Republican Senate nominee Marco Rubio says it’s a reminder of the “failed stimulus experiment” that was backed by the administration and by Rep. Meek and then-Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, who’s now an independent running in the Senate race.
With Gov. Charlie Crist by his side, Vice President Joe Biden vowed that the Sunshine State has the president’s full support as residents and business owners cope with the continuing impacts of oil on beaches and inland waters from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
“This region has been hit hard by acts of God and now by an act of man. We’re going to be feeling the effects, and you’re going to be feeling the effects, for some time to come. But we also intend to stick with this region until it has been made whole,” Biden said early this evening, referring to the devastation of 2004 Hurricane Ivan on the Panhandle. “We’re not going anywhere. We’re staying here until the job is done.”
Flanked by Deepwater Horizon incident commander U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the state’s newly-appointed disaster response leader Capt. Steve Poulin and Crist, Biden spoke of the importance the Gulf of Mexico plays in the “cultural ecosystem” of the coastal communities where fishing has come to an abrupt end.
“There’s in a sense a way of life at stake here, not just an economic concern,” Biden told reporters reading from a prepared statement to a group of reporters in front of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter “Oak” at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola.
“We’re not going to forget the people of the Gulf until their economy is back up and running, until this is cleaned up, until the oil is stopped from gushing from the bottom of the ocean floor. We’re not going to end this until everyone is made whole,” he said.
Vice President Joe Biden, who was visiting Israel at the time of the announcement, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have blasted the plan, straining relations with America’s strongest ally in the Middle East.
“What started off as an internal, domestic disagreement within the Israeli government has turned into an unnecessary international dispute complicated by some undiplomatic language from U.S. administration officials,” Meek said today.
More details are expected Friday.
Tickets start at $1,000.
Gilbert was campaign finance chairman for Ron Klein in 2006 when the Democratic challenger raised more than $4.1 million and ousted incumbent Republican Rep. Clay Shaw to represent a Palm Beach-Broward congressional seat. Gilbert also raised money for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
“It’s important for Palm Beach County to have people with a national voice and a national reach that allows our view to be put forth,” said county Democratic Chairman Mark Alan Siegel, who’s going to the lunch.
After the Boca stop, Biden heads to Miami for another fund-raiser. President Obama was in Miami Beach to raise money for Democratic House and Senate candidates on Monday night.
LeMieux, who’ll serve the final months of Martinez’ term, has said he won’t seek election to the seat in 2010 when Crist runs for it.
“There are tremendous issues facing this nation, and although my time in Washington will be brief, I intend to work hard every day to address these critical challenges and serve the people of this unique, diverse and wonderful state,” he said in a statement released by his office.
Read LeMieux’s entire statement after the jump……
Martinez officially retired Wednesday.
Vice President Joe Biden, in his constitutional role as president of the Senate, will administer the oath to LeMieux.
C-Span 2 will carry it live.
A more recent parallel, writer Peter Baker notes, is this year’s appointment of Vice President Joe Biden’s former Senate chief of staff, Ted Kaufman, to hold Biden’s Delaware Senate while the VP’s son, Beau Biden, is expected to run for it next year.
Not all of the money is being spent in schools or on teachers, however.
Florida’s three-year education stimulus cash includes money for school lunch equipment, homeless education, independent living programs and services for older blind individuals.
Perhaps the White House duo will receive a warmer welcome than Congressional members touting the president’s health care package at raucous town hall meetings throughout the country.