And now, it’s Florida’s turn n the political spotlight, as the four remaining Republican presidential candidates hightail it from South Carolina to campaign in the Sunshine State for the Jan. 31 presidential primary election.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, on Sunday offered up a welcome to the four remaining GOP candidates.
"I want to welcome the candidates to my beautiful home state of Florida," Wasserman Schultz said -- and then warned that the GOP candidates who will be campaigning in Florida over the next nine days represent "failed policies" that won't sell well in the state.
Although former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s campaign has recently, culminating Saturday with a win Saturday in South Carolina, Wasserman Schultz focused on the campaign in Florida of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. His second-place finish in South Carolina shows that the "central rationale" of his campaign is "cratering" from the initial lead he had in the polls there, she said.
To lose that support in a week "is someone who is really failing to connect," she said "The more voters learn about Mitt Romney, the less they like him," she said, calling the GOP primary "Romney's race to lose" in Florida.
She spent little time on Gingrich, but when she did talk about him, she said he has spent the entire primary season pandering to the Tea Party. The whole Republican field has spent the entire primary season trying to out-right wing each other, Wasserman Schultz said.
Wasserman Shultz, who is President Barack Obama’s surrogate-in-chief this election season, defended the president when asked about his support among Jewish and Hispanic voters in Florida. She made sure to emphasize Romney’s opposition to the DREAM Act, legislation that would help young people whose parents brought them to the country illegally stay in the U.S. for college.
And Republicans who’ve been seeking the support of Jewish voters by focusing on the president’s Israel policy don’t back many of the other issues important to such voters she said. That includes civil right and civil liberties and health care, she said.
"Regardless of who becomes the Republican nominee, all of the candidates in the race support the failed policies of the past that drove us to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression," she said. "That’s not what the American people want, and that’s why they know that the clear choice in this election is President Obama."