Previous month:
April 2012
Next month:
June 2012

May 2012

Is Marco Rubio really out as Veep?

RubiofinHe always said he did not want the job. And now, there is a hint that maybe the Mitt Romney camp is not interested in Marco Rubio.

This has caused quite the stir among Rubio supporters. It all stems from a single, damning sentence, deep inside a story by Politico: 

"Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who is not being as seriously considered as popularly believed because aides don’t see him as experienced enough or appropriately vetted."


Instead, Politico reporters  Mike Allen and Jim VanderHei write that the Romney campaign is determined to play it safe by finding a candidate without potential political baggage and the ability to become president if necessary.

How will team Rubio react? How will Republicans react? Will it matter? And more importantly, is Politico right? We bet they are. Read Politico's story and judge for yourself.

Follow us on Twitter @crowleyreport


Former Florida Congressman may enter GOP primary for Senate

is reporting that former Congressman Dave Weldon may enter the Florida GOP primary for U.S. Senate.

Whether or not Weldon actually enters the raise - he tells Politico that he will make a decision next week - it is another sign of the uneasiness some Republicans are feeling with the existing candidates.

“I have had a lot of people in Florida ask me to get in, including elected officials and special interest groups,” Weldon tell Politico. “They think I’d have a better shot at winning in November, beating Sen. Bill Nelson.”

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater recently toyed with the idea of enter the race which has already seen one candidate - Adam Hasner - drop out. Hasner decided his campaign was going nowhere and is now for a Palm Beach/Broward congressional seat.

Ex U.S. Senator George LeMieux, who was appointed to the job by former Gov. Charlie Crist, continues to have difficulty shedding his long relationship with Crist who is loathed by many of the Republicans who will be voting in the primary.

U.S. Rep. Connie Mack entered the race somewhat late but some thought he would quickly outpace LeMieux. That has not happened. LeMieux may be struggling but there is clearly discomfort with Mack who is the son of former Florida U.S. Sen. Connie Mack.

Mack has faced questions abouth is lifestyle, how much time he spends in Florida, and whether he is political acumen to be in the Senate.

More from Politico: "Weldon, who represented the east central coast of Florida from 1995 to 2008, was in Washington this week to make the rounds with conservative groups and put out feelers to GOP leaders. He has already retained political consultant John Brabender, the top adviser to Rick Santorum during his presidential bid."

Meanwhile, Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson just sits back and watches the chaos in the GOP senate race.

Go here for the must-read Politico story.

Follow us on Twitter @crowleyreport

Art by Patrick Crowley

Has Obama just lost Florida over gay marriage?

Florida can be slow to change. In 1969, the Florida Legislature ratified the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It was the 50th state to do so. The Amendment had become part of the Constitution in August 1920.

Women had been voting for nearly 50 years.

 This year is the 30th anniversary of the Florida Legislature's 1982 decision not to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

 Nov. 4, will be the fourth anniversary of Florida's passage of the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment - "This amendment protects marriage as the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife and provides that no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized."

 Nearly 62 percent of Florida voters supported the amendment.

It is against this socially conservative, political backdrop that Florida supporters of President Obama must weigh his decision to publicly support same-sex marriage.

Losing Florida will likely result in the White House being occupied by Republican Mitt Romney who opposes same-sex marriage. Where Romney may disappoint social conservatives is that no one believes that President Romney would do anything to stop gay marriages.

Continue reading "Has Obama just lost Florida over gay marriage?" »

Obama campaign starts two new ads in Florida

Floridians can be forgiven if they believe the presidential election is next week. Already, it seems like every third commercial on television is a campaign ad. Now, we have two new ads from the Obama campaign.

The first ad - Succeed - talks about the auto industry. 

The second ad - Reverse - is the weakest of the two ads. It uses a bar graph showing high employment that gradually improves because of Obama. An awful lot of Floridians remain unemployed or under-employed and will find little comfort in this ad.

On the other hand, Florida Gov. Rick Scott might want to join Obama in proclaiming that jobs for Floridians have increased under their watch.

Betcha that's not gonna happen.



U.S. Chamber begins ads opposing Nelson, Frankel and Grayson.

Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson may not yet know who will be his Republican rival in the general election - either Congressman Connie Mack or former interim U.S. Sen. George LeMieux - but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is making it clear they do not want Nelson to return Washington.

The Chamber folks feel the same way about Democrats Lois Frankel and Alan Grayson, both in congressional races,  who get their own ads. It's all part of a Chamber television ad campaign that begins today in Florida and a handful of other states.

Nelson is portrayed as the "deciding vote" for Obamacare which will "be a nightmare for Florida seniors."

Former Orlando Congressman Grayson is described as "reckless" and his "die quickly, Republicans want you to die quickly" quote is used in the ad. 

Frankel, who is taking her second shot at a congressional seat, is accused in her ad of pushing for a more extreme version of Obamacare. She supposedly wants government bureaucrats instead of your doctor taking care of your health needs.

Judge the ads for yourself.

Follow us on Twitter @crowleyreport





New LeMieux video asks where Connie Mack really lives

Questions about Republican U.S. Rep. Connie Mack's place of residence have become a staple of his opponents. His second wife, U.S. Rep. Mary Bono, lives in California. He lives in Florida. They both spend considerable time in Washington.

Mack insists he spends most of his spare time in Florida. In fact, Mack told that he was in California last year "maybe 11 days."

His rival for the GOP senate nomination, George LeMieux, has a new video that suggests that Mack is lying. LeMieux, who is in a fierce struggle to win the nomination, has so far been largely ignored by Mack.

Will Mack respond to this video? Not likely. But the issue is certain not to go away.



Follow us on Twitter @crowleyreport

A love affair with Marco Rubio


The story below originally appeared in Columbia Journalism Review:

By Brian E. Crowley

Much of the national media appears to be in love with Florida’s junior senator—Republican Marco Rubio. Back on March 23, Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post wrote about potential vice-presidential running mates for Republican nominee Mitt Romney and offered this gushing assessment:

The case for Rubio is simple and close to conclusive. He’s Hispanic, giving the GOP an opportunity to reestablish some sort of foothold in that electorally critical community. He’s from Florida, a major swing state. He’s a tea party favorite thanks to destruction of moderate Governor Charlie Crist in a Senate primary in 2010. And, he’s young; at 42 years old, Rubio is 23 years Romney’s junior. Rubio’s not perfect—we hear whispers that his time in the state legislature could be mined by a good opposition researcher—but he’s a clear number one choice in our Line.

Cillizza offered little that was new with this. He accepts the notion that some Hispanics will swoon just because Rubio is on the ticket. He is enamored by the fact that Rubio is young. (And note that Rubio is even younger than Cillizza thinks; he is 40, turning 41 on May 28.)

Cillizza also joins the chorus of those who believe Rubio could help Romney win Florida. Perhaps, but I suggest he read an impressive April analysis by Nate Silver of The New York Times, who concludes that running mates may have little impact on winning their home state. (Also, we humbly suggest that if there is information that could “be mined by a good opposition researcher” about Rubio’s state legislative record, perhaps the Post might want to put on its miner’s helmet.)

RubiofinWhen Rubio gave a foreign policy speech at the Brookings Institution, The Washington Post’s Karen DeYoung both fawned over Rubio and backhanded the GOP: Rubio, she wrote, “took another step onto the national stage Wednesday with a foreign policy speech that positioned him squarely in the middle between a dying breed of GOP moderates and his partisan brethren who have condemned President Obama as an international weakling.”

DeYoung offered no quotes from members of the “dying breed” or the “partisan brethren.” And had she talked to at least a few members of the “partisan brethren,” DeYoung may have discovered, as Politico did here that some foreign policy conservatives were unhappy with Rubio’s speech.

Continue reading "A love affair with Marco Rubio" »