Florida Democratic Party News Clips — February 13, 2013
WHAT FLORIDIANS ARE READING THIS MORNING: President Obama Lays out Comprehensive Plan to Grow Middle Class during State of the Union
President Barack Obama Focuses on Gun Control, Middle Class in State of the Union [Tampa Bay Times] "President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address Tuesday night to renew focus on the economy and reigniting a 'rising, thriving middle class,' calling for public spending on infrastructure and education while making an emotional demand that Congress act on gun control. 'Gabby Giffords deserves a vote…the families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote…the families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence — they deserve a simple vote.'
While the President laid out a plan, Rubio left us thirsting for new ideas…
Thirst for Power? Or Just Thirst? Marco Rubio's Weird, Viral Dry-Mouth Moment [Miami Herald] ""Sen. Marco Rubio was cruising along in his rebuttal to the president's State of the Union speech Tuesday night when he couldn't take it any longer. The small bottle of Poland Spring water was irresistible. Eyes fixed on the camera, the Florida Republican interrupted his own speech to take a live swig. It quenched his thirst but sent Twitter ablaze. The small, live on-camera miscue helped throw cold water on his GOP response to the president's speech.”
Rubio’s Rebuttal [New York Times Editorial] "He did a pretty good job sounding like he learned the lessons of 2012…Mr. Rubio declared that he was particularly concerned about seniors who depend on Medicare, like his mother, and that 'anyone who is in favor of leaving Medicare exactly the way it is right now, is in favor of bankrupting it.' Funny Mr. Rubio should say that, because on Tuesday night, Mr. Obama argued that we can’t leave Medicare as is: 'Those of us who care deeply about programs like Medicare must embrace the need for modest reforms.'…Mr. Rubio didn’t actually mention how he would fix Medicare.
First Thoughts: Obama's Two Speeches in One [MSNBC] On Rubio's rebuttal: "Did Rubio broaden his party’s reach? While he’s younger than Mitt Romney and has a more relatable life story, Rubio’s speech was almost a rehash of almost everything we heard from Romney and the GOP in 2012…All of those messages had hundreds of millions of dollars behind them in the 2012 presidential election, and Republicans got just 47% of the vote in the presidential election."
Where Were Marco Rubio’s New Ideas? [Washing Post Editorial]
Marco Rubio Has Learned Nothing [New York Times Editorial]
With Nothing New to Offer, Rubio Returns to Old Ideas of the Past
The Marco Rubio-Jeb Bush-voucher connection [Miami Herald]
Voting Rights Highlighted at SOTU
Obama, Nelson Join Push to Rein in Long Voting Lines [Orlando Sentinel] "Long lines on Election Day in Florida and elsewhere spurred a call from President Barack Obama Tuesday for a bipartisan commission 'to improve the voting experience' and drew new support for federal legislation aimed at cutting wait times. In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Obama said that five-, six- and seven-hour voting lines – seen in Florida during the Nov. 6 election and detailed in an Orlando Sentinel analysis – 'are betraying our ideals.'
Desiline Victor Gets Standing Ovation At Obama's State Of The Union Address [Huffington Post] "Desiline Victor, a 102-year-old Miami woman who waited for hours to vote in the last election, got a standing ovation from the nation's top leaders during President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night…'When she arrived at her polling place, she was told the wait to vote might be six hours,' the president said. 'And as time ticked by, her concern was not with her tired body or aching feet, but whether folks like her would get to have their say. Hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line in support of her. Because Desiline is 102 years old. And they erupted in cheers when she finally put on a sticker that read "I Voted."'
Elections Matter: Success of Rick Scott’s Agenda in the Hands of Democrats
Gov. Rick Scott Needs Democrats [Miami Herald] “For the first time in his brief and turbulent political career, Gov. Rick Scott needs a little help from Florida’s Democrats to turn one of his wishes into law. Scott’s top legislative priority this year — a $141 million tax cut for manufacturers — comes with an asterisk: It has to garner ‘Yes’ votes from two-thirds of the Legislature to pass. That means Democrats — whose gains in November breached the Republican supermajorities in Tallahassee — suddenly find themselves in an unfamiliar power position as they try to defeat Scott in 2014.”
Florida Republican’s Woes Continue
Tampa Tribune editorial: Come clean, Florida GOP [TBO.com] Instead of wearing blinders and breathing a sigh of relief that what promised to be an embarrassing trial for the party was avoided, Grissom and other Republican leaders should answer some questions: Where prostitutes indeed present during a fundraising trip to the Bahamas organized by Greer and the party's then-finance chairman, Harry Sargeant III? Did the Republican Party of Florida work to suppress the votes of black people?...The bottom line here is serious questions have been raised about the conduct — and spending — of the Republican Party of Florida.
Gov. Rick Scott's Jobs Package Coming Under Fire [AP] "Gov. Rick Scott, who has made job creation his top priority since taking office, is encountering growing resistance to his efforts to use additional tax dollars in his efforts to jumpstart Florida's economy. Scott's jobs development agency is coming under scrutiny from lawmakers increasingly skeptical of its recent track record in luring new companies and new jobs to the state…The growing unease over the use of economic incentives comes amid such high-profile failures as Digital Domain. The company last year filed for bankruptcy and shuttered its facility in Florida after it accepted incentives, including $20 million from the state. Two other companies that got help also have declared bankruptcy; the state is demanding the return of money from other companies that did not fulfill promised jobs."