Jeb Bush Archives - Page 7 of 147 - Florida Politics

Denise Grimsley: Health care top issue for 2017 Legislature

Health care — and expanded Medicaid funds offered by the federal government — are still on the minds of many Floridians if a barrage of questions from Tuesday’s Tiger Bay of Polk County luncheon is any indication.

State Sen. Denise Grimsley, a Sebring Republican, came to the lunch prepared to discuss the accomplishments of the 2016 Florida Legislature. But as one of the key experts on health care and nursing in the Senate, she fielded many health legislation questions by the audience, made up largely of middle-aged and older voters.

They hungrily asked what the Legislature will do on health care matters in 2017.

Grimsley is well qualified to answer. As a veteran nurse, and now administrator of two hospitals in her 26th Senate District, she has fought the Florida Medical Association’s attempts to restrict services of nurse practitioners and physician assistants that have been allowed in other states.

Asked for the top issues the Legislature can expect to deal with, Grimsley — who will be there since she drew no opponent during qualifying — said health care. The second issue, she said, would be water issues dealing most notably with the need for dike repairs on Lake Okeechobee, Indian River’s continued problems and the demand by some in South Florida that the state buy up all of the sugar-growing lands.

She had candid and succinct remarks on Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s method of vetoing bills approved by both House and Senate.

“Under Jeb Bush, you knew why he was going to veto a bill, whether you liked it or not,” she said.

Grimsley said Bush laid down specific criteria that had to be met by a piece of legislation for him to sign it into law.

“Under Gov. Scott’s administration, there is no going to explain the bill or a definite system it seems to use. At times a bill is vetoed and (his) staff comes to us and says ‘Oh, we really didn’t understand,’” she said,

Asked for details on a series of bills from the past, Grimsley quipped, “Every legislative session is like having a baby. It is painful, and I just want to forget about it.”

Grimsley was asked about the attempts by her and others that finally passed legislation allowing nurse practitioners and physician assistants to prescribe narcotic drugs to patients under controlled situations. Florida was one of the very last states to allow it because of decades of pressure against from the Florida Medical Association.

“(The FMA) has lobbyists as do all special interests. And lobbyists try to justify their work to their members,” she said.

But it is really about the quality of medical care, Grimsley said, during a brief interview after her address. Many of the small towns in her district have no doctor, and the elderly often can’t travel to a city to get a medical prescription for an illness that could be cured over the weekend or a few days. Nurse practitioners working in clinics can now do that.

She also said the federal and state monies “need to follow the patient” and never really have, going to state agencies or other medical disbursement systems. A former House Budget Chair, Grimsley said expanded Medicaid money offered by the federal government would help patients and cut health care costs.

Mitch Perry Report for 7.12.16 — Will the FBI open another investigation into Hillary Clinton?

While there should be smiles in Portsmouth, New Hampshire later today when Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have their unity rally, some things to contemplate about Clinton, a week after the FBI announced they will not indict her in the investigation of her email server while serving as secretary of state.

A majority of Americans think FBI Director James Comey let her off easily. Fifty-six percent of Americans disapprove of Comey’s decision to exonerate her, according to a Washington Post survey released Monday, while 35 percent approve.

This poll includes liberals who think that Clinton’s behavior here was a bit shady. Over three in 10 Democrats disapprove of Director Comey’s recommendation against charges for Clinton (31 percent), and the same percentage says the issue makes them worry about Clinton’s presidential responsibility. Over four in 10 liberals say the issue raises concerns about how Clinton might handle responsibilities as president, as do 36 percent of non-white Americans and 56 percent of those under age 40.

If you watched Comey’s four-and-a-half hour performance in front of the House Oversight Committee last Thursday, you saw how chairman Jason Chaffetz asked Comey if he had investigated whether Mrs. Clinton had lied under oath regarding her emails when she gave her 10-hour performance before a committee investigating her actions in the Benghazi tragedy last fall. Come said he needed a referral — Chaffetz immediately responded, “You’ll get one in a few hours.”

Well, it took a few days, but in fact, the Oversight Committee last night referred the matter formally to the FBI to investigate. The New York Times reports this morning that while legal analysts think it’s unlikely the bureau would ultimately find enough evidence to prosecute her for lying to Congress, “there might be enough to warrant opening an investigation. That alone could prove damaging to her campaign.”

To say the least. While supporters of Mrs. Clinton will maintain the Republicans should just let go of their obsession to go after her, another investigation will not help her out, folks. It won’t. This isn’t like the Republicans when they impeached Bill Clinton, and clearly overreached. The public knew the facts there, and saw the Republicans were being bullies. Here? The fact is she’s got serious trust issues.

In other news…

SD 19 candidate Augie Ribeiro pours in $300,000 of his own cash to kick-start his very late entrance into that race.

Jeb Bush emerged from exile last night to condemn Donald Trump once again, telling voters that they’ll only be disappointed if he actually gets elected in November.

Bush says he’ll “actively campaign for Pinellas County CD 13 Congressman David Jolly this fall.

House District 61 Democratic candidate Sean Shaw talks about working with the GOP if elected, guns in the Legislature, and getting “the talk” about how to handle issues with the police from his father, the late Leander Shaw, the first African-American named to the Florida Supreme Court.

The Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission is poised to raise the fines incurred by Uber and Lyft drivers in the county, much to the distress of state Senator Jeff Brandes, a leading PTC critic.

Jeb Bush says voters will be betrayed if they support Donald Trump

We’re one week out from the Republican National Convention, but that doesn’t mean there’s unity within the GOP ranks.

In an interview to be broadcast Monday night on MSNBC, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says Donald Trump‘s supporters will “feel betrayed” when his promises go unfulfilled if he’s elected in November.

Speaking to GOP strategist Nicolle Wallace from Kennebunkport, Maine, the vanquished presidential candidate says Trump, “To his credit, was very smart at exploiting these kind of opportunities. He’s a master at understanding how the media works — more than anybody I’ve ever seen in politics. Kudos to him, for kind of creating the environment and then manipulating the environment to his effect.”

Bush added that the “tragedy” of his nomination is that “there isn’t going to be a wall built. And Mexico’s not going to pay for it. And there’s not going to be a ban on Muslims. … This is all like a alternative universe that he created. The reality is, that’s not going to happen. And people are going to be deeply frustrated and the divides will grow in our country. And this extraordinary country, still the greatest country on the face of the Earth, will continue to stagger instead of soar. And that’s the heartbreaking part of this, is I think people are really going to feel betrayed.”

Despite the fact that he and his super PAC raised more than $150 million in his presidential campaign in 2015-2016, Bush dropped out of the race on February 20, after finishing a disappointing fourth in South Carolina, his last stand to right his struggling campaign.

A clip of the interview is shown below. You can watch the entire interview at 10 p.m. ET on MSNBC as part of a special hour anchored by Rachel Maddow and Brian Williams.

Jeb Bush says he’ll campaign for David Jolly in CD 13

Jeb Bush has formally endorsed David Jolly in his race for reelection to his seat in Florida’s 13th Congressional District in Pinellas County, and says he’ll campaign for him this fall.

“I’m excited David Jolly decided to run for his congressional seat and I plan on actively campaigning for his re-election,” said Bush in a statement sent out by the Jolly campaign. “Representative Jolly has done what any congressman should do and that’s do the job that he was elected to do. I am proud to support him in this race.”

Jolly backed Bush in his unsuccessful bid for president that ended earlier this year. He said it was an honor to receive such “enthusiastic support” from the former Florida Governor.

“Jeb worked tirelessly for all Floridians as Governor and especially for children throughout Pinellas and the entire nation as an advocate for education reform,” Jolly said in the statement. “We share this commitment to education, particularly when it comes to improving early childhood education and student readiness. I look forward to working with Governor Bush and families throughout Pinellas on these and other important priorities.”

Despite raising more than $100 million during his campaign for president over the last year, Bush had trouble breaking through with the Republican electorate during the race, and dropped out after finishing a disappointing fourth in the South Carolina primary in February. However, he remains a superstar in GOP politics in Florida, and it shouldn’t be much of a problem for him to campaign against Crist, who succeeded him in the governor’s mansion in Tallahassee back in 2006.

Crist left the GOP to run and lose as an independent to Marco Rubio in the race for U.S. Senate in 2010. After that election, Bush said Crist had “abandoned” the Republican Party and was “not welcome” to return.

In fact, Crist never did return to the GOP. He officially switched to become a Democrat in late 2012, and became the Florida Democratic Party’s gubernatorial nominee in 2014, where he narrowly lost to Rick Scott.

8 Reasons Rick Scott is the perfect veep for Donald Trump

Rick Scott is basically as awful as Donald Trump in so many ways. But before Floridians start petitioning Trump to introduce Scott to a presidential election turnout and an embarrassing loss before Scott runs for U.S. Senate in 2018, read all eight reasons.

8) Cons. Scott didn’t build his $300-some million fortune with a fraudulent university, but he did help build a company that defrauded Medicare and Medicaid by way more, paying a record $1.7 billion fine.

7) Muslims. Scott was offending Muslims and Hispanics long before Trump descended down the escalator at Trump Tower. Scott put some of his first campaign dollars into fearmongering about Muslims in “Obama’s Mosque” near Ground Zero in 2010. Also, mic cut.

6) Hispanics. Similar to Trump, and despite all evidence, Hispanics love Scott, according to … only Rick Scott. Scott claims he “won” the Hispanic vote in 2014, despite actually losing it by 20 percent.

5) Little Marco. While Trump’s insults are infamous, Scott is doing his part in Florida. He backed Trump over Rubio (and Jeb!) and is now working against Rubio in his U.S. Senate race, supporting mini-Trump Carlos Beruff, best known for unapologetically calling President Obama an “animal.”

4) Smarts. Trump could own Anderson Cooper‘s “RedicuList” segment, but Scott once got on it for insulting “everybody’s intelligence” trying to defend himself for using on-duty cops at campaign events.

3) Votes. Trump needs turnout to be as depressed as Jeb! after South Carolina. Scott has been hard at work, rolling back civil rights reforms that allowed nonviolent ex-felons to vote.

2) Money. Scott won in 2014 by outspending his opponent on TV by $33 millionRomney lost Florida by less than 1 percent in 2012, but only outspent Obama by $17 million. An extra $16 million might have bought 29 electoral votes.

1) Florida. Trump can’t win without Florida, and Rick Scott knows how to win here.


Kevin Cate owns CATECOMM, a public relations, digital, and advertising firm based in Florida.

Marco Rubio leads Carlos Beruff 71% to 7% in new AIF poll

Marco Rubio holds a 60-plus point lead over Carlos Beruff.

That’s according to a new Associated Industries of Florida poll of likely Republican primary voters. The survey — conducted June 27 and June 28, one week after Rubio announced he was running for re-election — found 71 percent of respondents said they would support Rubio in the primary.

Seven percent of voters said they would vote for Beruff, while 18 percent said they were still undecided.

Rubio announced last week he was running for a second term in the U.S. Senate, reversing a previous decision to return to private life when his term ended. The decision cleared the field, with Republicans Ron DeSantis, David Jolly, Carlos Lopez-Cantera and Todd Wilcox all bowing out of the race.

Beruff, a Manatee County homebuilder who has poured a significant amount of his own wealth into the race already, said he would continue to run for the seat. He has said he is prepared to put another $10 million to $15 million more into the race.

Rubio has received the backing of several top Republicans in Florida, including Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, and former Gov. Jeb Bush. He’s also received support from the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Sen. Ted Cruz.

One top Republican who hasn’t thrown his support behind him? Gov. Rick Scott.

In a Facebook post last week, Scott stopped short of endorsing Beruff, but said the “Florida voters deserve the opportunity to consider his candidacy alongside Sen. Rubio and make their own decision.”

While the AIF polling memo notes Rubio’s entry into the race creates an entirely different field than just a few weeks ago, it also points out Rubio was leaps and bounds ahead of Republicans even before he got into the race.

When AIF conducted a similar survey in April, 50 percent of Republicans said they would support Rubio. The April survey found 5 percent of respondents would support Beruff, while 26 percent said they were undecided. Jolly was in second in the April survey by AIF, with 8 percent support.

The AIF poll is in line with another poll released this week. A survey conducted for News 13/Bay News 9 found 63 percent of Republicans would vote for Rubio in the Aug. 30 primary, while 11 percent said they planned to support Beruff. In that survey, 13 percent of respondents were undecided.

The most recent AIF poll surveyed 750 likely voters and has a margin of error of 4 percent.

Jeb Bush throws his support behind Marco Rubio in U.S. Senate bid

Jeb Bush has picked his candidate in the U.S. Senate race.

The former Florida governor announced Thursday he was backing Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate race. The announcement came one day after Rubio announced he was running for re-election.

Bush took to Twitter on Thursday to announce his support, saying he is “joining many good conservatives in supporting” Rubio. He continued by saying there is “nothing more important than” keeping a Republican majority in the Senate.


Both men were among the more than a dozen Republicans vying for their party’s nomination for president. During the campaign, Bush had a few harsh words, including telling him he should be showing up to work.

“I’m a constituent of the senator, and I helped him, and I expected he would do constituent services, which meant he would show up to work,” said Bush during the CNBC debate in October. “When you signed up for this, this was a six-year term, and you should be showing up to work.”

Bush dropped out of the race after the South Carolina primary. Rubio dropped out a few weeks later after a disappointing showing in the Florida primary.

Rubio faces Republicans Todd Wilcox and Carlos Beruff in the Aug. 30 Republican primary.

Tim Tebow, others cut from replacement statue list

Alas, former Florida Gator quarterback Tim Tebow will not be immortalized in marble or bronze anytime soon.

At least not in the U.S. Capitol.

Nor will Miami Herald columnist and novelist Carl Hiaasen, adult film star and Florida native Riley Reid and former Gov. “Jeb Bush‘s political career (not him, his career).”

They were among nominees proposed by members of the public but rejected by staff to replace a statue of a Confederate Army general, one of two representing Florida in the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall. The other statue, of scientist-inventor Dr. John Gorrie of Apalachicola, a pivotal figure in the invention of air conditioning, will remain.

The list of rejects was released by Department of State officials Wednesday.

Some of the suggestions were likely meant to be funny (Mad magazine mascot Alfred E. Neuman, misspelled as “Newman”), others were chilling (serial killer Ted Bundy) and still others obscure (anybody know “James L. Pippin“?).

Earlier in the day, a special panel of the Great Floridians Program recommended Bethune-Cookman University founder Mary McLeod Bethune, Publix Super Markets founder George W. Jenkins and author and Everglades defender Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

State lawmakers will pick one of those finalists next year.

To be eligible for consideration, nominees had to be a “citizen of the State of Florida, either by birth or residence” and be “deceased for 10 years or more, as of January 1, 2017.”

Tebow, Hiaasen and Reid are all still living. “Jeb Bush’s political career” was disqualified for being “not a human entity.”

Tebow got the most votes, 153.

In second place on the ineligible list was Confederate Army Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith, the very man sought to be replaced. He got 49 votes, probably in protest. He was dismissed as “already in Statuary Hall.”

Third place was claimed by GOP U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, also not dead. He received 27 votes, or 28 if you count a debatable entry for “Little Marco’s tiny … ,” followed by the word for a certain male body part. (It was disqualified as “not a human entity.”)

Other notable nominees include retired Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden (still living), the late congressman from Pinellas County Bill Young (not dead for 10 years), Tallahassee native and chocolate chip cookie entrepreneur Wally Amos (still living) and “Florida Man” (fictional character, though some would disagree).

Also getting votes were Sandra Hull-Richardson, the first black president of the Junior League of Jacksonville (still living), and Mary Athalie Wilkinson Range, the first black to sit on Miami’s City Commission and the first woman to head a Florida state agency, the Department of Community Affairs (dead fewer than 10 years).

And “Statuey McStatueface” got a vote but was turned away for being “not a human entity.” The name is likely a play on “Boaty McBoatface,” the winner of an online vote by a British government agency to name a $287 million polar research vessel.

The complete list, unedited, is here. Reader discretion is advised.

NARAL Pro-Choice America to begin airing ads attacking Marco Rubio in Florida

During his ultimately unsuccessful presidential campaign, Marco Rubio went further than most Republicans ever have when he said he would deny abortion to women who are survivors of rape and incest.

Such a stance was considered outside mainstream sensibilities, and the pro-choice group NARAL Pro-Choice began airing TV ads against Rubio following the New Hampshire primary on that issue.

Now with the Florida senator announcing Wednesday he will run for re-election to his U.S. Senate seat, the group says they will begin airing that same 30-second TV ad in the Sunshine State, beginning later this week.

“Rubio would deny the choice of an abortion to all Americans, even those who are survivors of rape and incest,” said Sasha Bruce, senior vice president for campaigns and strategy at NARAL. “While Rubio may try to portray himself as some sort of new generation of Republican, his position on abortion is from the Dark Ages and is far more extreme than even many of his Republican colleagues. While Rubio’s record is thin, his priorities of rolling back reproductive freedoms are crystal clear. And those priorities are wrong for Florida and the nation.”

Rubio was attacked by some of his fellow Republicans running for president for his abortion stance during the campaign.

“Politically, it’s a tough sell to tell a pro-life mother — had her daughter been raped — that she would just have to accept that as a sad fact,” Jeb Bush told CNN last February. “This is not an easy decision, but Marco will have to explain that position.”

“I’m very pro-life, that’s a sensitive issue, but I think in a general election that will be a hard sell,” said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Watch the ad below:


Activist group blasts Marco Rubio for opposing a federal judge after he initially supported her

A Florida-based activist group is blasting Marco Rubio for blocking a former Miami-Dade judge from a federal judgeship, especially after the fact that he initially supported her.

In February of 2015, the White House announced that Mary Barzee Flores had been chosen as a district court judge in South Florida. The lifetime post requires Senates confirmation.

Her nomination came with the recommendations of both Rubio and Democrat Bill Nelson, Florida’s two senators.

However, while Nelson complied with tradition and returned his so-called blue card that is sent to the nominee’s home state senators for approval, Rubio has neglected to do so for more than  year. Returning that blue slip automatically triggers a confirmation hearing. Rubio had not previously commented publicly about his refusal to do so, but his office admitted to the Miami Herald  over the weekend that Rubio’s office has been it clear for the first time that he is actively blocking her nomination, saying that she is the  “wrong person” for the South Florida federal judgeship.

Critics contend that Rubio is playing his part of the Republican obstructionist machine, determined in President Obama’s last year in office to deny him federal judgeships that will last a lifetime.

“Despite the urgent need to fill judicial vacancies among Florida’s federal courts, Sen. Rubio has engaged in a pattern of judicial obstruction that is wreaking havoc on our overburdened, understaffed courts while denying and delaying justice for Floridians,” Mark Ferullo with the Florida chapter of the group Why Courts Matter. “In the case of the lingering vacancy in the Southern District, Sen. Rubio has offered no specific explanation for blocking Mary Barzee Flores’ nomination. Sen. Rubio’s obstruction has contributed to slowing confirmations to a snail’s pace, with the Senate on track to confirm the fewest number of judges since 1960.”

Ferullo went on to note that the federal courts in the Middle and South Districts of Florida have declared judicial emergencies because of three long-time judicial vacancies.

“Delaying justice for Floridians is denying justice for Floridians and Sen. Rubio’s judicial obstruction is indefensible,” Ferullo concluded.

In the Herald story on Saturday, the paper quote Miami attorney Tom Spencer, a Republican who supported former Governor Jeb Bush during the past presidential election cycle, as questioning why does Rubio think Barzee Flores is the wrong person now when he supported her selection to the nominating committee and submitted her name to Obama?

“Clearly, some huge pressure was put on Rubio to put the knife into Judge Flores, and Rubio will not reveal the real reason for this hypocrisy,” Spencer said. “This is precisely why so many Florida Republicans are fed up with Rubio and the corrosive nature of his big money politics.”

Democrats nationally have attempted to make a political issue out of the Republican Senate’s refusal to grant Merrick Garland, Obama’s choice to succeed Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court, a confirmation hearing. Although polls show that the public would like that as well, it hasn’t become a dominant issue as the Democrats perhaps had hoped it would be.


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