July 23, 2015

Marco Rubio says 'no one' running for president has more experience on relevant issues than he does


Marco Rubio took on one of the fundamental questions of his presidential candidacy -- whether he's got enough experience for the job -- in a Fox News interview Thursday that asked him to respond to what his one-time mentor Jeb Bush said on the subject.

"I have more experience to be president," Bush told anchor Bret Baier, in a clip Baier played for Rubio. "We've had a president who was gifted, who was charismatic. His name was Barack Obama. There was nothing in his past that could suggest he could fix the things that were broken better for the country right now."

So, is Rubio like Obama?

"Barack Obama has failed as president because his ideas don't work. They wouldn't have worked had he served 50 years in the U.S. Senate," Rubio said.

"It is true there are people running for president that have lived longer than I have," he added. "The world is changing, and no one who is running for president has more experience than I do on the issues confronting our country right now."

Baier pressed Rubio on whether governors' executive experience better qualifies them to be president. (Rubio has backed former governors Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney in the past.)

Continue reading "Marco Rubio says 'no one' running for president has more experience on relevant issues than he does" »

Marco Rubio slams Iran deal in Senate hearing

via @PatriciaMazzei

Marco Rubio took a break from his presidential campaign Thursday to attend the first congressional hearing over the Obama administration's negotiated nuclear deal with Iran. In the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Rubio addressed Secretary of State John Kerry directly.

"Secretary Kerry, I do not fault you for trying to engage in diplomacy and striking a deal with Iran. I do fault the president for striking a terrible deal with Iran," Rubio said. He added, "This is your deal," referring to the administration as a whole, noting that the next president could undo or change it.

"I cannot see somebody just arbitrarily deciding, 'Let's go back to where we were,"" Kerry responded. "I don't think any president would do that."


July 22, 2015

Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush want Planned Parenthood investigation

via @learyreports

Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio today joined calls for a Congressional investigation into Planned Parenthood.

“The videos speak for themselves," Rubio said a news release. "The cruel and callous language used by senior Planned Parenthood officials is sickening, shows a complete disregard for innocent unborn life, not to mention Planned Parenthood’s clients, and speaks to an organization that is morally bankrupt. There is simply no justification for an organization that fosters this kind of culture to receive a penny of taxpayer funding, and there should be a serious and impartial investigation into the grotesque practices revealed by the video.”

Bush, campaigning at a pregnancy center in Spartanburg, S.C., said: "It just troubles me that you would sell body parts. It just makes no sense to me." 

If president, he would call for a review of funding for any organization with a "deep political agenda," according to CNN.

Planned Parenthood says the videos have been edited and distort the truth.

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

Marco Rubio says Obama has 'no class,' cites Daily Show interview, likens him to Donald Trump


With Jon Stewart in his final weeks as host, President Obama made a visit Tuesday to Comedy Central's The Daily Show

Obama gave a lengthy interview in which he joked he had signed an executive order forbidding Stewart from leaving the show. He also defended the deal his administration negotiated to try to contain Iran's nuclear program.

"When you hear the critics talk about, 'Well, it's a bad deal; we could have got a better deal,' you then ask them, 'Well, what represents a better deal? What is it that you think could happen?'" Obama said.

"Typically they're vague, and they fall back on, 'Well, if you'd beat your chest a little bit more... Or if you'd brought Dick Cheney to the negotiations, then everything would be fine.'" ("Let's not get crazy," Stewart interjected.)

The Cheney line drew criticism Wednesday morning from Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, himself a Daily Show veteran, who said on Fox News that he didn't like Obama's joke.

Rubio wove in the criticism of Obama as he slammed rival Donald Trump, telling Fox and Friends that Trump's style isn't fit for the Oval Office.

"It is important that we have– to conduct the presidency, it has to be done in a dignified way, with a level of class," he said. " don't think [Trump's] behavior the last few weeks is either dignified or worthy of office he seeks."

"We already have a president now that has no class," Rubio continued, referring to Obama. "I mean, we have a president now that does selfie-stick videos, that invites YouTube stars there, people that you know eat cereal out of a bathtub... You just saw the interview he did right now where he goes on comedy shows to talk about something as serious as Iran. The list goes on and on.

"It is important for us to have a presidency that restores dignity and class to the White House, and I don't believe that some of the language that Mr. Trump is employing is worthy of the office. I just do not."


Quinnipiac poll: Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush best Hillary Clinton in Colorado, Iowa and Virginia


Miami's two Republican presidential contenders, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, along with Wisconsin's Scott Walker, lead Democrat Hillary Clinton in hypothetical head-to-head match-ups in three key swing states, according to a new public-opinion survey.

The Quinnipiac University poll found Clinton trails or is statistically tied in Colorado, Iowa and Virginia with the three GOP candidates:

                               Colorado           Iowa            Virginia

Clinton                        38                    36                    41

Rubio                          46                    44                    43


Clinton                        36                    36                    39

Bush                            41                    42                    42


Clinton                        38                    37                    40

Walker                         47                    45                    43

In some cases in Iowa and Colorado, Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont does the same or better than Clinton against Bush, Rubio and Walker, according to the poll, which has an error margin of 2.8 percentage points. The results indicate the 2016 general election could be a close one, assuming Democrats nominate Clinton and Republicans nominate Walker, Bush or Rubio.

Clinton has negative favorability ratings in all three states -- but they're better than Republican Donald Trump, the most negatively viewed of all presidential candidates, according to the poll.

July 21, 2015

Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, former Miami-Dade registered lobbyists

via @learyreports

Here’s another thing Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush have in common: They have both been registered lobbyists in Miami-Dade County.

In 1991, Bush registered as a lobbyist in Miami-Dade on behalf of his real estate company with Armando Codina before he was elected to office, according to records reported on by the Wall Street Journal. Bush was representing Deering Bay residential development, which he and Codina sold after Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Rubio was also listed as a registered lobbyist in Miami-Dade, from 1997 to 2005 while he worked for various law firms, mostly on land use. In 2003, Rubio was registered as a federal lobbyist while working for Becker & Poliakoff. His campaign told the Washington Post he did not recall filling out the document and that Rubio did not lobby. The firm in 2005 asked for the registration to be revoked.

Both Bush and Rubio say they were never really lobbyists in the generally accepted definition.

“Governor Bush was not working as a lobbyist,” spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told the Journal. “This was specific to the Deering Bay project where Governor Bush was a partner and the project required the Commission weigh in on permitting approval issues to move forward with work.”

Rubio’s camp has said law firms that did land use in Miami-Dade often registered lawyers “out of an abundance of caution.”

“In fact, all lawyers representing clients on land use matters are supposed to register as lobbyists,” campaign spokesman Alex Burgos told the Miami Herald in 2010, when Charlie Crist’s campaign tried to make an issue out of it. "While Marco worked on land use contracts and RFPs, he never met with elected officials to influence them on behalf of clients."

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

July 20, 2015

Did Barack Obama break his promise over the Iran deal as Marco Rubio says?

The agreement reached with Iran over nuclear weapons remained a top issue on the Sunday July 19 news shows, with critics of the deal urging that it be scuttled by Congress.

On CNN’s State of the Union, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., told host Jake Tapper that "this deal violates promises the president made to the American people on multiple fronts. It is not an anytime, anywhere inspection process."

This issue also came up on the same day on CBS’s Face the Nation, when Secretary of State John Kerry said of anytime, anywhere inspections, "This is a term that, honestly, I never heard in the four years that we were negotiating. It was not on the table. There's no such thing in arms control as ‘anytime, anywhere.’ There isn't any nation in the world, none that has an anytime, anywhere. We always were negotiating was an end to the interminable delays that people had previously. "

On Rubio’s claim, we see two questions. First, does the Iran deal fall short of an "anytime, anywhere inspection process"? And second, did Obama promise that it would include an inspection regime that strict?

See what Louis Jacobson of PolitiFact found and see Rubio's full Truth-O-Meter record.

July 19, 2015

Poll: Jeb Bush leads Marco Rubio in Miami-Dade County -- even among Cuban-Americans

GOP 2016 Bush(3)


For Republicans in Miami-Dade County, the only place in the country that can boast two local entries in the 2016 presidential race, one favorite son is more favorite than the other, a new poll shows.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush leads U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio 35-25 percent among registered GOP voters, according to the public-opinion survey conducted by Bendixen & Amandi International for the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald. No other contender in the Republican field of 15 declared candidates cracked double digits in the poll of Miami-Dade, the most populous county in the nation’s largest swing state.

Perhaps the most surprising finding in the poll is that Bush is more popular than Rubio even among Cuban-American Republicans, by 43-31 percent — even though Rubio is the son of Cuban immigrants. The other Cuban American in the race, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, drew 7 percent support (so did “Undecided”).

“In spite of the fact that Jeb enjoys honorary Cuban status, he does that much better than the person who would be the first potential Cuban-American president of the United States,” pollster Fernand Amandi said. “It could be a very difficult number for Marco. When he can’t win over the heart of his base, what does that mean for his prospects of winning the primary in Florida?”

More here.

Photo credit: AP

July 18, 2015

Miami-Dade is key to presidential candidates’ fundraising

via @adamsmithtimes @learyreports @eli_mur

The story of Jeb Bush versus Marco Rubio in the Sunshine State, new presidential campaign finance reports show, is a tale of two cities.

First, look to Tallahassee to see which 2016 candidate the GOP establishment favors:

Former Gov. Bush, whose onetime aides, advisers and operatives dominate the lobbying corps centered in the Florida capital, outraised former House Speaker Rubio by 15-to-1, more than $198,000 to nearly $13,000, according to an analysis by the Tampa Bay Times.

Then look to Miami, where both candidates reside, to see how formidable a rival Rubio is to Bush:

Rubio raised $512,000 in Miami-Dade, the county where both men launched their presidential campaigns, nearly as much as Bush’s $557,000.

The reports detail donations to the actual campaign, which are capped at $2,700 for the primary and $2,700 for the general election. There again, Bush’s support from GOP elites is more apparent than his support from rank-and-file Republicans, who tend to make smaller donations.

“Marco’s done a great job over the last few years staying in touch with the base, and it’s paying off in small-dollar donations,” said Republican consultant John Wehrung.

More here.

July 16, 2015

In San Francisco, a Miamian asks Jeb Bush about gun policy

via @learyreports

SAN FRANCISCO – Brad Skaf is a new employee at Thumbtack in San Francisco. But the Miami native got a prime opportunity to ask Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush a question during his visit to the startup on Thursday.

Skaf, 27, praised Bush's record governor, citing education and immigration, but challenged him on background checks. “We have background checks in Florida and it's helpful," Bush replied.

The candidate went on to espouse a pro-gun stance and said the controversial “stand your ground” law he signed was not a factor in the Trayvon Martin shooting – at least not as a defense used by George Zimmerman.

Afterward, the Tampa Bay Times asked Skaf what he thought of Bush’s response, as well as Bush’s overall appeal and Marco Rubio’s argument that “yesterday’s” leaders should step aside for a new generation.