November 10, 2015

McClatchy poll: The more voters see Marco Rubio, the more they like him

via @LightmanDavid @anitakumar01

WASHINGTON -- Ben Carson, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have something going for them every time they’re on stage or on TV.

The more Republicans hear about the three presidential contenders, the more they like them, a new McClatchy-Marist Poll finds.

That’s crucial at this stage of the nominating process since Carson, a retired neurosurgeon; Rubio, a freshman senator from Florida; and Cruz, a freshman senator from Texas, are still largely unknown to most voters.

They'll all be in the spotlight Tuesday as Republicans debate for the fourth time, and they’re all well-positioned to bolster their status as top-tier candidates. Or let curious Republicans down.

“It’s huge,” Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which conducts the survey, said of the early impressions. “This is an electorate unusually attentive that’s watching these debates.”

On the opposite end: Jeb Bush. As he struggles to regain support for his once high-flying campaign, Republicans say the more they see him, the less they like him.

More here.

Jeb Bush allies plan Marco Rubio takedown over abortion

11102015_004043_marco___8colvia @learyreports

News that Jeb Bush's allies intend to unleash holy hell on Marco Rubio — highlighting the 44-year-old Florida Republican's lack of accomplishment and hard-line approach on abortion — arrived a day before the 4th GOP debate.

From the New York Times:

Any attacks on Mr. Rubio would come primarily from Right to Rise, the “super PAC” that has raised more than $100 million for Mr. Bush. Its top strategist, Mike Murphy, refused to detail its strategy but did not dispute that Mr. Rubio was in its sights.

“Part of running for president is you have to put your big boy pants on and get vetted on the issues, so we know we don’t have a dud candidate running against Hillary Clinton,” he said.

Rubio’s campaign pushed back, saying Bush was violating his “joyful” campaign pledge and then worked to raise money in defense.

“Jeb Bush helped raise $100 million for this Super PAC. They will outspend us. That's just a fact. Marco didn't inherit a national network of wealthy, well-connected donors,” campaign manager Terry Sullivan said.

It was during a debate in which Rubio said he believed in no exceptions for abortion.

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

November 09, 2015

Gov. Rick Scott to speak -- but just briefly -- at GOP Sunshine Summit for presidential candidates

Gov. Rick Scott will give brief opening and closing remarks at the state’s GOP Sunshine Summit with presidential candidates Friday.

Other than U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, Scott is the state’s most prominent Republican elected official but he has a small role in the event in the country’s largest swing state. Scott held his own “Economic Growth Summit” for the presidential candidates in June while the event this weekend has been organized by the Republican Party of Florida.

Scott had no role in organizing this summit but the party asked him to speak, said Brecht Heuchan, spokesman for Scott’s political committee Let’s Get to Work.

During brief remarks, Scott will welcome the crowd to Florida and “kick off the event so to speak,” Heuchan said.

The fact that Scott and the party separately organized summits shows the rocky relationship the governor has had with RPOF in recent months since the party group elected a chairman, Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, rather than Scott’s preferred candidate.

Scott will not attend the dinner Thursday night where former Vice President Dick Cheney and Rubio will speak. On Friday, the speakers include Rubio, former Gov. Jeb Bush, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, businessman Donald Trump, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. The rest of the candidates speak Saturday.

The Florida donors who gave both to Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush


@NickNehamas @PatriciaMazzei

In Florida’s political tug-of-war between Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, some fans quietly chose to help both sides.

At least 45 people in the state have made financial donations to Miami’s two presidential candidates, totaling nearly $221,000 between both campaigns as of the end of October, a Miami Herald analysis found. Some intended to back Bush all along but gave to Rubio’s Senate reelection effort and let him keep the money after he switched to run for president. Others refused to pick between a pair of Republicans they know and like.

And a few decided to hedge their bets — a move that’s looking wise now that Bush, the one-time frontrunner, has plummeted in early polls while Rubio has surged.

These are not, for the most part, big-time donors bankrolling political action committees and “bundling” donations from their well-heeled friends. They generally gave a few hundred or a few thousand dollars (the limit is $2,700 to each candidate for the primary) as a token of support to their local contenders in a crowded primary.

All the donors who spoke to Herald reporters expressed admiration for both Rubio and Bush. But their feelings, like those of many Florida Republicans, are complicated. And Bush hasn’t helped his case.

“I think Jeb is a very nice guy, probably the most capable of the candidates,” said Alvaro Silva, a Cuban-born businessman who lives in Coral Gables.

Yet he’s lost hope that the former governor can sell himself to the American people. Bush’s uninspired debate performances sank him, in Silva’s eyes.

“The guy is flat. And he’s been totally bullied by [Donald] Trump in the debates,” said Silva, who gave $650 to Rubio between April and August and $250 to Bush in June. Rubio is now his man, and Silva plans to write him more checks.

More here.

November 06, 2015

Claims by Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio top the Truth-O-Meter in October

Jeb and Marco at CNBC

Florida’s presidential candidates former Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubiodominated our most widely read fact-checks in October, in addition to claims about guns following the mass shooting at a community college in Oregon.

Here is a look at PolitiFact Florida's Top 5 most clicked-on new fact-checks in October counting down to our most popular.

PolitiFact's guide to the GOP tax plans including Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush


Republicans touted their tax plans at the third GOP debate, calling for tax cuts, economic growth and the simplification of the U.S. tax code.

Donald Trump wants to slash corporate taxes while forcing hedge fund managers to pay higher rates. Ben Carson suggests a flat tax between 10 and 15 percent. Ted Cruz wants to eliminate the Internal Revenue Service.

But many of the candidates’ own claims about their tax plans were not grounded in facts. What’s more, experts said, the idea that you could cut taxes without blowing up the federal debt is mathematically and politically impossible.

Most of the plans trumpet giveaways on the tax side, but offer almost no specifics on how to reduce spending, said Marc Goldwein, senior vice president at the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

According to analysis by the free market-oriented think tank the Tax Foundation, all but one of the formal plans released by GOP candidates would lead to revenue loss.

"It’s a race to a bottom in terms of the revenue component here. We cannot deliver $10 trillion in tax cuts," Goldwein said. "Each new plan seems to be more expensive. That may sound great to the voters. It’s all goodies and relatively little pain. But when you have trillions of dollars in tax cuts, you create a hole for yourself that’ll be hard to dig out of."

Keep reading PolitiFact's article about the tax plans including claims by Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio

November 05, 2015

Politico: Brian Ballard ditches Jeb Bush

From Politico:

Jeb Bush’s decision to attack old friend and new rival Marco Rubio is backfiring, pushing important supporters to criticize the campaign’s tactics and driving Florida’s top fundraiser to officially quit and signal a shift in allegiance to the senator.

“I think the world of Jeb Bush. He was a great governor of Florida and is a really good person, but the campaign has hijacked his message” said Brian Ballard, a Tallahassee lobbyist who contributed more than $25,000 of his own money and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars more for Bush’s campaign and the super PAC supporting him.

“The campaign has become negative, one that is about attacking and trying to bring down Marco Rubio. And that doesn’t sit well -- not only with me, but with anyone who knows the two,” Ballard said. “Marco’s a friend of mine. I didn’t sign up for a campaign that was going to be negative and attack a bright star of the party’s future. It doesn’t make sense. I’m over it. And I’m done.”

Ballard, who stopped raising money for the campaign three months ago as he saw it turn negative, said he decided to make his departure final and public after the Bush team called Rubio “the GOP Obama” and a “risky” bet due to his past personal financial struggles.

More here.

Jeb Bush opens up to Huffington Post about daughter's addictions


The Huffington Post caught up with Jeb Bush aboard his campaign bus in New Hampshire and got him to speak at length about his daughter Noelle's teenage trouble with addiction.

"She went through hell -- and so did her mom, and so did her dad," he said. "It wasn't easy. I visited her in jail. I never expected seeing my beautiful daughter in jail."

Noelle Bush, now an adult and living in Orlando, is "drug-free," her dad said.

Jeb Bush's Election Day ritual: Lunch with developer Sergio Pino


Meet the Press asked Jeb Bush five light-hearted questions when host Chuck Todd interviewed the Republican presidential candidate in Miami last week.

One of them: What's your Election Day ritual?

Having lunch with Sergio Pino, Bush said. That's the Miami developer and Bush political donor.


Jeb Bush's first concert was James Brown. See that and more in our #Take5 with him...

Posted by Meet the Press on Thursday, November 5, 2015

Does the middle class get the biggest break under Jeb Bush's tax plan?

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said at a recent debate that his plan to streamline the tax system will benefit everyone, but it will benefit the middle class the most.

"Look, the simple fact is that my plan actually gives the middle class the greatest break: $2,000 per family," Bush said during the Oct. 28, 2015, CNBC debate. He added that simplifying the tax code will boost economic growth.

We wondered, does the middle class really stand to benefit the most from Bush’s proposed tax cuts? That could be accurate if you examine the rates in a particular way, experts told us, but in practice it’s likely the highest earners would see the real windfall from Bush’s plan.

See what Joshua Gillin of PolitiFact Florida found.