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Romney, Paul supporters duel

They may have been outnumbered, but that did not stop about a dozen Ron Paul supporters from hoisting an American flag and marching through a throng of Mitt Romney supporters outside the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.

“Ron Paul! Ron Paul!” they shouted, just hours before the Republican presidential debate was slated to begin.

With a microphone in hand, 19-year-old Matthew Blewitt, from Hartsville, S.C., countered the Paul supporters by yelling Romney slogans at motorists as they drove by.

“M-I-T-T! Mitt’s the man for me!” he yelled. Some motorists honked. One woman driving by said she was a Republican but undecided, sparking another round of pro-Romney slogans from the crowd.

Blewitt, a college student, said he drove from Hartsville today after his classes were over. He said he supported Romney because he was able to eliminate Massachusetts’ state deficit after one term as governor there.

Not far from Blewitt was Neil Martin, 65, who drove today from Spartanburg, S.C. with his wife, Carol. Martin said he and his wife were probably going to vote for a third party candidate until Ron Paul entered the race.

“When all the candidates started breaking out, we were disappointed,” he said. “It looked like we were getting the same thing we get all the time.”

Martin said he supported Paul because he thought he was fiscally responsible. He also said he liked that Paul was against “empire building” and would remove U.S. troops fom Iraq.

Martin said he and his wife would spend a few days in Myrtle Beach in a condo before going back to Spartanburg. He looked forward to getting some good seafood.