February 02, 2011

Bitner answers Priebus on primary warning: We're working on it

Florida Republican Party new Chairman Dave Bitner heeded the words of the RNC's new chief Reince Priebus today, who urged Florida to push back its controversial early primary date, but issued this statement:

"We have been working for quite some time with the Legislature and doing everything in our power to comply with the RNC's rules,'' Bitner said in a statement. "We must also protect the state's ability to play an active role in selecting the Republican nominee."

October 18, 2010

Rubio to rally with Palin, tea partiers co-opted

Everett Wilkinson, chairman of the Florida Tea Party (not to be confused with the registered political party) has been planning a statewide, Oct. 23 rally at Orlando City Hall for at about one month.

Then Sarah Palin came along. She and the Republican National Committee announced a rally on -- you guessed it -- Oct. 23 -- at the Orlando World Center Marriott, about 15 miles away.


"If all the places that the RNC could have a rally, why did they pick the same place as mine?'' lamented Wilkinson. "We've been telling people they can come to our rally and help get out the vote and listen to patriots, or they can go to the other thing and pay to listen to politicians.'' 

General admission to the Palin rally is $20.10. Start time is 3 p.m. Senate nominee Marco Rubio will be there; no word yet from gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott The tea party rally is at noon, free and gets you Grover Norquist.

December 30, 2008

September 04, 2008

McCain: Drill new wells off shore and drill them now!

ST PAUL - The last night of the GOP convention is ending with the same rallying cry that has echoed here for days, "Drill, baby, drill."

The cheers came as John McCain promised "the most ambitious national project in decades.

"We are going to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much," he said to cheers. "We will attack the problem on every front. We will produce more energy at home. We will drill new wells offshore, and we'll drill them now. We will build more nuclear power plants. We will develop clean coal technology. We will increase the use of wind, tide, solar and natural gas. We will encourage the development and use of flex fuel, hybrid and electric automobiles."

Convention fashion, Florida style

Minnesota_249 ST. PAUL -- Orange scarves are soooo yesterday at the Republican National Convention.

It's Thursday, and tonight the Florida delegates will be waving a silky fabric of red, white and blue. "Florida likes to be unique,'' said Andreina Figueroa, pictured below with Viviana Bovo on her right and Nilda Pedrosa on her left.


Mel Martinez: "Only one man"

ST PAUL - Mel Martinez bashed Barack Obama for suggesting he'd meet with foreign leaders like Raul Castro -- without preconditions.

"Senator Obama is a relative newcomer on the national scene and an unproven quantity on the global stage, so, do we know what he stands for?," Martinez said. "First, he said he would meet with rogue leaders without condition, then he came to understand that is an unwise and dangerous approach to American leadership.

"First, he was for trade, then he was against NAFTA," Martinez said of Obama. "First, he was for a 'soft' response to the Russian invasion of the emerging democracy of Georgia, then he realized it warranted a more muscular response...only after John McCain led the way in standing up to Russian aggression.

"Is this what he means by "change we can believe in? It is not the kind of change we need from our President and Commander-in-Chief."

Continue reading "Mel Martinez: "Only one man"" »

Crist's taped address won't get air time at convention

Logistical hang-ups will make it impossible for Gov. Charlie Crist to get some GOP convention face time before the show stops tonight, said Crist advisor George LeMieux.

Crist was scheduled to address the crowd before the prime-time acceptance speech of John McCain, but with two more storms now churning in the Atlantic, Crist decided to stay in Tallahassee, close to the state Emergency Operations Center.

A last-ditch attempt to record Crist giving a video address got snagged by complications, LeMieux said from Minneapolis Thursday. "I begged him to fly up here. But he wouldn't do it,'' he said.

LeMieux, who earned the nickname "maestro" for managing Crist's successful campaign for governor in 2006, is disappointed at the lost opportunity. "There's nothing more that I would want than to have Charlie Crist at this convention because he's a national figure and I know he would be great,'' he said. "But Florida is Job One."

"Drill, baby, drill" and the Florida delegates

ST. PAUL - Florida Republicans are hobnobbing today with former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who it would seem has his eyes on Florida's coastline.

He started the "drill, baby, drill" call and response Wednesday that fired up the crowd in the convention hall: "So, do you want to put your country first?" Steele asked the crowd to cheers, "Then let's reduce our dependency on foreign sources of oil and promote oil and gas production at home. In other words, drill baby drill! And drill now!"

It'll be a different response Friday from Sen. Bill Nelson who is scheduled to deliver what his office bills as a "major energy policy speech" at the Forum Club of The Palm Beaches. Here's some of what he has to say and it isn't "drill, baby, drill."


He said he wants energy independence, but cautions "against listening to the misguided rhetoric and hollow chants like those heard on the floor of the Republican convention this week: 'Drill, baby, drill.'

"Such a seemingly swift and simple solution to high gas prices has no basis in reality.." Nelson said in remarks prepared for delivery. "More leasing will only delay America’s freedom from oil. And, if we do - 'drill, baby, drill' - we will dirty and destroy our state’s economy...More fundamentally – no matter what anybody says or writes – the U.S. has only three percent of the world’s oil reserves, while it uses nearly one-fourth of the world’s supply. That means we cannot drill our way out of this problem."

Martinez: I hope someone's watching tonight

ST. PAUL - Mel Martinez made his national debut at the GOP convention in New York 4 years ago -- but was all but ignored in Florida where hurricane weary residents were keeping an anxious eye on yet another storm.

Now with Hanna, Ike and Josephine churning, Martinez, who is to speak tonight, joked that he's hoping for a few viewers in the Sunshine state.

"Everyone was leaving the convention," Martinez said, referring to the Florida convention delegates who began leaving New York in droves ahead of his talk. "I hope for better weather tonight!"

Martinez said he'll speak about "America's place in the world" and McCain's suitability for leading the country.

Through thick and thin with McCain

MINNEAPOLIS -- Remember one year ago when John McCain seemed as likely to be the Republican nominee as Sarah Palin was likely to be a contender for vice president?

For a small circle of Floridians who stood by the Arizona senator even when everybody counted him out, the Republican National Convention is sweet vindication.

Fundraiser Ana Navarro remembers when McCain would fly in to Miami and no one from the media would show up at the airport. Or when she had to "beg, borrow and plead'' for $250 checks.

"When I think about where we were, and where we are now, it's surreal,'' said Navarro, who is staying at a hotel reserved for McCain's family and close friends. "It struck me last night when he came into the hall for the first time. I can't believe we are actually here."

Political consultant Carlos Curbelo worked for McCain in South Florida until his cash-poor campaign was forced to fire a slew of people last summer.

"This has to be one of the greatest comebacks in the history of politics,'' he said. "The campaign didn't just bottom out last year. It disappeared."