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March 2016

Jeb Bush tells more than 1 million Florida Republicans they were wrong

Jeb art
Never doubt that Jeb Bush is taking his humiliating defeat for the Republican nomination very personally. His endorsement of Ted Cruz says more about Bush's anger at how Donald Trump pushed him out of the presidential race than his sudden love for Cruz. And Bush's decision not to endorse Marco Rubio before the Florida primary was little more than petty revenge because Rubio dared to run against him.

What's more, little more than a week after more than 1 million Florida Republicans voted for Trump - 46 percent of the GOP vote - Bush is backing the guy who got 17 percent of the Florida Republican vote.

If there remained any pretense at all, and there was very little left even before the campaign, that Bush remained a leader of the Florida GOP, his decision to back Cruz removed the last vestige of it.

Bush never really thought very much of the average Florida Republican. They were there to be instructed and led. Disagreement with Bush wisdom was at your own peril.

Many believe Bush's aim is to thwart Trump by helping establishment Republicans rally around Cruz in the hope of a brokered convention.

Florida Governor Rick Scott apparently disagrees. The day after the Florida primary (of course), Scott endorsed Trump. The day before, Attorney General Pam Bondi also endorsed Trump.

Does anyone seriously believe that Bush thinks Cruz should be president?

We certainly know he doesn't want Trump in the Oval Office.

And does anyone doubt that Bush believes Kasich is more qualified than either Cruz or Trump?

One telling part of Bush's endorsement was his proclamation it was for the “sake of our party and country.”

Interesting that he put party first.

During the campaign, Bush repeatedly said he would support the Republican nominee.

Does Bush still intend to do that - even if it is Donald Trump?


Jeb Bush pouts, Marco Rubio struggles and Donald Trump smirks

Jeb Bush is not endorsing Marco Rubio. Clearly Bush is still pouting. He may loathe Donald Trump, but with Rubio it's personal and nothing would please Bush more than to see Rubio lose the Florida primary.

Meanwhile, Rubio is rediscovering his home state. The man who adorned the cover of Time magazine, has spent little time worrying about the day-to-day lives of Floridians. That's the downside of seeing your picture on the cover - rock stars start to forget the fans back home. Rubio

Nine out of 10 Florida political insiders polled this week (more than 160) by the Tampa Bay Times say they expect Rubio to lose Florida. Rubio's campaign is deeply worried. One Rubio adviser told Crowley Political Report that if Rubio loses Florida, there is no road to continue the campaign.

Even if Bush were to suddenly decide that he must endorse Rubio to stop Trump, there really is no reason to believe that Bush's endorsement would be of much help. Bush was a dismal presidential candidate. Polls showed him trailing Trump badly in Florida. The vaunted Bush machine proved to rusty and out-of-step. Many of those who did support Bush are still bitter and his inner circle never forgets.

Tomorrow marks the seventh anniversary of the formation of the Marco Rubio exploratory committee. On March 4, 2009, Rubio formed the committee to prepare for 2010 U.S. Senate race. At the time, he said he would switch to running for governor if Republican Governor Charlie Crist decided to run for the senate.

Crist did. Rubio decided to take him on. He pushed Crist out of the GOP. In a three way race against Democrat Kendrick Meek, and newly no-party candidate Crist, Rubio won with 49 percent of the vote.

It was impressive. National Republican leaders were excited. Rubio became a rock star. Ambitious and confident, Rubio wouldn't even budge from the presidential race under the withering pressure of the House of Bush. 

Now Rubio is at a crossroad. Should he continue his struggle to win the nomination? Should he quit if he loses Florida? Should he quit before Florida?

There is no easy answer.

Jeb artMeanwhile, Bush continues to pout apparently not caring if Trump is the nominee.

And Trump continues to smirk.



Mitt Romney slashes Donald Trump adopts Marco Rubio con artist phrase

Maybe it was just a coincidence but among the many notable things about Mitt Romney's attack on Donald Trump today was his use of the phrase "con artist."  That term as become a favorite of Marco Rubio who has repeatedly called Trump a con artist as the campaigns entered Super Tuesday.

Romney did not endorse anyone. Instead, Romney urged Rubio, Ted Cruz and John Kasich to win their home states, do well elsewhere and deny Trump the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination. The result would be a brokered convention.

Below is a text of Romney's speech as prepared for delivery.

I am not here to announce my candidacy for office. I am not going to endorse a candidate today.

Instead, I would like to offer my perspective on the nominating process of my party. In 1964, days before the presidential election which, incidentally, we lost, Ronald Reagan went on national television and challenged America saying that it was a "Time for Choosing." He saw two paths for America, one that embraced conservative principles dedicated to lifting people out of poverty and helping create opportunity for all, and the other, an oppressive government that would lead America down a darker, less free path. I'm no Ronald Reagan and this is a different moment but I believe with all my heart and soul that we face another time for choosing, one that will have profound consequences for the Republican Party and more importantly, for the country.

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Florida insiders say Marco Rubio will lose Sunshine State

Grim news for Marco Rubio if Florida political insiders are correct. An overwhelming number of those surveyed by the Tampa Bay Times - 90 percent - say they expect Rubio to lose the Florida primary on Super Tuesday.

The Times Insider Poll includes top Republicans, Democrats and no party insiders. Crowley Political Report - no party - is among those surveyed.

Nine in ten said of the 160 surveyed said Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee. And more than 8 out of 10 said Rubio should end his campaign if he loses Florida.

Read more here.


Rubio campaign email calls Donald Trump a dangerous con artist

Marco Rubio's campaign wasted little time asking for money in an email sent out as Super Tuesday voters were still being counted. The email warns against handing "our party over to a dangerous con artist.''

On the campaign trail during the last few days, Rubio has repeatedly called Donald Trump a "con artist." Rubio, who remains far behind Trump, is hitting Trump hard in his effort to trip the frontrunner.

An excerpt from the Rubio email:

Thanks to the hard work of Marco and supporters and volunteers like you, we’re going to come away from tonight with a good chunk of delegates from a diverse range of states. Marco’s message is ready to go national, and he’s the only one who can unify the party against Donald Trump.

 It’s going to be a long fight against the con artist.

Marco has shown the country what putting up a real fight against Trump looks like: It takes a sense of humor, certainly, but it also takes a confidence in your own vision and own ideas to call him out for having absolutely nothing to offer the people he’s trying to swindle.

We are not going to let our party be taken over by a con artist, and we’re not going to nominate a candidate who’ll be totally steamrolled by the Democratic machine. Marco is not going to give up this fight -- he’ll do whatever it takes to stop Trump.

Marco Rubio team tells donors he will fight Donald Trump at the convention

No matter Super Tuesday's results, Marco Rubio is not going to give up his quest to win the the Republican nomination even if that means fighting Donald Trump at the convention.

According to Politico, top campaign adviser Terry Sullivan told donors Tuesday that Trump will not have enough delegates at the convention and that it is "mathematically impossible" for Trump to reach the needed 1,237,

From Politico:

Sullivan's comments that the Rubio campaign plans to take this all the way to the Republican National Convention echo a message he delivered in New York last week. And it dovetails with what Rubio himself has been saying on the stump since Saturday, vowing to "campaign as long as it takes" in order to prevent Donald Trump from winning the nomination and potentially upending the Republican Party as a whole.

. . .

Not everyone who attended left the meeting thinking the campaign had a workable plan to dethrone Trump as the party's expected nominee.

"It was a presentation that defied reality," said one Rubio backer. "They said their convention strategy was not contingent on winning any states... Even if you go to the [second ballot] why would anyone say Marco Rubio is the guy to give it to?"

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