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President Obama and First Lady to campaign in Florida next week

Thursday, September 13th, 2012 by Dara Kam

The First Couple will campaign in Florida next week.

President Obama will make stops in Tampa and Miami, his campaign announced in a press release today. No details are available yet about the events so not sure if there are any hugs on the agenda. The president just completed a two-day tour of Florida this weekend, including an event in West Palm Beach.

And Michelle Obama be in college towns Gainesville and Tallahassee on Monday. She’s attending a rally at the University of Florida first and then will meet with supporters at the Tallahassee Civic Center in the late afternoon.

On the GOP side, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan will appear in Oldsmar on Saturday.

Anti-Romney protest breaks out in West Palm ahead of nomination speech

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 by Andrew Abramson

"Mitt Romney" at West Palm protest

 

Echoing the Occupy movement, protesters took to the street in West Palm Beach this afternoon rallying against the 1 percent and the war they say is being lodged against the lower and middle classes.

But this time the protesters had clear targets: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

It was no coincidence that more than 30 protesters showed up to the corner of Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard and Forum Way on the day that Romney will accept the Republican nomination for president.

The protest, organized by Stand Up Florida, The Florida Alliance for Retired Americans and the Service Employees International Union, brought out protesters holding banners that read “Romney economy creates poverty,” “Ruthless Non-Regulated Corruption (RNC),” and “Women will remember in November.”

Protesters chanted, “Can’t pay my bills, can’t pay my rent, nothing never trickles from the 1 percent.”

“They are up there at the convention lying and creating a fantasy land,” said Tony Fransetta, president of Florida Alliance for Retired Americans.

Frank Angel, a retired plant worker from Illinois now living in Boca Raton, wore his “I (heart) Obamacare shirt.”

“Ryan said last night, and it was a flat out lie, that a plant closed under Obama when it was under the Bush administration,” Angel said. “To blame him for something he had nothing to do with is flat out lying.”

Barbara Phillippi of Wellington said she was there to support women.

“I’m proud to say that women stopped being cattle in the United States years ago,” Phillippi said. “But we are heading that way again. The Romney/Ryan administration will make a concentrated effort to take away a women’s right to choose. Next up is birth control.”

The protesters planned to stage a play this afternoon. They gave a sneak preview with a man dressed up in a Romney mask wearing a crown and a “King of Poverty” sash running around shouting, “Where’s my money?”

Rubio on his speech, immigration, Charlie Crist and the joy of being a home state boy

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 by Dara Kam

After a brief sound check onstage at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio was crushed by a media scrum anxious to hear the GOP rising star wax on about everything from Charlie Crist’s endorsement of President Barack Obama to how to address immigration.

Rubio, Florida’s Republican U.S. senator who grew up in Miami, will introduce Mitt Romney tomorrow night at the Republican National Convention, a primo spot second only to the presidential candidate’s acceptance speech itself.

Rubio said his job is to make clear to the millions of television viewers during his prime-time speech the choices between the two candidates and the role of government in people’s lives.

“This election is about the choice the country has about the role government should play in our country. And really that is what this choice is going to be about. It’s not a choice between a Democrat and a Republican simply. It’s a choice about much more than that. So tomorrow, my job is to introduce the next president of the united states and to do so in a way that makes It clear to people what their choice is.
It’s a great honor,” Rubio said.

Rubio will also talk about his experience as the son of Cuban immigrants, something he does with an earnestness that has made him one of the most popular Republican politicians in the country. Rubio was on Romney’s short-list for veep before the former Massachusetts governor settled on U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan.

When asked what’s different about his tomorrow-night speech, Rubio laughed.

“I don’t know. Thirty-nine million people, probably. Look, it’s a tremendous honor to be able to give this speech in my home state in front of a lot of family and friends,” he said, mentioning his mother and late father.
“It will be affirmation that their lives matter. That all the sacrifices and hard work they went through was worth something…It’s just an honor to be able to introduce the next president of the U.S. and to do so in a way that I hope will make clear the choice that we have and the difference between the two men.”

Rubio blamed complaints that the Romney campaign hadn’t done enough to reach out to Hispanic voters on the campaign’s limited resources and said the pace would pick up in the general election cycle .

Read what Rubio said about immigration, Charlie Crist and Paul Ryan after the jump.
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West Palm Obama volunteers call senior citizens to discuss Medicare, Social Security

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 by Andrew Abramson

Days after Paul Ryan was named Mitt Romney’s GOP running mate, West Palm Beach senior citizen Obama supporters took to the phones today to call fellow elderly residents and criticize the economic plans of the Romney/Ryan campaign. The Obama campaign turned the phone calls into a media event, inviting reporters to listen in.

If an Obama supporter answered the phone, the volunteers thanked them and said: “President Obama is working to preserve and protect a secure and healthy retirement for us today and in the future. The President strongly opposes turning essential programs like Medicare and Social Security — which we have been paying for our entire lives — into vouchers, or leaving them up to the stock market, as the Romney-Ryan plan proposes.”

If an undecided vote on Romney supporter answered the phone, they basically got the same pitch with an added: “After a lifetime of hard work and responsibility, America’s seniors deserve the very best, and President Obama is committed to making sure we hold up our end of the bargain.”

The volunteers were also given various talking points, praising Obama for reducing health care fraud and lowering Medicare premiums.

Dem chair calls Republican Medicare plan tornado through nursing homes; GOP hits Obama on health costs

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012 by George Bennett

Aftermath of a 2011 tornado through nursing home in Joplin, Mo.

Ratcheting up the rhetoric on the eve of Vice President Joe Biden‘s visit to a South Florida senior community, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz today likened Republican Medicare proposals to “a tornado through America’s nursing homes.”

A spokesman for the Republican National Committee, which has been running ads blaming President Obama for higher health care costs, called Wasserman Schultz’s imagery “irresponsible rhetoric.”

Wasserman Schultz, a congresswoman from Broward County, and U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, criticized House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan‘s latest budget proposal, which Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney hailed as a “bold step toward putting our nation back on the track to fiscal sanity and robust economic growth.”

Said Wasserman Schultz: “The Romney-Ryan budget would be devastating to seniors and older Americans. It is a Republican path to poverty that would pass like a tornado through America’s nursing homes where millions of America’s seniors receive long-term and end-of-life care.”

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LeMieux fares better than Haridopolos on conservative talk show

Monday, June 6th, 2011 by Dara Kam

Despite differences of opinion, U.S. Senate candidate George LeMieux managed to stay on the air with conservative talk-show host Ray Junior this evening, unlike one of LeMieux’ GOP primary opponents, Senate President Mike Haridopolos.

Junior tossed Haridopolos off his show last week for refusing to answer whether he’s vote for or against U.S. House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan‘s spending plan.

After a long back-and-forth about commuter rail and SunRail, Junior asked LeMieux the same question.

“Should I give you a five minute answer?” quipped LeMieux, who served 16 months as U.S. senator after being appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist to fill a vacancy created by Mel Martinez. “I would have voted for it.”

LeMieux gave a somewhat more rambling response to query about whether or not he supports the Fair Tax proposal that would replace federal income taxes with a national sales tax.

“I think there’s a lot of good things about it,” LeMieux began.

Junior credited LeMieux with knowing enough about Fair Tax to talk about it, and gave him a high grade at the end of the show, but not before putting him on the spot about Charlie Crist, who called LeMieux “the maestro.” The pair’s careers were closely linked until Crist left the Republican party for a losing independent bid for the U.S. Senate last year.

“When did you discover Charlie Crist was a dirtbag?” Junior, who has dubbed himself “America’s loose cannon,” asked.

LeMieux didn’t bite.

“I would not say Charlie Crist is a dirt bag. I would not say anything negative about him,” LeMieux insisted, despite repeated goading by Junior. “Charlie Crist is my friend. I have taken a pledge not to say anything negative about him. I don’t think it’s productive.”

Despite refusing to engage in Crist-bashing, Junior, who also bragged about throwing now-U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster off his show during the 2010 campaign season, gave LeMieux an overall thumbs-up.

“I thought I was going to have to kick him off. He did good. ‘Cause he answered the damn questions,” he said.

Senate prez booted off conservative talk show

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011 by Dara Kam

Senate President Mike Haridopolos is the big cheese in his chamber but apparently not so much on conservative talk show host Ray Junior‘s turf.

Junior cut short a telephone interview with Haridopolos, who is running for U.S. Senate in what could be a brutal GOP primary, because the Merritt Island Republican refused to answer whether he would vote for U.S. House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget if elected.

As he did with The Palm Beach Post’s reporter George Bennett earlier this week, Haridopolos sidestepped questions about how he would vote on Ryan’s controversial spending plan.

Among the non-answers Haridopolos gave: “I’m not in the U.S. Senate but I am in the Florida Senate.”

After repeatedly asking Haridopolos to answer the question, an exasperated Junior wound up the interview.

“Get him off my phone. I don’t want anything to do with this guy. Get rid of him,” he told an aide.

Democrats buy radio ads targeting West, Rooney for Medicare vote

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011 by George Bennett

U.S. Reps. Allen West, R-Plantation, and Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta, are being targeted in Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee radio ads for voting for a budget plan last week that would change Medicare from the defined-benefit program it is today to a program in which the government provides “premium support” for people to purchase private insurance plans.

The Medicare proposal, part of a budget plan drafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., would apply to those who are now younger than 55. The Ryan budget passed last week on a 235-193 vote with every Democrat in the House opposed.

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