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November 2015

Christie says Paris attacks are evil visited on innocent people

Terrorist attacks in Paris, became nearly the entire theme of Chris Christie's speech to the Florida Republican Sunshine Summit.

The New Jersey governor and presidential candidate began by recounting his experiences with the 911 attacks. "For me terrorism is not theoretical. I went to the funerals. I saw the carnage," he said.

Today, the attacks in Paris have caused him to, "fear as a nation we have begun to lose our focus" on national security needs, he said.

"We have seen evil visited on innocent people once again," said Christie. "Our outrage must turn into action and resolve."

He said border security must be enhanced because, "We must never allow this cult of evil to take hold or live among us."

Christie was sharply critical of President Obama, saying, "On a day like this we all see the desperate need for strong leadership."

He also blasted Obama for his handling of immigration laws.

"I will not pick the laws I like and ignore the ones I don't," said Christie. ""My presidency will never look like an imperial presidency like the one we have right now."

"I'm tested. I'm ready," to be president, he said.

"The world is desperate for a strong, secure, tested," president, he said. "The hour is too late for people to be trained."


Rand Paul suggests Marco Rubio has made us less safe

Rand Paul blamed Marco Rubio for blocking an amendment to add "trust and verify" to an immigration bill that would have made it easier to check the backgrounds of people visiting the United States or getting student visas to come here.

"One lesson from the tragedy in Paris is that we have to be extraordinarily careful about who comes here," Paul said to cheers.

He reminded the audience that some of "those who came and attacked us on 911 were here on student visas."

Paul said as a result of that, he pushed to add a "trust and verify" amendment to the immigration bill that would require fingerprinting and background checks of people entering the country.

"Your Senator, Marco Rubio, opposed me," said Paul.

He said Rubio and New York Democrat Chuck Schumer had a secret pact that blocked amendments such as his. 

Other highlights from his speech:

Paul sharply criticized Hillary Clinton's role in Benghazi.

"By her inaction, by her dereliction of duty she should forever be banned from being commander-in-chief."

"We continue to give billions of dollars of our money, it's not even our money we borrow it from China, to give to Pakistan."

"Can we go further into debt or will it harm us as a country? This is a debate we need to have."


Jindal tells Florida GOP attack in Paris is attack on all free people

Bobby Jindal found fewer people at the Florida Republican Party's Sunshine Summit but those there applauded his call to "secure our borders" to help prevent terrorist attacks like those in Paris.

"We need to keep the people of France in our thoughts and prayers," said Jindal. "This is an attack on free people everywhere."

Jindal said it is  "Time for us to secure our borders and keep us safe from these radicals."

Other highlights from his speech:

"This politically incorrect nonsense has got to stop."

"We're losing our First Amendment religious rights as well."

"The United States did not create religious liberty, religious liberty created the United States of America."

"My parents came here 45 years ago in search of freedom and opportunity."

"My parents, when they came to this country they came legally."

"We have to put an end to sanctuary cities.'

"I'm tired of this divider-in-chief in the White House."

"If you want to come to America come legally, learn English."

"If somebody doesn't want to be an American, don't come to America."


"I am angrier at the Republicans in D.C. than the Democrats in D.C."


Jeb Bush tells Florida Republicans the campaign is not about big personalities

Jeb Bush told a packed gathering of Florida Republicans that the presidential election is "not about the big personalities on the stage."

Giving an energetic verbal resume focused on his 8 years as Florida's governor, Bush repeated a central theme of his campaign, that his experience governing is what the nation needs in the White House.

"If you want a talker maybe I'm not the one," he said. "But if you want a doer, someone who got things done, then I'm your guy."

Bush's speech had none of the force or passion of earlier speakers like Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz. But Bush seems to have simply conceded that "it not about the one who can give the best quip."

Before his speech, a two-minute video using Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as foils aired.

While the crowd or more than a 1,000 at times cheered, Bush seemed to receive a less enthusiastic respond than Rubio and Cruz.

Some highlights from Bush's speech:

He talked about being a candidate for governor in 1998, and visiting schools where "listening and learning" helped him lead the state.

"Life is a gift from God that is divinely inspired from beginning to end."

"I took on the teachers union."

"In Washington you have gridlock...where even when they agree nothing happens."

"I will balance the budget."

He promised to ask for a "line item veto" and bring back "veto Corleone."

"We wil have tax reform in a way that will lower taxes for people."

"The most vulnerable in our society need to be in the front of the line not the back of the line."


Ted Cruz gets strong reception at Florida Republican Sunshine Summit

At the back of the audience of more than 1,000, a man stands up and shouts at Ted Cruz - "We the people love you."

Cruz was in the middle of his stump speech at the Florida Republican Party Sunshine Summit.  Many in the crowd appeared to love his fierce rhetoric.

He promised to "abolish Common Core first day."

He promised to "end sanctuary cities. . .and stop releasing criminal illegal aliens."

He promise to "take on the EPA ... and abolish the IRS."

Comparing the current election to the late 1970s, Cruz said America is facing many of the same problems but that Republicans should feel optimistic because the failures of the 70s led to Ronald Reagan.

"Washington despised Ronald Reagan...if you see a candidate who Washington embrace run and hide."

He also told Florida Republicans that the state's March primary will be critical to picking the next GOP presidential nominee.

"Florida's primary is at a critical time," said Cruz. "It can ensure that we have a strong conservative."


Rubio tells crowd none of our candidates under FBI investigation

Marco Rubio got cheers today when he told Florida Republicans, "we don't have any socialists running...and none of our candidates are under investigation by the FBI."

Rubio, the first presidential candidate speaking at the Sunshine Summit, took his shot at Democrats Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton near the start of his speech.

Sanders acknowledges being a socialist, while the FBI has apparently begun an investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state.

Rubio said he is the first presidential candidate to sign papers to become a candidate in the Florida primary.  "I had to bring my ID," he said.

Often stern, Rubio warned that America is "running out of time....both parties are too blame for this road we are on."

In an indirect shot at former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Rubio noted that he, "does not come a from rich and powerful family."

Giving much of his stump speech, Rubio talked about threats around the world ("a lunatic in North Korea...a gangster in Moscow"), a weakened military, the national debt, and his plans to fix it all.

Othere highligts:

"Religious liberty is not just the right to believe whatever you want but the right to exercise it at work and at home."

"We must always be the party that protects and defends the Second Amendment"

"Limited government, free enterprise, strong families....if we are not for those things than nobody is for those things."

ubio was cheered repeated and received a standing ovation after his speech.




Jeb Bush has skittles, Ben Carson cuts out and Marco Rubio sells clothes

Moments away from today's start of the Florida Republican Party's Sunshine Summit, folks are strolling by an assortment of candidate booths with some interesting choices for the GOP faithful.

Marco Rubio's booth looks like a discount clothing store packed with wearable items for those who support Florida's junior U.S. Senator.  Rubio store


While sales of Rubio-wear seemed less than brisk, the handing out of Rubio stickers by this young woman appeared to be doing well.



Mere feet away is the very popular life-size image of Ben Carson. Lots of folks paused for pictures.

Carson cutout2

Several of the booths have candy. Perhaps the oddest choice was at the Jeb Bush booth - Skittles. Skittles? Pray tell what image should one take from that. And for hard-core Hillary Clinton haters, a booth selling bumper stickers offers this: Hillaryprison
Crowley Political Report will be here all day.

Marco Rubio's speaking tonight has some folks scratching their heads

Tonight, after former Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at the Republican Party of Florida's Statesman's Dinner, home state Senator Marco Rubio will speak to the party faithful. But some folks are wondering - why Jeb Bush isn't speaking tonight?

After all, Rubio will also be among the presidential candidates speaking at the Republican Party's Sunshine Summit Friday. So why not Bush tonight? 

This would seem to be an awkward moment for Florida Republicans who are already struggling with choosing between Rubio and Bush for the GOP nomination. This is a party that once found great unity in its mutual affection for both men before they became competitors.

Another rumor is that Bush did not want to share a stage with Cheney after the former veep got trashed by Bush's dad. 

Apparently, it is all much ado about nothing.

Bush's campaign spokesman Tim Miller told Crowley Political Report  in an email that Bush was invited to speak tonight but was unable to attend because of a scheduling conflict.

Bush will be onstage tomorrow.

Baby Got PAC airing new TV ad tonight for Marco Rubio

Yes it is an odd name for a PAC, but Baby Got PAC is backed by a multi-millionaire supporting Marco Rubio.

The first ad, which is below, is expected air tonight on Fox Business ahead of the Republican presidential debate. 

GOP rich guy John Jordan is behind the PAC. The ad was put together by Florida political consultant Rick Wilson. 

The ad starts with a gloomy "a world gone out of control" approach and then asks "and they wonder why we're angry?"

Next the ad says Baby Got PAC had to decide "which conservative candidate to support." It quickly dismisses Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Ben Carson.  (Note the ad does not mention Jeb Bush).

Instead, the ad suggests the answers comes from the Democrats - the candidate the fear most.

And not just any Democrat. 

Hillary Clinton.

See for yourself.


Washington Post five myths about Jeb Bush

Jenny Rogers, Assistant Editor of Outlook for the Washington Post Tweeted today that "these five myths on Jeb Bush, written by back in June, are feeling relevant right now."

The Washington Post story looks at these myths:

1. Jeb Bush is a moderate.

2 George is the dumb one, Jeb is the smart one.

3. Bush is Marco Rubio's mentor

4. Bush will campaign "joyfully."

5. He has broad support in Florida.

Each myth is explored and some might suggest the myths predicted the future.

Read the Crowley Political Report 5 myths story in the Washington Post here.

A good start as we enter tonight Republican presidential debate on FOX Business, a debate many believe could set the tone for the future of Bush's campaign.


Marco Rubio new video says Jeb Bush loves him

There is no question that the love affair between Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush is a tad strained. Jeb Bush's Right to Rise PAC is about to launch a series of attacks on Rubio that suggest just how desperate the Bush has become to eek out higher poll numbers.

In what is certainly an effort to remind voters that Jeb once loved Marco, the Rubio campaign put out this video today.

Their fight for the Republican presidential nomination is becoming increasingly bitter.

Nothing is more hurtful than a torn Valentine.

Dubbed, "Before the phony attacks" the video reminds us about all the kind things Bush said about Rubio.

While it is greatly exaggerated to say Bush, as governor, was a mentor to House Speaker Rubio, there was a strong political love affair.

Not anymore.


Ben Carson admits lying about West Point

Hatchet135 copy - CopyWell this can't be good. Ben Carson admits today to Politico that he lied about applying to and being accepted to go West Point. 

Carson campaign manager Barry Bennett, in an email response to Politico, writes that, “He was introduced to folks from West Point by his ROTC Supervisors, They told him they could help him get an appointment based on his grades and performance in ROTC. He considered it but in the end did not seek admission.” 

Politico reports:  The academy has occupied a central place in Carson’s tale for years. According to a story told in Carson’s book, “Gifted Hands,” the then-17 year old was introduced in 1969 to Gen. William Westmoreland, who had just ended his command of U.S. forces in Vietnam, and the two dined together. That meeting, according to Carson’s telling, was followed by a “full scholarship” to the military academy.

West Point, however, has no record of Carson applying, much less being extended admission.

Read the Politico story here.

Carson, who lives in West Palm Beach, across the lake from Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago, is leading Trump or tied with him in many of the recent Republican presidential campaign polls.

This week has seen Carson facing many questions about stories he has told about his life, including tales of trying to stab a "close relative" and threatening to hit his mother with a hammer. Both incidents Carson says took place when he was 14,

A noted surgeon, Carson faced questions about these other stories following a CNN report suggesting that there was little truth to Carson's claims of being angry teenager at tines out of control.

Carson said today the CNN report was filled with "lies" and was "pathetic."  See the CNN interview here.

Carson's strong defense of his narrative on CNN is now a tad tainted with Politico's revelation that Carson has lied about his past.

How will his supporters react? And how will the other candidates react?




Did Jeb Bush's dad just make his campaign more complicated by attacking Dick Cheney?

Just as Jeb Bush is trying to prove he can "fix it," his four-day old campaign re-boot is getting dragged into a controversy begun by none other than his father - George H. W. Bush.

In a new, authorized biography in which the former president provided interviews and access to his personal diaries, 41 calls former Vice President Dick Cheney an "iron ass," sharply criticizes Cheney's oversize role in the White House and finally - blames his first son for not controlling Cheney.


And Dad is equally harsh with former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld describing him as an  “arrogant fellow” who  “served the president badly.”

Jeb's campaign is already being hit with questions and it is certainly not helpful that Cheney, Rumsfeld, his brother and Iraq are once again a focus of attention as Jeb struggles to hold his donors together, win support for a flagging campaign and prepare for Tuesday's Republican presidential debate.

This will not be a book easily dismissed. Pulitzer Prize winning author Jon Meacham, worked closely with George and Barbara Bush in  researching the biography - Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush.

The New York Times received an early copy of the book, published by Random House and on sale next week.

According to the Times -  In interviews with his biographer, Mr. Bush said that Mr. Cheney had built “his own empire” and asserted too much “hard-line” influence within George W. Bush’s White House in pushing for the use of force around the world. Read more here.

While Jeb has steadfastly defended his brother, Dad is a tad more blunt.

Continue reading "Did Jeb Bush's dad just make his campaign more complicated by attacking Dick Cheney?" »

Marco Rubio dashes to third in New Hampshire poll

RubiofinMarco Rubio moved into third place - at 13 percent -  in a Monmouth University poll of Republican primary voters in New Hampshire.  Jeb Bush was supported by 7 percent of those who participated in the poll.

Still leading is Donald Trump, 26 percent; followed by Ben Carson, 16 percent.

From the Monmouth:

Donald Trump maintains his sizable lead in the New Hampshire Republican primary and Ben Carson holds onto second place, but the latest Monmouth University Poll has found a new occupant in the 3rd place slot – Marco Rubio.

GOP primary voters are also unhappy with the recent budget deal reached by Congress, and their ire is directed at both parties.

One-in-four (26%) likely GOP primary voters in New Hampshire continue to back Donald Trump for the presidential nomination.

Ben Carson (16%) places second and Marco Rubio (13%) comes in third, followed closely by John Kasich (11%).

Other contenders include Ted Cruz (9%), Jeb Bush (7%), Carly Fiorina (5%), Chris Christie (5%), and Rand Paul (3%).

None of the other six candidates included in the poll registers higher than 1%. 

Continue reading "Marco Rubio dashes to third in New Hampshire poll" »

Jeb Bush remarks in Tampa

Jeb Bush's speech in Tampa, an effort to reset his campaign, as prepared:

Tampa, FL — Governor Jeb Bush's remarks at the Tampa Garden Club today, Monday November 2, 2015 are below.

“Thank you. It’s great to be in Tampa with so many friends.

“Today, we begin a four-day trip across Florida, South Carolina, and New Hampshire to tell the Florida story.

“The story of a big, diverse state, shaped by conservative, results-oriented leadership.

“Reforming government.  Disrupting the status quo. Challenging the special interests. Restoring opportunity. Refusing to compromise in the defense of freedom. Lifting people up, not tearing them down.

“Standing up for everyone.

“Our story is about action.

“Doing, not just talking.

“Listening, not just lecturing.

“That is my story.  And I’m so grateful and honored to have had the opportunity to lead this great state as your governor.

“Last year, I decided that I wanted to share my story with people across the country.

“So, I wrote a book.

“Well really, I didn’t write it. Not in a traditional sense. I emailed it!

“They used to call me the e-governor.

“For eight years, I gave out my [email protected] email address to anyone who wanted to talk to me.

“And email they did!

“People across the state told me their stories.

“Sometimes they asked questions.

“Sometimes they asked for help.

“One lady asked me to get a raccoon out of her attic, and I got my team right on it!  

“But Floridians always gave me their opinions.

“And man, they didn’t hold back.

“So, I listened. I tried to answer every email.

“It wasn’t something I could have predicted at the start of my time in office, but this 8-year conversation with Florida shaped my governorship.

“So, in writing my book, I used my email exchanges to tell the Florida story. To tell about the work to turn one of America’s largest states into an economic engine where people could live, work and raise their family in safety and security…

“With huge promise for the future and free from the heavy hand of government.

“That is what my book is about.

Continue reading "Jeb Bush remarks in Tampa" »

CNN story about Jeb Bush emails with a Florida reporter

CNN reached out to chat about Jeb Bush's email exchanges with a Florida reporter while he was governor. Here's the story:

Tampa, Florida (CNN)When Jeb Bush became governor of Florida in 1999, there were a couple of observations that stood out to him: the bathroom door at the governor's mansion was tiny, and people started listening to every word he said.

At least that's what he told reporter Brian Crowley, a former Tallahassee Bureau Chief for the Palm Beach Post, in a series of emails during Bush's first few months as governor.

They're chronicled in Bush's new e-book, "Reply All," and reveal some insight into Bush's first impressions of the job. In fact, the 730-page e-book, which was released Monday, is filled with email threads between Bush and reporters, mostly from Florida news outlets. His responses to their questions made for some of his longest emails in the whole book.

Bush answered emailed questions from the Orlando Sentinel, St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times), Daytona Beach News-Journal, and Miami Herald among other newspapers across Florida.

Bush notes in his book that he earned the nickname "eGovernor" because of his prolific emailing with constituents, colleagues and reporters. But is emailing with reporters a practice he would continue from the White House should he become president?

"It is a little premature to be talking Casablanca," he told CNN this weekend — in an email.

Bush had agreed to engage in a regular email conversation with Crowley to talk about the life of a governor. In his second month in office Bush wrote about the "verrrrrryyyyy good" food at the governor's mansion that was leaving him "with no chance yet to lose any weight."

He said the "water pressure up here is great" at the mansion but the "bathroom door is the smallest in Florida" and requires "a sideways twist to make it in." In an email a week later, Bush said he was having "a hard time with the entourage factor that comes with my new job."

Perhaps most interesting, Bush also told Crowley that his biggest surprise was realizing "the volume of my voice."

"People listen to what I say and do. I am learning to show more self-restraint so as to not restrict a free flow of thinking that could yield a better decision. That has been hard for me," he wrote.

The toughest part, he said, was the appointments process. "Friends who were expecting jobs have not gotten what they want and while I will always do what I think is right, it's not fun to disappoint," he wrote.

In an interview with CNN, Crowley said the emails were meant to get Bush to open up and talk beyond talking points about the more human-interest side of being a governor.

"It worked and it didn't work," Crowley said. While he used tidbits for stories, he said he never felt like he got enough insight from the governor to write the big blow-out story he was envisioning.

There were candid moments in the emails, Crowley said, but he added that Bush too often delved into wonky subjects rather than self-reflection.

Continue reading "CNN story about Jeb Bush emails with a Florida reporter" »