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Rubio, Priebus say old Obama audio shows agenda of dependency

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 by John Kennedy

Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus seized on a 14-year-old audiotape of then Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama talking up income “redistribution” as they worked to take the edge of Mitt Romney’s own caught-on-tape moment at a Boca Raton fund-raiser earlier this year.

Priebus said in a conference call with reporters that Obama’s comments at Loyola University in 1998 underscore the differences between the two presidential contenders. About Obama, Priebus said, “It makes sense…we know his agenda is an agenda of dependency.”

While Rubio acknowledged that Romney wishes he had framed his statement about 47 percent of Americans being dependent on government “in a different way,” the Republican nominee has a different view of the economy.

“Mitt Romney believes the economy can always grow, but when it grows, we can all be better off,” Rubio said.

 Romney has been fighting back since Monday’s release of a videotape shot at a May fund-raiser at hedge fund manager Marc Leder‘s house in Boca Raton where the nominee said that 47% of Americans pay no income tax and are dependent on government.

 Romney said that group of voters will never support him, so he can’t “worry about” them.

Romney hasn’t apologized for his remarks. But he says he could have said them better.

On Wednesday, the Romney campaign was firing off press releases condemning Obama’s 1998 speech. On the tape, Obama says: “The trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some (wealth) redistribution — because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody’s got a shot.”

Romney is scheduled to be in Miami tonight for the taping of a Univision interview from the University of  Miami. The taped broadcast is to air at 10 p.m. tonight. Obama is due to tape his comments Thursday for broadcast 10 p.m., Thursday.

GOP convention postponed, Scott cancels Sunday and Monday activities

Saturday, August 25th, 2012 by Dara Kam

Republicans have postponed their national convention in Tampa at least a day because of concerns about Tropical Storm Isaac.

The event will kick off Monday morning but the convention will immediately recess until Tuesday afternoon, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.

“Due to the severe weather reports for the Tampa Bay area, the Republican National Convention will convene on Monday August 27th and immediately recess until Tuesday afternoon, August 28th. After consulting with Governor Scott, NOAA and local emergency management officials, we are optimistic that we will begin an exciting, robust convention that will nominate the Romney-Ryan ticket,” Priebus said.

Gov. Rick Scott has canceled all of his convention-related events Sunday and Monday, including his speech, because of the storm.

So far, however, no delegates have canceled their plans to attend the convention, according to GOP officials.

Isaac moved into Cuba on Saturday after causing flooding and several deaths in Haiti. Forecasters say the storm is on a track that would bring it toward Florida Monday and Tuesday. The Tampa Bay region is under a tropical storm watch already.

Here’s an excerpt from Scott’s statement:

“I am continuing to lead multiple daily briefings with local, state and federal decision makers and RNC officials to share information so the best decisions can be made for each region. I also spoke to Governor Romney earlier today and briefed him on the storm and possible impact to the state. I have made Governor Romney and RNC officials aware of the resources our state can provide in the chance Tampa is affected. Like all decision-makers affected by this storm, the convention officials will make the best decisions for delegates and participants.”

And here’s Priebus’ memo effectively canceling day one:

Due to the severe weather reports for the Tampa Bay area, the Republican National Convention will convene on Monday August 27th and immediately recess until Tuesday afternoon, August 28th, exact time to follow.

Our first priority is ensuring the safety of delegates, alternates, guests, members of the media attending the Republican National Convention, and citizens of the Tampa Bay area. RNC Convention officials and the Romney campaign are working closely with state, local and federal officials, as well as the Secret Service, to monitor Tropical Storm Isaac and preserve Florida’s emergency management resources. Officials have predicted participants may encounter severe transportation difficulties due to sustained wind and rain.

The Republican National Convention will take place and officially nominate Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, and the Party has other necessary business it must address. We also are remaining in constant contact with state and federal officials and may make additional schedule alterations as needed.

The Convention staff is working around-the-clock to ensure the delegations housed in storm-impacted areas have alternative housing if needed. The Committee on Arrangements will provide additional information to delegates and alternate delegates who are affected by Isaac by Sunday morning. We will also provide guidance to those delegates and alternate delegates who may encounter travel difficulties due to the storm.

We will begin issuing revised convention programming as early as Sunday.

We have an experienced team that will ensure changes are operationally smooth and create as little disruption as possible. The most important concern is safety, but our Convention program will proceed.

And here’s a memo from Republican National Convention President and CEO Bill Harris:

“Our chief priority is the safety of the residents of Florida, of those visiting the Convention, and all those in Gulf Coast states who may be impacted by Tropical Storm Isaac. We have been working closely with the campaign, the party, and state and local officials for months to ensure a successful, enjoyable convention. Federal, state and local officials assure us that they are prepared to respond, if needed, and the scheduling changes we are announcing today will help ensure the continued safety of all participants – our foremost concern. We are also committed to keeping the delegates and guests of the convention well informed about the situation, and we will continue providing updates in the hours and days ahead.”

Republicans deride Obama’s Disney visit as ‘taxpayer-paid campaign day’

Thursday, January 19th, 2012 by George Bennett

Obama will be in Magic Kingdom today; Sen. Nelson will be in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

LAKE BUENA VISTA — As President Obama prepares to announce a tourism initiative at Walt Disney World today, Republicans say the official visit is really just an effort to shore up his sagging poll numbers in the critical Sunshine State.

“It looks like our president is at it again with yet another taxpayer-paid campaign day,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus this morning on a conference call. “It’s amazing that this president seems to find himself every day in battleground states across America paid for by the taxpayers. He doesn’t seem to end up in Montana or Nebraska very often…It’s a campaign trip to a very important battleground state of Florida where the president is doing very poorly.”

Obama carried Florida with 51 percent in 2008, but polls show him running even with Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney now. Obama’s job disapproval rating has been above 50 percent in the last four Quinnipiac University polls of Florida voters going back to September.

“His approval rating in Florida looks like one of the drops in Space Mountain,” Priebus said.

Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry joined Priebus on the call and accused Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, who’s up for reelection this year, of “running scared” because Nelson is attending events in Sarasota and Manatee counties today and won’t be joining Obama. A Nelson spokesman on Wednesday said accusations that Nelson is ducking the president are “bologna.”

Republican Gov. Rick Scott has disapproval ratings about even with Obama in Florida.

“He’s not on the ballot, No. 1. The president’s on the ballot,” said Priebus, who also said he thinks Scott is doing a good job.

Bachmann says no to Trump/Newsmax debate

Friday, December 9th, 2011 by Dara Kam

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann won’t participate in a GOP presidential candidate debate hosted by West Palm Beach’s Newsmax and moderated by part-time Palm Beacher Donald Trump.

Bachmann’s spokeswoman Alice Stewart confirmed late last night that Bachmann will not take part in the Dec. 27 debate – the last before the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses meet on Jan. 3 – but did not give a reason. Bachmann has met at least four times with Trump since she entered the race, most recently in New York on Nov. 21.

Thus far, only Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have agreed to field questions from “The Donald,” although Newsmax executives have said three candidates have confirmed but would not identify them. Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry and Ron Paul have also refused to join the debate.

As recently as two weeks ago, Trump, who once flirted with running in the GOP primary, said he hasn’t ruled out running as an independent.

The possibility of the real estate mogul and reality TV show host entering the race prompted some GOP leaders, including Karl Rove and Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, to condemn the debate.

“We appreciate what Mr. Trump has done, but if you’re still talking about potentially running as an independent candidate, I think that’s a problem,” Priebus said on Fox News last night. “I think that would be malpractice for me as an RNC chairman to not believe that that is an issue.”

The debate is slated to air on another Palm Beach institution – Ion Television, the former PAX TV, which is based in West Palm Beach and reaches more than 99 million households nationwide.

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