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

Patrick Murphy tries to turn Trump controversy against Marco Rubio


via @learyreports

Patrick Murphy is trying to raise money off Marco Rubio's "failure to stand up" to Donald Trump.

The Democrat issued a fundraising appeal Sunday that highlights that Rubio has not disavowed support for Trump, though Rubio did sharply criticize Trump's 2005 comments about women.

"This is a new low, even for Marco Rubio. Donald Trump is a threat to every value this country holds dear. Sen. Rubio’s cowardly failure to stand up to him shows that he’ll never stand up for Florida in the Senate," the fundraising letter reads.

Trump does present a problem for Rubio, who has been racing ahead of Murphy in fundraising terms as national Democrats have pulled back advertising.


Murphy speaks Spanish in latest ad, hitting Rubio on immigration


Patrick Murphy is going after Marco Rubio on immigration reform -- with a twist. In his latest TV ad, Murphy speaks directly to viewers in Spanish.

"On immigration, Marco Rubio and I are different," Murphy says in the new 30-spot. "I worked with President Obama on this topic while Sen. Rubio changed position. Now, he opposes immigration reform. Worse, Rubio supports Donald Trump. His plan would deport 800,000 children, destroying families."

Murphy's past Spanish-language political commercials have featured narrators other than himself. That's because he doesn't speak the language. But Rubio does, and that presents a challenge for Murphy, who polls show is still unknown among significant numbers of Hispanic voters, especially Spanish-dominant ones. Some might be willing to vote for him -- outside of Cuban Americans, Florida's Hispanics lean Democratic -- but they don't know who he is, 29 days removed from the election.

Cutting ads in languages in which candidates aren't fluent is always a political risk. Some voters might frown on politicians speaking words they don't understand. But others could also appreciate the effort it takes to reach them in their own language.

Murphy hired Freddy Balsera, an experienced political strategist from Miami, a couple of weeks ago specifically to help him reach Hispanic voters. Balsera advised the Obama campaign in 2008; Obama has been known to cut an ad or two in Spanish himself, though like Murphy he doesn't speak the language.

By using the immigration issue, Murphy gets to introduce himself and attack Rubio at the same time. Rubio was a member of the Gang of Eight that passed an immigration-reform bill in the Senate but not in the House. He has since said a comprehensive approach wouldn't work and favored piecemeal immigration legislation instead.

Rubio's campaign accused Murphy of "lying."

"Murphy's last-ditch efforts to appeal to Hispanics won't confuse the voters who know Marco Rubio's record of service on behalf of the Hispanic community, spokeswoman Olivia Perez-Cubas said.

This post has been updated with the statement from Rubio's campaign.

October 09, 2016

Poll: Clinton leads Trump by 3 points in Florida, Rubio leads Murphy by 2 points




A new poll out Sunday from NBC News, the Wall Street Journal and Marist finds Democrat Hillary Clinton edging out Republican Donald Trump in Florida, 45 percent to 42 percent, with nearly a month to go before Election Day.

Meanwhile, 5 percent of those surveyed in Florida supported Libertarian Gary Johnson and 3 percent favored Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

In a two-way contest, the poll found Clinton was far and away ahead of Trump among blacks (80 percentage-point lead), Latinos (36-point lead), young likely voters (32-point lead) and women (10-point lead). Trump led among men (7-point lead) and whites (19-point lead), particularly those without a college degree. His lead was only 4 percentage points among whites with a college degree, compared to 33 points for those without one, NBC said. (More here.)

The poll also gauged support in the U.S. Senate contest between Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Patrick Murphy. It's too close to call, with the poll finding Rubio ahead of Murphy by just 2 percentage points. Rubio had 48 percent support among those surveyed, compared to 46 percent for Murphy.

About 2 percent supported another candidate and 4 percent were undecided, the poll found. It did not include others on the ballot for the Senate race: Libertarian Paul Stanton or the four no-party affiliation candidates.

Rubio has consistently led Murphy by various margins in all polls since June.

Between Oct. 3-5, NBC/WSJ/Marist surveyed 979 registered Florida voters (with a margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points) and 700 likely Florida voters (with a margin of error of plus-minus 3.7 percentage points).

Image credit: NBC News

October 08, 2016

Rubio might have a big Trump problem

via @learyreports

As top Republicans on Saturday rescinded their support for Donald Trump or even called for him to leave the race, Sen. Marco Rubio was silent.

How long can Rubio keep up the increasingly odd two step?

Rubio condemned Trump’s words on Friday night, after his campaign initially said he was focused on the hurricane.

“Donald's comments were vulgar, egregious & impossible to justify,” Rubio wrote on Twitter as a cascade of condemnations flew from other Republicans. “No one should ever talk about any woman in those terms, even in private.”

Rubio says he stands by all the criticism he leveled in the presidential primary, the “con-man” taunts and a lot more. But he has has concluded he needs Trump — or needed him — to help him win re-election, so he’s been supportive while keeping a clear distance.

It hasn’t been pretty, but the dance has worked.

Now, if Trump begins to free fall in Florida, Rubio will lose an edge. Democrat Patrick Murphy’s struggling campaign saw an opportunity and was hammering Rubio Saturday to disavow his support for Trump.

“While prominent Republicans like Senators Mike Crapo and Kelly Ayotte have already withdrawn their endorsements, Marco Rubio issued a tweet with empty rhetoric and continues to stand by his choice for President,” the campaign said Saturday in a release.

“Marco Rubio claims he ran for reelection to serve as a check on the next President, even if the next President is his preferred candidate Donald Trump,” Murphy said. “But how can he serve as a check on a Trump Presidency if he won't even hold Trump accountable as a candidate? If Senator Rubio cannot withdraw his endorsement after this latest sickening news, then he should withdraw from the race."

It's still early to know the fallout but it was headed in a very bad direction for Trump -- and that could rub off on Rubio.

How long until he joins other Republicans in withdrawing support?

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

Photo credit: Associated Press

October 07, 2016

Emails show Clinton team impressed by Rubio

10072016_183228_rubionotes_8colvia @learyreports

Hacked emails from John Podesta reveal some close Clinton monitoring of Marco Rubio, including his presidential announcement speech on March 13, 2015.

"A few notes from the Rubio announcement," an aide tells the team. "He gives a good speech, and sounded much more reasonable, populist and accessible than much of the rest of the GOP field. Felt more like an inspiring Democratic speech than a GOP candidate, outside of foreign policy, repealing Obamacare and choice. Lots of references to "our generation" (I.e. Him and younger voters) vs. "their generation" (them being us, Jeb, his opponents, Washington). I assume we're sticking to leaving Rubio response to the DNC, but wanted to flag for anyone who didn't get the watch."

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

Univision poll: Clinton grows lead among Florida Hispanics

Campaign 2016 Debate

Hillary Clinton has grown her lead among Florida Hispanics in the past month, according to a new poll that for the first time shows the Democrat tied with Donald Trump among Republican-leaning Cuban Americans.

Latinos prefer Clinton by 58-28 percent, according to the new Univision poll, up from 52-29 percent in September. Libertarian Gary Johnson drew 4 percent, down 2 percentage points from last month, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein remained at 2 percent.

Clinton is now approaching the 60-percent threshold President Barack Obama hit with Florida Hispanics against Mitt Romney in 2012. Romney won 39 percent of them; Obama ended up winning the state by a single percentage point.

Part of the reason why: Clinton and Trump are dead even among Cuban Americans, with 41 percent support each. Exit polls in 2012 showed Obama and Romney essentially split that vote.

That’s a “tremendous disadvantage” for Republicans who have historically relied on older Cuban Americans in Florida, said Anthony Williams, special projects director at the Coconut Grove-based Bendixen & Amandi International, which helped conduct the poll.

“As the historic exiles are unfortunately dying off, they’re being replaced by Cuban Americans who were born in the United States — who are much more progressive in their politics,” he said.

Last week, Newsweek reported Trump’s hotel and casino company broke the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba in 1998 — a potentially serious problem for exile hardliners who fiercely back the embargo. Clinton has already hit Trump over the revelation in Florida radio ads in English and Spanish.

Trump visited Miami's Little Havana neighborhood two weeks ago to meet with a small group of Cuban Americans. But they were invited guests who had already been persuaded to vote for him, not undecided voters typically courted by presidential nominees ahead of a general election. Trump has yet to run a single political ad in Spanish.

Bendixen & Amandi and The Tarrance Group surveyed 400 registered voters in English and Spanish from Sept. 26-Oct. 4. The poll’s error margin is plus-or-minus 4.9 percentage points.

The survey also found Patrick Murphy and Marco Rubio essentially tied among Hispanics in the U.S. Senate race, with Murphy edging Rubio by 46-45 percent. Last month, Rubio led by 46-39 percent. Murphy would likely still need a bigger margin among Hispanics — who outside of Cuban Americans tend to vote Democratic — to defeat the Republican incumbent.

More here.

Photo credit: David Goldman, Associated Press

October 06, 2016

In new ad in Spanish, Rubio responds to Murphy attack


Marco Rubio's U.S. Senate campaign is airing a new TV ad in Spanish countering Democratic rival Patrick Murphy, who has been hitting the Republican incumbent on his opposition to abortion rights.

The new 30-second Rubio features a shot of the Murphy ad and then says "FALSE."

"Patrick Murphy is one of the most ineffective members of Congress," the ad begins. "He's lied about his experience. He hasn't worried about our issues. And now he lies about Marco Rubio, when Marco has been there for us.

"A national security expert. Working on education reform. Fighing for fewer taxes. And defending the cause of liberty," the narrator says.

Rubio then speaks straight to the camera: "I'm Marco Rubio, and I approve this message because you know me."