Tag Archives: Rubio

Battleground Counties: Hillsborough County, Florida

One of my favorite topics this election season are the Battleground Counties that will truly decide this election.  We’ve covered a few of these so far and here is an extensive look at one of the more important players due to the electoral votes at stake: Hillsborough County, Florida which includes Tampa, home of the Republicans National Convention this year.  Travelers advisory warning: this write-up is full of a lot of great data.  But the author veers off into wholly inaccurate information and some partisan opinion writing when it comes to Obama’s organizational operation in the state.  It’s unfortunate because these inaccuracies and biased rhetoric mar what is otherwise a great look at an all-important Battleground County:

In 2008, Hillsborough became the only Florida county that had backed Republican George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 to flip to Barack Obama. A surge of minority voters, young people, and independents helped Obama wring 68,000 more votes out of Hillsborough than John Kerry had, propelling him to a 7-point victory over Republican nominee John McCain in the county. How closely divided is Hillsborough? Of the 1.95 million votes cast in presidential elections since 1992, Republican nominees won only about 14,000 more than Democratic nominees. The outcome in the Tampa Bay market has run within 2 percentage points of the statewide result in every presidential election since 1992. The campaign here will pit Obama’s organizational power and his capacity to take advantage of the region’s shifting demographics against Romney’s message of fiscal prudence, backed by the state’s all-powerful GOP establishment, and played against the backdrop of a still-sputtering local economy.

How South Florida’s eastern and western counties achieved their ideological split

Liberal Northeasterners headed south on I-95 to Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, turning South Florida into a Democratic stronghold, while folks from Michigan and Ohio took I-75 to Florida’s west coast. The influx bestowed on Hillsborough County a Midwestern sensibility that’s more practical than ideological.

Fiscal conservatism in the county

In one obvious sign of the county’s penny-pinching mind-set, tea party activists help lead a successful battle in 2010 against a 1-cent increase in the sales tax to pay for light rail and other transportation projects in the county. The Democratic nominee for governor that year, Alex Sink, hailed from Hillsborough County but won here by only 10,000 votes. That slim margin of victory helped Republican Rick Scott, a former corporate executive who promised to create 700,000 jobs in seven years, narrowly win statewide.

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ABC News Reports Marco Rubio Not Being Vetted for Vice President

Here’s the headline grabbing story from Jon Karl:

But knowledgeable Republican sources tell me that Rubio is not being vetted by Mitt Romney’s vice presidential search team. He has not been asked to complete any questionnaires or been asked to turn over any financial documents typically required of potential vice presidential candidates. Although it is possible that Rubio may yet be asked to go through the vetting process, it has been nearly two months since Romney named his long-time aide Beth Myers to run his vice presidential search. The fact that Rubio has not been asked to turn over any documents by now is a strong indication that he is not on Romney’s short list of potential running mates.

Let me go on record and say I doubt this story is accurate.  There is a lot to lead a natural cynic like me to think this is nothing more than a head-fake.

Update: From Matt Lewis at The Daily Caller: “Rubio’s book reveals he declined to be vetted as Crist’s Lt. gov. running mate. Turned out well. Wonder if he made a similar calculation?”

Restore Our Future (pro-Romney PAC) Launching $7 million Ad Buy

10 days, 8 states, $7 million and one suprise — Pennsylvania:

Media buying sources say the group is putting down at least $7 million on television ads in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The ads will air from this Wednesday, June 20, through June 30. It’s Restore Our Future’s first ad buy this month and comes less than a week after casino mogul Sheldon Adelson announced a $10 million donation to the group. Run by former Romney aides, Restore Our Future raised more than $41 million during the Republican primary — and spent most of it attacking Romney’s rivals. The group is now training its fire on President Obama…Sens. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Marco Rubio of Florida will speak at a fundraiser for Restore Our Future in New York this week.

Vice President Watch: Marco Rubio

With the launch of his book, “American Son,” on Tuesday Marco Rubio will be getting a lot of press this week and over the weekend.  The USA Today published a front page profile of the Florida Senator along with a five minute video:

Florida’s junior senator — 41 years old, the fastest-rising Hispanic political star in American politics and a contender to be Mitt Romney’s running mate — is a man in a hurry. His memoirs, titled An American Son, are being published Tuesday (Sentinel, $26.95). Since winning a Senate seat two years ago in a Tea Party-fueled upset, he has made official trips to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and elsewhere, not to mention a visit to Guantanamo Bay that included his first steps on his family’s native island of Cuba. President Obama on Friday essentially adopted Rubio’s policy compromise to allow young people brought illegally to the United States as children to gain legal status, putting him smack in the center of one of the year’s most contentious issues.

The highest ranking Latinos are in the Republican party:

It is a curiosity of American politics that, while Latino voters are overwhelmingly Democratic, the highest-ranking Latino officeholders are just as likely to be Republican. Both Hispanic governors now in office, Susana Martinez of New Mexico and Brian Sandoval of Nevada, are Republicans. In the Senate, the only other Hispanic is Democrat Bob Menendez of New Jersey.

Rubio wrote this book for many reasons:

Rubio says he wrote the 307-page book for any number of reasons. People were interested in his story, and he wanted to tell it himself. (Another book, The Rise of MarcoRubio by Manuel Roig-Franzia, also is being published Tuesday.) He’d like to earn enough money to pay off his last student loan, from law school, which now costs him $700 a month. He wanted to pay tribute to his parents and grandparents. One more possible reason for the book: to explain financial and personal controversies that, unaddressed, could dog him. He’s accumulated some baggage since graduating from the University of Miami Law School in 1996 and launching the fastest rise in American politics since, well, Barack Obama.

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Quick Hits

Smart 1-minute take on the current state of the campaign from Time’s Mark Halperin

“CBS Sunday Morning” Profiles Marco Rubio

North Carolina poses uphill battle for Obama, though Charlotte is DNC host city…but you know that

“Have you beaten Obama yet?” — Mitt Romney’s 4-year old grandson

2008 Obama campaign adviser and former Obama law professor Robert Unger says “Obama must be defeated

Ron Paul insurgents continue to frustrate state GOP leaders, this time in Iowa

Justice is blind, unless they refuse to legislate from the bench in favor of liberals

Five Myths About Marco Rubio

Considering Marco Rubio is going to be our next Vice President, I thought we should start de-mystifying him today:

1. Marco Rubio is too inexperienced to be vice president.

Obama had been in the Senate barely two years when he announced that he was running for president. He came to Washington after serving three terms in the Illinois legislature. Rubio, 41, served four terms in the Florida legislature. And Obama was far from being the power player in Illinois that Rubio was in Florida. Rubio served as majority whip, majority leader and speaker of the House. Almost from the moment he arrived in Tallahassee, he was in the middle of every hot issue, from education funding to property taxes.

2. Rubio is a creation of the tea party movement.

Lost in all the tea party hoopla is Rubio’s long history as a rank-and-file Republican. In his 20s, he served as a county chairman for Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign. In his early 30s, while in the legislature, he established a reputation as a savvy insider and partisan pit bull for one of his mentors, then-House Speaker Johnnie Byrd. By the time Rubio ran for the Senate in his late 30s, he was a force in Florida GOP politics and had entree to Republican royalty through his close relationship with Gov. Jeb Bush.

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Quick hits

Mitt Romney leaves a note for reporters in Weatherly, Pennsylvania

More on the Ron Paul supporters coup attempt in Iowa

Unlike other local politicians, Florida Governor Rick Scott stays away from the Romney campaign

Obama’s policy strategy: Ignore laws

Romney: I want to talk economy, Obama? Not so much

Top ten quotes from Sarah Palin’s address from RightOnline

Obama’s immigration decision could boost Marco Rubio’s VP chances…but you knew that already

A Vice President Rubio Would Help a President Romney Immigrate to Washington

Florida Senator Marco Rubio should be selected to be Mitt Romney’s Vice President on his Presidential ticket this Fall. Turning around the failing economy and increasing jobs will remain a priority for the country throughout the election season, but comprehensive immigration reform is also an important priority among Hispanics and non-Hispanics alike. Marco Rubio has the fiscal conservative bona fides to support the Romney economic plan but more importantly he brings unparalleled expertise and credibility on immigration reform expanding Republican appeal to voters unhappy with the Obama Administration’s neglect on this issue.

Senator Rubio has already outlined many principles of a forthcoming comprehensive approach to reforming immigration that deserves both a fair hearing in the Hispanic community but also in the halls of Congress. Importantly, Democrats have crafted legislation on immigration (the “DREAM Act”) that remains extremely popular with Hispanics garnering upwards of 90% support–a support level Republicans must conceded warrants serious evaluation in any attempts at comprehensive reform.

Mitt Romney has demonstrated openness to a diverse set of opinions on this topic through his recently announced “Juntos con Romney” team comprising many DREAM Act supporters including a bill co-sponsor.  “Juntos con Romney” is charged with attracting crucial Hispanic voters who are expected to possibly determine the outcome in closely contested states like Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico.

At the same time, Governor Romney supports secure borders and Federal enforcement of the borders–positions extremely popular with non-Hispanics. A Romney Administration can also be expected to fill the void of Federal neglect on enforcement and not outsource border security to private citizens.

With Marco Rubio on the ticket, comprehensive immigration reform can be expected to be a priority in a Romney Administration where everyone is invited to the table and everyone’s voice will be heard on an issue important to all Americans.

The Obama Administration fears both Rubio and his efforts at immigration reform evidenced by White House attempts to dissuade reform activists from even sitting down with Rubio – how’s that for open dialogue? At the same time, Obama friendly media outlets have run incredibly dishonest hit pieces on the popular Senator to little effect.  Clearly Mr. Rubio is on to something that scares this White House – something Mitt Romney should capitalize on.

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Demographics Watch: “Juntos Con Romney”

Consistent with the stories we have see regarding ads focusing on the Hispanic community as well as the need for a more personal approach to the outreach, the Romney campaign today launched a robust organization to focus on these issues:

Mitt Romney today announced the leadership team of his Hispanic Steering Committee, “Juntos Con Romney.” The group will be led by National Chairmen Former Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, Former Attorney General of Puerto Rico Jose Fuentes, and Former Administrator of the Small Business Administration Hector Barreto. Other prominent Hispanic leaders from across the country will serve on the leadership team and help guide the campaign on important Hispanic initiatives and outreach…

“The Hispanic community has been especially hard-hit by President Obama’s policies,” said Secretary Gutierrez. “Instead of spurring economic growth and creating jobs, President Obama has only expanded government and hurt job-creation. We need a leader who will bring back jobs, help small businesses, and ensure that the American Dream remains for future generations…“President Obama’s failed economic policies have not helped Hispanics as he promised they would,” said Jose Fuentes. “All across America, businesses are failing and families are struggling. We cannot sit idly by while President Obama piles up more debt and implements more job-killing policies.

“President Obama inspired many Americans in 2008, but since then he has deliberately pitted Americans against each other, failing to live up to the promises of his 2008 campaign,” said Senator Marco Rubio. “He has failed to fix our economy, bring back jobs, lower gas prices, and stop runaway government spending. We are not better off than we were three and a half years ago when he took office. We need to take a new course. Mitt Romney will bring his economic experience from the private sector and record of creating jobs and lowering spending as governor to Washington and will be able to restore America’s promise.”

National Chairmen:

Secretary Carlos Gutierrez
Jose Fuentes
Hector Barreto

Honorary Co-Chairmen And Co-Chairwomen:

Gov. Luis Fortuño (Puerto Rico)
Gov. Brian Sandoval (NV)
Gov. Susana Martinez (NM)
Sen. Marco Rubio (FL)

National Advisory Board:
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL)
Former Sen. Mel Martinez (FL)
Former Gov. Jeb Bush (FL)
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA)
Former Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL)
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (FL)
Rep. Raul Labrador (ID)
Rep. Quico Canseco (TX)
Former Interior Secretary and Former Rep. Manuel Lujan (NM)
State Rep. Anitere Flores (FL)
George P. Bush
Rudy Fernandez
Josefina Carbonell
Cari Dominguez

Romney Vice-President Talk and The Battlegrounds

Speculation on the short-list for Vice-President on Mitt Romney’s ticket is plenty of fun for TV talking heads and newspapers looking for stories beyond the oft-repeated campaign stump rhetoric.  For those reasons I understand the excitement that often associates “any” news a presumptive short-lister makes. I don’t expect to spend much time on this parlor game but today seems to be rife with VP “news” with battleground state implications so take a took: