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South Carolina retirees are changing the discussion

Republican presidential candidates are having to address the older population's economic concerns more than religious conservatives' issues.

January 19, 2012|By Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times

Retirees can be less amenable to candidates working across party lines to solve problems. Many South Carolina Republicans used to be Democrats — but many transplants have been Republicans all their lives and don't have any sympathy for the other party.

That's the case for Ed Bohannon, who attended a Perry event in Bluffton. Bohannon, a retiree who moved from Texas, says Romney is "too moderate for me. I'm more of a conservative." Romney "will want to work with Democrats in Congress rather than push through our legislation," he says.

But retirees like Bohannon and the members of the B.S. Club all seem to agree on one thing: No matter who wins the primary, they'll vote for whichever Republican runs against Obama come November.

"We want anybody but Obama," says Jimmy Sinkler, 63, a retired telecommunications worker with a thick Southern accent, sipping a mug of coffee at the B.S. Club's table. "He's destroyed the country. We've all become socialists under Obama. He's not done anything except destroy us."

alana.semuels@latimes.com

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