November 10, 2015

When Jeb praised Marco


Looks like Marco Rubio's campaign was waiting for juuuust the right moment to deploy a video montage of the times Jeb Bush praised his friend as a great presidential prospect.

The moment came Tuesday morning, ahead of the evening's debate and after the New York Times published a report suggesting Bush allies were preparing to put real money behind attacking Rubio.

Rubio's team turned to the videotape to use Bush's own words against him.


Marco Rubio spent taxpayer money to renovate Florida House, Democrats say

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio railed against taxes during his career in Florida politics, but his presidential campaign has been facing accusations that he has a long history of being a spendthrift with other people’s money.

The Florida Democratic Party posted a message Nov. 5, 2015, on Facebook about Rubio’s financial habits as incoming speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.

"Remember that time Marco Rubio spent $400K of your tax dollars remodeling offices, and building a members-only lounge? We do," the post read. It included a link to a 2010 Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald story about Rubio’s use of a Republican Party of Florida credit card.

It’s common for incoming speakers to spruce up the chambers as they see fit, so we wondered if Rubio really spent $400,000 for renovations and a new lounge.

See what Joshua Gillin of PolitiFact Florida found.

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.

Sign of things to come? Pro-Ted Cruz super PAC blasts Marco Rubio over immigration

via @learyreports

A super PAC supporting Ted Cruz has produced this radio ad blasting Marco Rubio for his role in authoring the Senate's comprehensive immigration bill.

We all loved how Marco Rubio took apart Jeb Bush in the debate. Wasn’t it great? But what’s Rubio ever done? Anything? Other than his Gang of Eight Amnesty bill, can anyone think of anything Marco Rubio’s ever done? Anything at all besides amnesty? Marco Rubio looks good on TV, but that’s about it. Ted Cruz for President. Ted Cruz walks tall for what we believe. Standing up. Often standing alone. Ted Cruz makes things happen. After Sandy Hook, Ted Cruz stopped Obama’s push for new gun control laws. Obama’s plan to stop Israel flights amounted to an economic boycott. Ted Cruz stopped it. And when Chuck Schumer and Marco Rubio tried to push amnesty, it was Ted Cruz who stopped them. Rubio or Cruz? Which one do you trust?

The ad is to air in Iowa. There's a growing sense that Rubio and Cruz are headed toward confrontation over direction of the GOP.


--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

November 07, 2015

Marco Rubio lists missing personal charges on Florida GOP credit card


Marco Rubio disclosed on Saturday the personal expenses he made on a Republican Party of Florida American Express card from 2005-06, two years of spending that had not been made public when he ran for U.S. Senate in 2010.

Story here.

Here are the expenses, according to a statement from his campaign:

Las Vegas Trip: There were two personal charges on this trip – one for hotel, the other for car rental. Rubio was in Nevada for political business and extended his trip for personal reasons, given that he has relatives living there. He paid American Express directly for his portion of the charges he incurred on the trip. These charges were made during the billing period that closed on August 16, 2005, and paid by Rubio during the following billing period.

​Rubio paid $1,745.00 in the following billing period while the RPOF paid the $3,343.58 for days he stayed at the same hotel for party business. ​

Iberia Tiles: The largest charge from the previously unreleased statements was a charge of $3,756.24 made on October 16, 2005. A personal payment for this full amount was made the following month by Rubio to American Express on November 15, 2005. Rubio has already written about this charge in 2012. This charge was made during the billing period that closed on October 16, 2005 and paid by Rubio during the following billing period.

​Rubio paid $3,756.24 to cover the expense in the next billing period.

Braman Honda: There were two personal charges to Braman Honda, a full service auto dealership and repair shop near Rubio’s West Miami home. The first was in the amount of $500 on May 12, 2006; a personal payment was made in this exact amount to American Express within weeks on June 3, 2006. A second charge of $99.45 was made on May 19, 2006 and paid soon thereafter as well.

Hoop It-Kick It-Let: On December 7, 2005 Rubio charged $180 to this children’s sports activity center; the following month, a personal payment for this full amount was made by Rubio to American Express on January 14, 2006


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