barack Obama.

“That conservative base out there — they are the kerosene your pour in the fire to beat the liberals,” he said. “They like him.

He added that conservatives “liked” McCain and Dole — noting that didn’t get them very far.

“You’re going to have to have heat, passion. Republicans don’t just have to like a front-runner – they have to love him,” he said.