October 13, 2016

Pro-Murphy groups plan UCF rally ahead of Monday's first U.S. Senate debate

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Political groups and voters supporting Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy say they are planning a rally for Monday evening prior to Murphy's first debate against Republican incumbent Marco Rubio at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

UCF students will join activists from several pro-Murphy groups, such as For Florida’s Future, America’s Voice, Working American Coalition PAC and iAmerica Action, according to a press release announcing the event. The rally is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. near the university's Alumni Center.

Murphy and Rubio will debate beginning at 7 p.m. The event will be broadcast statewide and streamed online. It's the first of two scheduled debates before Election Day, although a third debate is possible.

Photo credit: Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post

Leaked Clinton campaign email: 'I'm beginning to worry more about Rubio than the others'

via @learyreports

More signs the Clinton campaign feared Marco Rubio. Another email surfaces in the WikiLeaks hack of John Podesta.

"I’m beginning to worry more about Rubio than the others," pollster Joel Benenson wrote in a February 2015 email to Clinton's team. "He’s playing this very smart – only one who didn’t duck like a chicken shit on the Q of whether POTUS loves America. He has stronger right wing cred than Jeb and he’s finding a way to the middle enough for now and he will be the most exciting choice to Republicans. Could pose a real threat with Latinos etc."

In another email, Clinton's team was left impressed by Rubio's presidential announcement speech.


Liberal super PAC will troll Rubio with digital billboard at Rubio, Trump events


Marco Rubio won't be at Donald Trump's West Palm Beach rally Thursday. But a digital billboard with his name on it will.

"Rubio is scared to be seen with Trump," says one of the messages that will be sent by American Bridge, a liberal super PAC.

The group isn't only targeting Trump's supporters with its anti-Rubio message. It's also sending a digital billboard to a Rubio event in Boca Raton.

"Hey Marco!" reads one of those messages. "Your buddy Donald Trump is half an hour away. Why won't you be on stage with him?"

Rubio said Tuesday he's standing by  his Trump endorsement despite an "Access Hollywood" tape from 2005 showing Trump boasting about forcing himself on women. That was before several women came forward Wednesday to say Trump groped them without their consent.

October 12, 2016

Florida GOP strategist, voting for Hillary Clinton, still supports Marco Rubio for Senate


Veteran GOP strategist Mac Stipanovich has been talking for a couple of days now about his decision to vote for Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump, but on CNN this morning, Stipanovich said he's still voting for Marco Rubio in Florida's U.S. Senate race -- even though Rubio is standing by Trump in the wake of leaked footage showing Trump making lewd comments about women.

"I'm not too proud of Marco," Stipanovich told CNN in a telephone interview from Tallahassee.

He said Rubio "is not exactly a profile in courage" for maintaining his endorsement of Trump, after newly released "Access Hollywood" footage showed Trump making the now-infamous remarks in which he boasted about groping women without their consent.

But Stipanovich said maintaining a Republican majority in the Senate is vital, so that's why Rubio will get his vote in Florida's race. Rubio faces Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy, a congressman from Jupiter.

Rubio said in a statement Tuesday that he has "consistently rejected [Trump's] offensive rhetoric and behavior" but he maintains his endorsement for him.

"I wish we had better choices for president. But I do not want Hillary Clinton to be our next president. And therefore my position has not changed," Rubio added.

Before Rubio re-affirmed his support for Trump, Stipanovich first told public radio on Monday that he was going to split the ticket and cast his ballot for Clinton and Rubio.

Murphy says he accepted Univision debate invitation Rubio agreed to a month ago

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After agreeing to only two televised U.S. Senate debates against Republican incumbent Marco Rubio, Democrat Patrick Murphy says he’s open to at least one more: a Univision-sponsored debate in Miami.

Murphy’s campaign — which has escalated its Hispanic outreach since late September — announced Wednesday morning that the Jupiter congressman had accepted a weeks-old invitation from Univision for a “Spanish-language debate.”

But Murphy — who isn’t fluent in the language — doesn’t want the debate to actually be in Spanish.

The campaign said Murphy “has requested that the debate be conducted in English and then dubbed in Spanish, like the 2014 [gubernatorial] debate between Rick Scott and Charlie Crist, in order to ensure a fair playing field for both candidates.”

Rubio, who is Cuban-American, is fluent in Spanish and would be likely to speak in that language before a Hispanic viewing audience, as he has in previous debates.

More here.

Photo credit: Richard Graulich / AP/The Palm Beach Post

Rubio gets 'zero' from gay rights group, but other Florida Republicans score far better

via @learyreports

Sen. Marco Rubio’s support for LGBT issues declined in recent years, according to scoring by Human Rights Campaign.

The group has released its rankings for the 114th Congress and Rubio scored a zero. That was down from 22 percent in the 113th Congress and 47 percent in the 112th.

Human Rights Campaign based its current report on several issues, including a budget amendment from Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, that would have ensured same-sex couples have access to Social Security and veterans benefits.

Rubio also voted against a failed amendment from Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, that included LGBTQ non-discrimination protections or runaway and homeless youth programs. In a couple instances, Rubio missed votes that group scored.

Rubio’s score was higher the previous year because he voted against an amendment to the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 striking provisions prohibiting discrimination against victims of domestic violence based on sexual orientation as well as eliminating protections relating to Native American and immigrant victims. He voted against a similar amendment the year before.

Continue reading "Rubio gets 'zero' from gay rights group, but other Florida Republicans score far better" »

October 11, 2016

Rubio stands by Trump

GOP 2016 Debate (1)

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Tuesday he’s not revoking his endorsement of Donald Trump, despite Trump’s lewd and vulgar comments in a 2005 recording about groping women without their consent.

“I ran against Donald Trump. And while I respect that voters chose him as the GOP nominee, I have never hesitated to oppose his policies I disagree with,” Rubio said in a statement. “And I have consistently rejected his offensive rhetoric and behavior. I disagree with him on many things, but I disagree with his opponent on virtually everything.

“I wish we had better choices for President. But I do not want Hillary Clinton to be our next President. And therefore my position has not changed.”

More here.

Photo credit: Associated Press

October 10, 2016

Marco Rubio accuses Patrick Murphy of 'lying' using example that's actually true


In a new Spanish-language ad, Marco Rubio uses this image of a headline -- taken from an ad by his Democratic opponent, Patrick Murphy -- as an example of a "false" claim by Murphy. However, as the headline reads, Rubio did tell Politico he doesn't support abortions for women infected with Zika. Marco Rubio campaign / YouTube.


In a new Spanish-language ad, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio accuses his Democratic challenger, Patrick Murphy, of lying -- but the specific example Rubio's ad uses to back that up is actually a true statement about one of the Republican incumbent's policy positions.

Rubio's new ad gives an example of a "false" claim by Murphy as being that Rubio opposes abortions for women infected with the Zika virus. But Rubio, who is stridently pro-life, has said himself he opposes them.

Murphy's campaign said Rubio is either "lying" in his new ad by calling Murphy's claim "false" or he must have quietly changed his position.

"It’s a fact that Rubio has stood with the far-right and is wholly opposed to a woman’s right to choose," Murphy campaign spokeswoman Galia Slayen said. "Either Rubio added his pro-life stance to his long list of flip-flops and forgot to let voters know, or he is brazenly lying to Florida families. Either way, Floridians deserve answers."

Rubio's campaign launched the ad in question last week and further promoted it Monday. As a narrator says Murphy "lies" about Rubio, viewers see a Politico headline on screen that reads (in Spanish) "Marco Rubio: No abortions for Zika-infected women," followed by a stamp of "False" across an image of Murphy.

As Murphy's campaign points out, Rubio said publicly he doesn't support abortions for women infected with Zika. He told Politico specifically: "When you present it in the context of Zika or any prenatal condition, it’s a difficult question and a hard one. But if I’m going to err, I’m going to err on the side of life."

Rubio campaign spokeswoman Olivia Perez-Cubas would not explain to the Herald/Times how Rubio can claim this attack by Murphy is "false."

In a statement Monday, Perez-Cubas said Murphy has "repeatedly distorted Marco's record" and then she attacked Murphy for his "extreme left-wing positions" in supporting abortion. She offered no direct rebuttal to Slayen's either/or accusation.

The image in Rubio's ad came from Murphy's first Spanish-language ad. (Murphy allies have also used the same headline in ads attacking Rubio.)

Here's the Rubio ad in question:

*This post has been updated with comment from Rubio's campaign.

Congress more stingy on providing disaster relief than it once was


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The final damage tally from Hurricane Matthew across Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas isn't yet known, but it’s certain those states will ask Congress for billions in disaster aid.

President Barack Obama, after speaking with their governors, suggested that he’ll be seeking emergency funds for damage from Matthew and earlier storms when lawmakers convene after the Nov. 8 election, and Gov. Rick Scott and Sen. Marco Rubio said Florida was certain to seek assistance.

“While the state has yet to commence an assessment of damage due to unsafe conditions remaining in many areas, we must be prepared for the long road of recovery ahead,” Rubio wrote Friday in a letter backing up a request from Scott that Obama declare Matthew a “major disaster” for his state, a designation that would allow it to seek more emergency aid from Washington.

For more, read here.

Photo credit: Pedro Portal, El Nuevo Herald


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article106789687.html#storylink=cpy


Murphy continues to rail against Rubio for 'silently standing by' Trump



Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy continued on Monday to pressure Republican incumbent Marco Rubio to drop his support for Donald Trump, after an 11-year-old video surfaced Friday that showed the Republican presidential nominee bragging about groping women by their genitals.

Rubio sent a tweet late Friday condemning Trump's recorded comments as "vulgar, egregious and impossible to justify," but he hasn't gone as far as other Republicans in withdrawing his endorsement of Trump.

In a morning call with reporters, Murphy said Rubio needs to do more to "stand up to Trump" instead of "silently standing by" while Trump "boasts about sexually assaulting women."

More here.

Photo credit: Walt Michot / Miami Herald