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Romney pressing Freddie Mac attack to the end

Monday, January 30th, 2012 by George Bennett

DUNEDIN — Several polls show Mitt Romney with a big lead over Newt Gingrich heading into Tuesday’s Florida Republican primary, but Romney — who saw his big South Carolina lead turn into a Gingrich victory — isn’t easing up on the former House speaker.

As he has done in almost every opportunity over the last eight days, Romney today criticized Gingrich for working as a consultant for troubled government-backed mortgage giant Freddie Mac. After pounding home the issue all week and in two nationally televised debates, the only change for Romney is that he’s been striking a tone of mockery rather than outrage the last few days.

“I know the speaker’s not real happy, Speaker Gingrich. He’s not feeling very excited these days,” Romney told a crowd of more than 500 that filled a local park here. “I know, it’s sad. He’s been flailing around a bit trying to go after me for one thing or the other and you just watch it, you shake your head. It’s been kind of painfully revealing to watch. I think the reason he isn’t doing so well is because of those last two debates, don’t you think?”

Gingrich’s company received $1.6 million from Freddie Mac for what Gingrich says were his services as consultant and historian; Romney calls it lobbying.

Romney said voters turned on Gingrich when they found out he “made money from Freddie Mac, the very institution that helped stand behind the huge housing crisis. Here in Florida, if you’re part of the housing crisis you’re probably not going to get elected president. So the people here in Florida said we’re not going to get behind Newt Gingrich, we’re going to get behind Mitt Romney.”

Mack warns ‘loony liberals’ at the gates of his Cape Coral office

Thursday, December 1st, 2011 by John Kennedy

Launching his campaign by deriding rival Bill Nelson as one of President Obama’s “lockstep liberals,” Republican U.S. Senate contender Connie Mack is expecting to be picketed by what his office staff called  ”loony liberals” Thursday.

Mack’s namesake father punctured Democratic opponent Buddy Mackay 23 years ago with the phrase, “Hey Buddy, you’re liberal.” The son’s days-old campaign seems to be sticking to a similar script.

Southwest Florida supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement plan to protest at 1 p.m. today outside Mack’s Cape Coral office. But once Mack staffers got hold of the rally’s electronic sign-up sheet, they fired out a press release, tying the demonstration to MoveOn.org, the left-leaning activist group founded by billionaire George Soros.

“It’s appalling that George Soros and the loony liberals of MoveOn.org are protecting Bill Nelson by staging a sit-in protest at Congressman Mack’s office,” said David James, Mack’s deputy campaign manager. ”Three days after Connie Mack entered the race for U.S. Senate, these leftists are scared of the Mack candidacy and Connie’s message of freedom, security and prosperity.  Florida has had enough of the loony left and will bring an end to their big government, big taxation and big spending agenda next November.”

Polls show Mack is the frontrunner in five-person Republican field. At least one survey also shows him with enough current support to knock off Nelson, if Mack wins the GOP primary.

A new Public Policy Polling survey also shows Mack well out front in the Republican contest. It also examines the potency of name identification, but doesn’t attribute all of Mack’s success to having a well-known monicker.

The poll found Mack’s name is recognized by 57 percent of Republican voters in Florida, about double his nearest rival, short-term Senate-appointee George LeMieux. Others in the race were far back.

But the survey also found that voters familiar with the other candidates, still liked Mack best. 

“Name recognition is certainly an important part of the equation, but even when you account for that Mack’s well ahead,” PPP concluded. “And he has strong numbers across the ideological lines of the GOP, getting 44 percent with ‘very conservative’ voters, 43 percent with ’somewhat conservative’ ones, and 32 percent with moderates.”


Newt Gingrich corrects Occupy Wall Street protestors in Jax

Thursday, November 17th, 2011 by Dara Kam

GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich drew loud cheers for his head-on – but polite – response to a few Occupy Wall Street protestors who briefly interrupted a tea party town hall in Jacksonville this afternoon.

Earlier, Gingrich told the crowd he shared the protestors’ anger about the nation’s financial mess but said that local officials should film them and deal harshly with any protestors who are violent towards people or property.

Near the end of his hour-and-a-half event, a few protestors interrupted Gingrich, shouting “We are the 99 percent!”

That elicited boos from the tea party crowd but the former U.S. House Speaker quickly used the opportunity to garner even more support.

Speaking directly to the protestors, Gingrich told them to wait.

“There’s no such thing as 99 percent in America,” he said. “We are 100 percent Americans.”

Florida’s undersea world: Occupy Wall Street, tea party, President Obama and Gov. Scott get low marks

Thursday, November 10th, 2011 by George Bennett

Florida voters have unfavorable views of both the conservative tea party movement and left-leaning Occupy Wall Street movement, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

And while Floridians are nearly evenly split when asked if they view President Obama favorably or unfavorably (47 percent favorable, 48 percent unfavorable), they are decidedly negative in evaluating his job performance and reelection worthiness.

Only 41 percent of Floridians approve of the way Obama is handling his job, with 52 percent disapproving. And by a 51-to-43 percent margin, Florida voters say Obama does not deserve to be reelected next year.

Gov. Rick Scott‘s gets a 36 percent job-approval rating and a 50 percent disapproval. He’s not on the ballot until 2014.

Asked about the tea party movement, 34 percent of Floridians said they have a favorable view and 40 percent said they have an unfavorable view — a 6-point negative spread.

The Occupy movement was viewed favorably by 30 percent and unfavorably by 39 percent — a 9-point negative spread.

The Republican and Democratic parties and GOP presidential contenders Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich are also under water in their favorability ratings. Herman Cain‘s score is barely positive, with 36 percent of Floridians saying they view him favorably and 34 unfavorably.

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