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CNN’s Gergen reveals he cast 2012 presidential vote for Michael Bloomberg

Friday, March 22nd, 2013 by George Bennett

Serial presidential adviser and CNN political analyst David Gergen kicked off the lecture series at former Sen. George Lemieux‘s new Center for Public Policy at Palm Beach Atlantic University on Thursday night, speaking to a crowd of about 400.

(Click here to read a news story about the event.)

Gergen — who advised Republican Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford and Democratic President Bill Clinton — revealed that he voted for Democrat Barack Obama in 2008, but not in 2012. But Gergen said he didn’t vote for Republican Mitt Romney last year.

“I didn’t vote Republican this last time around,” Gergen said during a question-and-answer session with LeMieux as both sat on leather chairs in the school’s DeSantis Family Chapel. “I voted for Mayor (Michael) Bloomberg, a write-in, because he’s my kind of leader. He’s very socially liberal but he’s very tough-minded on the fiscal side and I think he’s been a great leader.”

UPDATE: Bill Clinton back in FL for five-city sweep including Palm Beach County tomorrow

Thursday, November 1st, 2012 by Dara Kam

UPDATE: President Bill Clinton, arguably the country’s most popular living president, will kick off a five-city Florida campaign blitz for President Obama tomorrow morning in Lake Worth. Clinton will appear at the Duncan Theater at Palm Beach State College’s Lake Worth. Doors open at 8 a.m., and Clinton is expected to speak around 9. Tickets aren’t required, but supporters can go online to sign up in advance here.

President Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama’s chief surrogate, will be back in Palm Beach County tomorrow as part of a five-city Florida sweep just days after his last visit to Orlando on Monday.

Clinton will hold rallies in Ft. Myers, Palm Bay, St. Petersburg, somewhere in Palm Beach County and Tallahassee in the crucial swing state where polls show Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney neck-and-neck.

With early voting underway, both campaigns have pulled out the stops in Florida in an effort to get voters to the polls before Tuesday’s election.

Campaigning today in Florida, Michelle Obama is stumping in Jacksonville, where she’ll be joined by R&B icon Stevie Wonder this afternoon, Daytona Beach and Miami. Clinton visited West Palm Beach in mid-September.

Obama was scheduled to join Clinton on Monday but instead took a several day campaign hiatus in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Yesterday, he toured the devastated New Jersey shoreline with Gov. Chris Cristie, one of Romney’s chief supporters and who delivered the keynote address at the RNC in Tampa this summer.

The president, back on the campaign trail today, will be back in Florida with a visit to Fort Lauderdale on Sunday.

Romney was joined by Gov. Jeb Bush at rallies in Tampa and Coral Gables yesterday and will return to Florida before Tuesday’s election.

Obama, Romney set more campaign dates in Florida; Rubio, Clinton join in

Thursday, October 25th, 2012 by George Bennett

President Obama, who debated Monday at Lynn University in Boca Raton and campaigned Tuesday in Delray Beach, returns to Florida for another campaign rally today in Tampa.

Obama is also scheduled to campaign in Orlando on Monday with former President Bill Clinton, The Orlando Sentinel is reporting.

Mitt Romney will be joined by Sen. Marco Rubio for three Florida campaign appearances on Saturday. Romney and Rubio will hit Pensacola Saturday morning, Kissimmee in the afternoon and attend an evening rally in Land O’ Lakes near Tampa.

Clinton coming to Florida to campaign for Obama, raise money for Frankel and Murphy

Saturday, September 8th, 2012 by George Bennett

CORRECTED: An earlier version of this post gave the incorrect day for President Clinton’s appearance at a fundraiser for candidates Lois Frankel and Patrick Murphy.

Former President Bill Clinton, whose Democratic convention speech got better reviews than President Obama‘s, will campaign in Florida for Obama on Tuesday in the Miami area and Wednesday in the Orlando area. Additional details haven’t been announced.

Clinton is also slated to appear at a midday $250-and-up fundraising reception in West Palm Beach on Wednesday for Democratic congressional candidates Lois Frankel and Patrick Murphy.

Frankel is running for an open Palm Beach-Broward seat against Republican Adam Hasner. Murphy is challenging Rep. Allen West, R-Palm Beach Gardens, in a Palm Beach-Treasure Coast seat.

Parsing Bill Clinton on tax hikes…

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011 by George Bennett

Clinton

It depends on what the meaning of “I personally don’t believe we ought to be raising taxes” is.

In an interview with West Palm Beach-based NewsMax last month, former President Bill Clinton said he didn’t think it was a good idea to raise taxes or cut government spending “until we get this economy off the ground.”

(Watch Clinton’s interview with NewsMax CEO Chris Ruddy by clicking here. The discussion of tax hikes begins around the 9:30 mark.)

With President Obama visiting Florida today, the conservative group American Crossroads is running an ad featuring the tax portion of Clinton’s comment while editing out the part about spending cuts. The ad throws in a later clip of Clinton telling NewsMax that higher taxes on incomes above $1 million “won’t solve the problem.”

Clinton is taking issue with the ad. Read his statement after the jump….

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As Obama visits Florida, Rove PAC ad shows Bill Clinton disagreeing with Obama on tax hikes

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011 by George Bennett

American Crossroads, the PAC that Karl Rove helped found last year, is blasting President Obama‘s call for $1.5 trillion in tax hikes on the wealthy in ads timed to coincide with Obama’s visits to Pennsylvania and Florida today.

The ad includes a clip of former President Bill Clinton, in an interview with West Palm Beach-based NewsMax last month, disagreeing with the idea of raising taxes during an economic slump.

The ad features clips of Clinton saying “I personally don’t believe we ought to be raising taxes” and “it won’t solve the problem.”

Clinton’s full quote (beginning around 9:30 on this video) did indeed take issue with Obama’s tax-hike approach — but also with Republican calls for spending cuts:

“I personally don’t believe we ought to be raising taxes or cutting spending — either one — until we get this economy off the ground. This has been a dead-flat economy. And you don’t want, in something this flat, if we cut government spending, which I normally would be very inclined to do when the deficit’s this big, with interest rates already near zero you can’t get the benefits out of it.”

Later, around the 13:00 mark on the NewsMax video, Clinton adds that a millionaire’s tax “won’t solve the problem.”

Gingrich discusses presidential decision, 1995 shutdown before tonight’s speaking gig

Thursday, February 24th, 2011 by George Bennett

Nobody wants a government shutdown, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says as a March 4 deadline looms for Congress and President Obama to agree on spending levels to keep the government running.

But Gingrich — a potential 2012 presidential candidate who will keynote tonight’s Palm Beach County GOP Lincoln Day dinner — says the 1995-96 shutdown with which he’s associated wasn’t the disaster it’s made out to be.

“It worked in public policy terms because we got four straight balanced budgets,” Gingrich said Wednesday in a brief interview with The Palm Beach Post.

Gingrich also said he’s within a few weeks of announcing whether he’ll run for president in 2012.

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Clinton: “I oughta be the tea party’s poster child”

Monday, November 1st, 2010 by Jeff Ostrowski

Former Pres. Bill Clinton, right, shakes hands with Democratic candidate for Florida governor Alex Sink, as Rep. Alan Grayson D-Fla., right, watches at the end of a Florida Democratic Party rally in Orlando, Fla., Monday, Nov. 1, 2010.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

ORLANDO — Speaking to several hundred voters Monday night, former President Bill Clinton stumped for Alex Sink and Kendrick Meek and chided Republicans for the big deficits that came before and after his two terms.

In a nod to the tea party’s influence in an election that’s expected to go badly for Democrats, Clinton pointed to his years in the White House as rare examples of balanced budgets and robust job growth.

“Where is the love?” Clinton asked. “I oughta be the tea party’s poster child.”

Speaking from an outdoor stage near Lake Eola, Clinton also bashed Republicans for cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans.

“I don’t know why I’m not over there at one of their rallies,” he said. “They’re just throwing money at me.”

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LeMieux joins Scott for some Palm Beach BBQ Monday; Clinton visit includes Sink

Sunday, October 31st, 2010 by Dara Kam

U.S. Sen. George LeMieux will join Rick Scott and running-mate Jennifer Carroll in West Palm Beach for some (more) barbecue at the Park Avenue BBQ and Grille around noon tomorrow.

The GOP gubernatorial candidates will also visit their campaign headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale and a school in Davie before a homecoming party in Naples Monday evening capping Scott’s weeklong tour of the state leading up to Election Day.

Scott’s campaign rented the Cambier Park Bandshell and will have a live band to greet Scott, who moved to Naples seven years ago. Scott and his wife Ann’s pals Wayne and Susan Mullican, who joined the Scott family on the bus tour Sunday, took out a full page ad in the Naples Daily News to advertise the event.

Democratic gubernatorial contender Alex Sink will be onstage with the most sought-after Democrats nationwide tomorrow evening: Former president Bill Clinton, who’ll be in the Sunshine State stumping for pal Kendrick Meek. Clinton’s visit – his twelfth for Meek’s U.S. Senate bid – comes after a shakeup over reports that Clinton tried to persuade Meek to drop out of the U.S. Senate race.

Bob Graham and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson will also campaign for Sink in Ft. Myers on Monday, but not only AFTER Scott has already left town.

Meek: ‘I’m not doing backroom deals’

Friday, October 29th, 2010 by George Bennett

Democratic Senate nominee Kendrick Meek, making the morning TV news rounds today, says he and former President Clinton discussed Meek dropping out of the race — but only in the context of addressing rumors that Meek says were spread by independent rival Charlie Crist.

Meek denied that Clinton asked him to get out of the Senate race or that he agreed to do so.

“President Clinton and I talked about it. Yes we did. But he didn’t say, ‘Hey, this is my recommendation to you.’ Because that’s not his place. The bottom line is, he asked me about the reports of last week and the week before,” Meek told CNN.

“I’m not playing politics. I’m not doing backroom deals,” Meek said.

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Rubio camp: our polling has Meek even or ahead of Crist

Thursday, October 28th, 2010 by George Bennett

Internal tracking by Republican Marco Rubio’s campaign shows Democrat Kendrick Meek and independent Charlie Crist “in a statistical dead heat,” Rubio consultant Todd Harris said tonight in trying to knock down speculation that Crist can beat Rubio if Meek drops out.

Among those who have already voted, Harris said, the Rubio campaign’s in-house polling shows Meek with a 28-to-24 percent lead over Crist. (That suggests Rubio is drawing about 48 percent from early and absentee voters.)

Reacting to a Politico.com report that former President Clinton tried to get Meek to drop out and endorse Crist to defeat Rubio, Harris said: “Charlie Crist truly will say and do anything to get elected and hold on to power. Secret deals to trade away principles for power is already the problem in Washington, it’s not the solution. This is simply politics as usual which is exactly what voters across the country are emphatically rejecting this election.”

Bill Clinton headlines debate after-party for Sink

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010 by Dara Kam

Bill Clinton will guest star at a $5,000-a-head fundraiserfundraiser for the Florida Democratic Party after next week’s gubernatorial debate.

According to a recent poll, the former president is the most popular politician in the country, and he’s been touring the country as a “surrogate” to pump up Democrat voters and prop up Democrat candidates, including U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, who’s trailing in the three-way U.S. Senate race against Republican Marco Rubio and independent Gov. Charlie Crist. Clinton’s made several trips to the Sunshine State for Meek already and will stump for him as well as Sink next week.

Clinton will headline Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink’s Miami Beach after-party next Wednesday after she and her GOP opponent Rick Scott debate in Davie.

Insider Meek, outsider Greene begin closing arguments in Democratic Senate primary

Friday, August 20th, 2010 by George Bennett

Kendrick Meek is playing up his presidential connections while Jeff Greene is underscoring his outsider status as the Florida Democratic Senate primary rivals make their final pitches to voters this weekend before Tuesday’s election.

clintonmeek1Former President Bill Clinton recorded an automated phone message calling four-term Miami U.S. Rep. Meek “my friend” and mentioning that President Obama is also backing Meek’s Senate bid. Both Clinton and Obama campaigned for Meek in South Florida this week.

While Meek stresses his Washington ties, Palm Beach billionaire Greene is taking the opposite tack in a new TV spot released today.

“If you want to send Washington a wake-up call, send me to the Senate. I’ll shake things up and never let you down,” Greene says in his new ad.

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Bill Clinton to November voters: ‘Give us two more years’

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010 by George Bennett

clintonmeek
DELRAY BEACH — Former President Bill Clinton came to the sweaty gym at Pompey Park on Monday to pump up Kendrick Meek’s Democratic Senate primary bid. But he devoted most of his remarks to a defense of Democratic policies over the past two years and, with Democrats facing tough elections in November, said the party needs more time to bring America out of a “very deep hole” dug by Republicans.

Clinton knows something about tough midterm elections. As a first-term president with Democratic majorities in Congress, he saw the GOP capture both the House and Senate in the 1994 elections.

Read some of Monday’s Clinton excerpts after the jump….

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Pelosi records robocall for Kendrick Meek’s Dem Senate primary bid

Friday, August 13th, 2010 by George Bennett

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the latest big-name Dem to vouch for establishment favorite Kendrick Meek in his Aug. 24 Democratic Senate primary against Palm Beach investor Jeff Greene.

The Meek camp is touting this robocall recorded by Pelosi on Meek’s behalf. Meek will campaign with former President Bill Clinton in Delray Beach, Davie and Miami on Monday. And Meek will be “joining” President Obama in some capacity Wednesday when Obama comes to Miami for a fund-raiser.

Bill Clinton coming to Delray Beach for Meek’s Democratic Senate bid

Friday, August 6th, 2010 by George Bennett

Clinton & Meek

Clinton & Meek

Former President Bill Clinton will campaign in Delray Beach for Democratic Senate hopeful Kendrick Meek on Aug. 16, bolstering Meek’s status as the Democratic Party establishment favorite in the Aug. 24 primary against billionaire Palm Beach outsider Jeff Greene.

Meek and Clinton go back to the early 1990s, when Meek was a Florida Highway Patrol trooper assigned to pick up then-Arkansas Gov. Clinton at the airport in Tallahassee while Clinton was running for president. Meek was an early backer of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid. Bill Clinton has already helped Meek with several events in the Senate race.

Clinton and Meek are scheduled to appear together at three South Florida events on Aug. 16. Doors open for the event at the Delray Community Center at 4:30 p.m. that day. The pair will then campaign in Davie and Miami.

On Aug. 18, Meek is scheduled to be “joining” President Obama at an event in Miami. Details of that event remain unclear.

The event is slated for the Delray Community Center at 50 N.W. 1st Avenue in Delray Beach. Doors open at 4:30 p.m.

Rubio’s $133.75 barber shop bill wasn’t charged to GOP, spokesman says

Thursday, February 25th, 2010 by George Bennett

Of the approximately $125,00 in expenses former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio put on a Republican Party of Florida-issued American Express card between 2006 and 2008, perhaps the most chatter today surrounded a $133.75 bill at an upscale Miami barber shop.

While the expense showed up on the Republican AmEx, Rubio paid the tab at Churchill’s Barber Shop himself and never charged it to the state GOP, a Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos said today.

Still, the expenditure generated the kind of tonsorial attention lavished on Bill Clinton for his Christophe-administered Air Force One clip job in 1993 or John “Two Americas” Edwards for his $400 coiffures during the 2008 presidential campaign.

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Bill Clinton in Palm Beach: “frustrated and angry” voters make bad decisions

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 by George Bennett

Clinton

Clinton

PALM BEACH — Former President Bill Clinton knows a little something about voter backlash.

During the 1994 midterm elections, Republicans capitalized on voter dissatisfaction with Clinton and congressional Democrats to take control of the House and Senate.

In remarks at The Breakers tonight, Clinton didn’t mention the special Senate election in Massachusetts, but said the current political debate in America isn’t addressing solutions to health care, energy and education.

“I find a lot of the rhetoric in this election season largely irrelevant to what’s going on,” Clinton told an audience of about 500 Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County donors. “….My experience is when people are frustrated and angry and they act on their frustration and anger, they’ve got about a 75 percent chance of making a bad decision — not just in politics, but in life.”

Clinton event snags $175,000, pushes Deutch fund-raising over $1 million

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 by George Bennett

Democratic congressional candidate Ted Deutch’s campaign says former President Bill Clinton’s appearance at this afternoon’s fund-raiser at St. Andrew’s Country Club in Boca Raton raised $175,000 and pushed Deutch’s overall campaign total above $1 million.

Deutch, a Boca Raton state Senator, and former Broward Mayor Ben Graber are running in a Feb. 2 Dem primary for the seat of former Democratic U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, who stepped down this month to head a Middle East think tank. Three Republicans and a no-party candidate are also running. The general election is April 13.

Clinton will speak tonight in Palm Beach at a Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County dinner at The Breakers.

Deutch expects six-figure haul from Clinton fund-raiser today

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 by George Bennett

Clinton in Boca, Palm Beach today

Clinton in Boca, Palm Beach today

Democratic congressional hopeful Ted Deutch expects to raise more than $100,000 today when former President Bill Clinton drops by St. Andrews Country Club in Boca Raton for a late-afternoon fund-raiser. The event is closed to the press.

Deutch’s campaign says he has already raised more than $800,000 for his special election bid to replace former Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler. Deutch and Ben Graber are competing in a Feb. 2 Democratic primary. The winner runs in an April 13 general election.

Clinton tonight is scheduled to speak at The Breakers to major Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County donors.

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