By Editor-in-chief
updated 2/7/2007 12:04:13 PM ET 2007-02-07T17:04:13

Ann Marie Curling is looking for a presidential candidate with business skills who can balance the federal budget and improve the nation’s health care system with a call for “shared social responsibility.”

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“My gut is with Mitt Romney to achieve these things,” Curling wrote in an opening post to a discussion forum (or “Loop”) dedicated to the former Massachusetts governor.

“Since I began voting in 1992 (at the age of 18) I've normally been most concerned about social issues, and they still mean a great deal to me,” wrote the 32-year-old Kentucky woman. “But, fiscal discipline for me is trumping those issues this go-round.  We just can not go on doing what we've been doing.”

Like other online candidate forums, the HOTSOUP Loop dedicated to Romney is a double-edged sword for the Republican presidential hopeful, who plans for formally announce his candidacy Feb. 13. The good news is that people like Curling are promoting his candidacy for free. That bad news is that others are dumping on him.

“He is a bigger jerk than most politicians for lying to the voters of Massachusetts and for continuing to lie about lying,” wrote “Wamoshiii,” a Massachusetts voter and regular at “He pretended to be one thing to become governor and will pretend to be another thing to try to become president.  He is the worst thing on the GOP menu. “

Romney did not lie, Curling replied. “I assume you're talking about abortion and gay rights.  Governor Romney said that he would not change the abortion laws as they stood when he took office.  On the gay issue, he believes that gays should not be discriminated in terms of hiring, housing, etc.”

“The worst thing on the GOP menu?” Curling continued. “What about his ability to balance a budget?  What about his attempt at trying to reform health care?  Governor Romney is about getting things done, and not just talking about them.”

Several other Romney supporters, including one who goes by the username “idahoansformitt,” jumped to Romney’s defense. But they had their hands full with Wamoshiii, who made a strong case against the GOP candidate. At one point, Wamoshiii apologized for “my vitriol” on a site dedicated to civil debate.

“Thank you, Wamoshiii, for explaining your feelings, and also for toning it down,” Curling replied.  “I like to hear why people don't like Mr. Romney. It's important to hear differing viewpoints.”

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