Gov. Rick Scott will speak at the Republican National Committee in Broward County next week.
The RNC will hold it's spring meeting at the swanky oceanside Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood starting Wednesday. The RNC has not yet released a schedule of events but several Florida politicians are expected to attend the event including Republican Party of Florida chairman State Rep. Blaise Ingoglia. Scott's political consultant Melissa Sellers confirmed that Scott will speak.
The RNC committees could discuss rules related to the July presidential convention in Cleveland -- the first potentially brokered convention in decades.
Republicans will be meeting in the county with the highest number of registered Democratic voters in the state: Broward has about 560,000 registered Democrats.
With most political enthusiasts' attention riveted on the divisive GOP presidential race, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is urging the Democratic White House hopefuls to tone down their rhetoric.
Wasserman Schultz, who lives in Weston when she isn't in Washington or traveling the country as head of the Democratic National Committee, was asked about the increasingly sharp attacks against each other in recent days by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
"I think both campaigns really need to be careful about making sure that we don't do lasting damage," Wasserman Schultz told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" program Friday morning. "I don't think we're at that point, but I think it is important to be careful that at the end of the primary process, when we have a presumptive nominee, that we're able to easily reunify."
In advance of the April 19 primary in New York, which Clinton represented for six years as a U.S. senator before heading the State Department, Clinton has challenged Sanders' allegiance to the Democratic Party and questioned his preparedness to be president.
On Wednesday, Clinton told MSNBC that Sanders "himself doesn't consider himself to be a Democrat." Sanders, who lists his party for Senate votes as Independent but caucuses with Democrats, has at various times in his career described himself as a Socialist or a Democratic Socialist.
Clinton also criticized Sanders' repeated presidential campaign calls to break up big banks, again comparing her record as a pragmatist who gets things done.
"You can't really help people if you don't know how to do what you are campaigning on saying you want to do," Clinton said.
Sanders responded that night at a rally in Philadelphia.
"She has been saying lately that she thinks I am quote-unquote 'not qualified to be president,'" Sanders declared. "Let me just say in response to Secretary Clinton, I don't believe that she is qualified if she is, though her super PAC, taking tens of millions of dollars in special-interest funds. I don't think you are qualified if you have voted for the disastrous war in Iraq. I don't think you are qualified if you support the Panama free trade agreement."
Clinton didn't actually say the phrase Sanders attributed to her about his lack of qualifications, but that phrase or similar ones ran in headlines in some news accounts of her comments.
Despite the sharp exchanges, Wasserman Schultz said it doesn't compare to "the food fight and the civil war that continues to rage on the Republican side."
Wasserman Schultz, who some Sanders supporters have accused of favoring Clinton in the Democratic race, also said that Clinton and then-Sen. Barack Obama had a more hard-hitting contest in their presidential primary campaign in 2008.
"Right now I would characterize the tenor and tone of this party to be nothing like the intensity of where we (Democrats) were eight years ago in 2008 between then-Sens. Clinton and Obama," she said.
After Obama gained the Democratic nomination in that primary race and then defeated Sen. John McCain to gain the White House, he chose Clinton as secretary of state. The two established a close relationship, and she has been trumpeting his achievements during her current run.
On the Republican side, billionaire businessman Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz have been engaged in a nasty war of words for weeks, with the fight intensifying two weeks ago when the Republican front-runner tweeted an unflattering photograph of Cruz's wife Heidi Cruz.
Gov. Rick Scott hasn't written off one of his famous predecessor's chances of becoming president.
Scott, in Washington to deliver an address on reforming hospital pricing practices at the American Enterprise Institute, put on his politics hat after the talk.
Scott, governor since 2011, said it's too soon to give up on former Gov. Jeb Bush despite his failure to gain traction in polls.
"I still think it's early," Scott told the Miami Herald. "I mean, we haven't even done the first primary yet."
Scott said that Bush "was a very successful governor" when he headed the state from 1999 to 2007, noting in particular his education reforms.
"We're at a 12-year high in our K-12 graduation rate," Scott said.
Adding that "Jeb is working hard," Scott said, "The person that works the hardest generally wins."
Despite praising Bush's record in Florida, Scott declined to endorse him. Neither is he endorsing -- yet -- fellow Floridian Marco Rubio, the first-term U.S. senator, nor any of the other Republican presidential hopefuls.
"Like a lot of voters in Florida, I'm watching the candidates," the governor said.
Four days before the Feb.1 Iowa caucuses, Bush tallied just 4 percent in a NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll of that state's Republican voters released Thursday. He was far behind businessman Donald Trump and U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio of Florida, while also trailing neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
Bush is faring better in New Hampshire, which will hold its primary Feb. 9, according to a poll released Thursday by Suffolk University. Bush broke out of the single digits with 11 percent, putting him in a second-place tie with Cruz, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Rubio, with all four men well behind Trump's 27 percent standing.
In addition to Bush, Scott said he has personal relationships with Rubio, along with Kasich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie through the Republican Governors Association.
Scott criticized the Republican National Committee for having scheduled just nine presidential debates this year.
"I wish the national party hadn't limited the number of debates and limited the locations," he said.
The RNC is weighing three additional possible Republican presidential debates.
The March 10 GOP debate will be at the University of Miami, nine days after Super Tuesday, when 14 states will hold Republican primaries or caucuses. Florida will hold its primary on March 15.
Scott declined to comment directly on Trump's decision to skip Thursday night's Fox News debate because of his ongoing feud with Megyn Kelly, one of its moderators.
"Every candidate's got to think about what's the best forum for them to get their message out, whether it's debates, whether it's town halls," Scott said.
The Democratic National Convention had its Clint Eastwood.
His name: Antonio Villaraigosa.
Like Eastwood arguing onstage with an empty chair at the GOP
convention, Villaraigosa provided an unscripted moment that led to
mockery and political trouble.
Specifically, the Democratic convention chairman messed up a political
no-brainer: rewording the party platform to reinsert a reference to God
and another concerning Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The language got in the platform.
But it took three chaotic voice votes, all called by a flat-footed
Villaraigosa — the mayor of Los Angeles — who was caught grinning in
confusion after a surprising number of Democratic delegates repeatedly
shouted “No!” on the convention floor as TV cameras rolled.
Suddenly, a pro-forma vote that normally garners relatively little
negative attention turned into drama. Lots of drama. It was satirized
roundly on the liberal-leaning The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
A needless and unforced error, it was a gift to Republicans. Just as
Eastwood’s performance allowed Democrats to try to cast the GOP as a
party of angry old white guys, the Jerusalem issue allowed Republicans
to try to cast the Democrats as too hostile to Israel.
fellow Californian Eastwood, Villaraigosa refused to acknowledge any
error. “Not one person objected. It’s more a media concern than a
delegate concern. I can tell you this — the president of the United
States said, ‘Wow.’ The president said, ‘You showed why you were
speaker of the California Assembly,’” Villaraigosa later told The Los
Angeles Times. “The president, the vice president, Mrs. Obama, all of
them acknowledged the decisive way I handled that.”
Did the president say “Wow!” or “Wow?”
way Villaraigosa managed the situation gives an indication of why
California is so messed up. And if Obama thought he did a great job, it
speaks volumes about Illinois and the Democratic Party in general —
especially when it comes to handling Jewish voters.
least, the incident underscores the needless political risk the party
took in omitting Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/09/09/2993488/empty-chair-vs-empty-suit.html#storylink=cpy
TAMPA _ Former Florida governor Jeb Bush used his prime time spotlight at the Republican National Convention Thursday to pass a symbolic torch to his party’s nominees, defend his brother, and urge the nation to rededicate its promise of an equal education.
“If we want to continue to be the greatest nation on the planet, we must give our kids what we promise them: An equal opportunity,’’ he said, opening the third night of the GOP’s three-day pep rally. “That starts in the classroom. It starts in our communities. It starts where you live.”
Bush spent most of his 15-minute speech focused on the need to reform education, an issue he has devoted himself to since he retired as governor in 2007. Working through the Foundation for Excellence in Education, he has pushed for expanding school choice and classroom accountability.
But before he began his prepared remarks, he said he had to get something off his chest – the defense of his brother, former President George W. Bush.
“He is a man of integrity, courage and honor and during incredibly challenging times, he kept us safe,’’ he said to loud applause. “So Mr. President [Obama], Mr. President, it is about time to stop blaming your predecessor for your failed economic policies .. In the fourth year of your presidency, a real leader would accept responsibility for his actions and you haven’t done it.”
PALM HARBOR _ Maybe the spicy chorizo sausage woke up Florida's delegates, but New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie brought them to their feet Thursday morning as he delighted the crowd with his comical story-telling and blunt-talking admonitions.
“I don’t think our convention needs to be about making the case for Barack Obama. The case has been made against Barack Obama,” he said. Republicans must persuade voters they are '"the party of big ideas," and can-do leaders, he said, and counter the people who have become cynical and say "it doesn’t matter who you vote for, they’re all the same.’’
Christie repeated many of the themes of his Prime Time convention speech from Tuesday night and urged the party faithful to "do the big things," "tell the truth" and communicate a broad message.
That message, he said, should not sugar coat. "We can’t any longer just whistle a happy tune to folks because the public is a lot smarter than the politicians give them credit for.”
He listed the GOP state leaders who have made a difference, Govs. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Rick Snyder of Michigan, Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Susana Martinez of New Mexico. (Notably absent from his list was Gov. Rick Scott of Florida.)
By contrast, he said, Obama doesn't know how to lead and instead comes across "like a guys walking around in a dark room searching for the light switch of leadership."
He drew peels of laughter from the crowd when he described how Mitt and Ann Romney came to visit on short notice last October, in search of Christie's endorsement. The couple scrambled to clean the house and "have the talk" with their four kids. When the Romney's arrived, their middle child, 12-year-old Patrick, greeted them on roller blades, practically careening into Mitt while their 9-year-old daughter, Bridget, competed for attention by showing off her gymnastics in the year.
Romney engaged the kids, spoke to them with sincerity and won Christie over with his heart. "He's characterized so unfairly as a CEO, reserved, a person who doesn't show his heart,'' he said. "My kids were drawn to him and if I had any doubt in my mind who I was going to endorse after his interaction with my two children I had no doubt left."
"The one thing you can’t get on a resume is what’s in here,’’ he said, patting his heart.
The crowd loved it and, as Christie left, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam had to pause the morning program as people rushed to the stage to shake Christie's hand and get a photo. "The Boss is in the house," Putnam joked. "But he has to leave to get to the South Carolina delegation,'' he said, referring to New Jersey's other famous son, Bruce Springsteen.
Christie's remarks were preceded by speeches from U.S. Rep. Allan West, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and followed by Republican Senate candidate and U.S. Rep. Connie Mack and Newt Gingrich.
Ron Paul supporters walked out en masse from the Republican National Convention late Wednesday in protest of a rule change by Republican officials that removed some of Maine’s delegates in an attempt to suppress the group’s movement.
Chanting, “As Maine goes, so goes the nation,’’ about 200 delegates and supporters marched around the perimeter of the Tampa Bay Times Forum and out the door as U.S. Sen. John McCain gave his prepared remarks to the convention.
“We aren’t coming back,’’ said Brandon Wilkerson of Virginia. “We are trying to show the audience and rule committee that mitt Romney eliminating duly elected delegates does not win the nomination and will not win the November election.’’
The protest was barely noticed inside the convention hall as the party faithful continued a well-scripted night aimed at attacking President Barack Obama,that was to culminate in a speech by vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.
The son of a Cuban immigrant bartender and maid, Marco Rubio stands on the biggest stage of his life Thursday when he introduces himself – and the Republican presidential nominee -- to the nation.
It’s a dream fulfilled. And deferred.
The freshmen Florida Senator from West Miami said he’s grateful for the high-profile spot. But Rubio not-so-secretly wanted more: the vice-presidential slot on Mitt Romney’s ticket or the keynote address at the Republican National Convention.
Rubio, whose sites are ultimately on the White House, got the next best thing: the introduction of Romney on a night when nearly everyone who wants to vote for president is watching. Story here.
Attorney General Pam Bondi teamed up with the Georgia attorney general for a two-person, six-minute rope-a-dope on Barack Obama Wednesday in the second night of the Republican National Convention.
Bondi’s debut on the Prime Time national stage was a carefully scripted warning to the party faithful, suggesting that liberties will be lost if the president is re-elected and she renewed a call to repeal Obamacare.
“The President can't bring himself to acknowledge publicly that the only reason his ‘Unaffordable Care Act’ still stands - is because it is a tax,’’ Bondi said. “This is what happens when a President has such total disregard for our individual liberty that he knowingly and purposely imposes unwarranted restrictions against the will of the people.”
Bondi was joined on stage with Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens, two of the 26 states that challenged the federal health care law that the U.S. Supreme Court partially validated in June.
Their low-key presentation connected with the crowd, however, when they asked a series of questions:
“Do you want skyrocketing health insurance premiums?,'' Bondi asked. "No," the crowd shouted.
"Do you want enormous new financial burdens on young people who already shoulder our nation's crushing debt?,'' Olen asked. "No,'' the crowd answered.
“Do you want the government to force individuals and religious institutions to violate the tenets of their faith?,'' Bondi asked. "No,'' the crowd said again.
Olens acknowledged that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law with the vote of Chief Justice John Roberts and Republicans “fundamentally disagree with his decision,’’ but, he added, “Chief Justice Roberts did observe that it is not the Supreme Court's ‘job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.’”
Bondi then said: “It is our job to make a new choice. It is time to repeal Obamacare! It is time to stop those who ignore the Constitution when it's expedient!”
Bondi was scheduled to finish the evening on Fox News, as a guest on the 11:30 p.m. edition of Greta Van Susteren’s show, On the Record.
As Mitt Romney delivers his acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday evening, a group of Miami residents and activists are planning a protest.
From the 1Miami press release:
The residents, representing working families across the city, reject the economic plan put forth by Romney because it gives massive tax breaks to the wealthy while placing a bigger burden on the middle class.
“We’re going to start a march from Bain owned stores because they foreshadow the economy Romney wants to create,” said Eric Brakken, director of 1Miami. “He always gloats about how successful his business career was with Bain, but the truth is he and his billionaire buddies created minimum wage jobs while simultaneously killing good jobs or outsourcing them. This is not the economic recovery Americans have in mind!”
Activists are upset with Romney’s economic proposals and they intend to show their displeasure as they march from a shopping plaza filled with three Bain owned stores to his campaign headquarters on SW 8th St. and SW 87th Ave, where they will deliver the message that they won’t stand for a Romney Economy.