John Kasich Archives - Page 4 of 28 - Florida Politics

Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders angle for wins in Wisconsin primaries

Republican Ted Cruz and Democrat Bernie Sanders are angling for victories in Tuesday’s Wisconsin presidential primaries that could give their campaigns a needed boost, but still leave them with mathematically challenging paths to their parties’ nominations.

While Sanders remains a force in the Democratic primary, a win over Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin would do little to significantly cut into her lead in delegates that will decide the party’s nomination. The stakes are higher for Cruz, who trails Donald Trump in the GOP race and sees Wisconsin as a crucial state in his effort to push the party toward a convention fight.

“We are seeing victory after victory after victory in the grassroots,” Cruz said during a campaign stop Monday. “What we are seeing in Wisconsin is the unity of the Republican Party manifesting.”

With the White House and control of Congress at stake in November, leaders of both parties are eager to turn their attention toward the general election. Clinton would enter the fall campaign saddled with persistent questions about her honesty and trustworthiness, but also with a significant demographic advantage. It’s an edge Democrats believe would be magnified in a race against Trump, who has made controversial comments about immigrants and women.

For Trump, the long lead-up to Wisconsin’s contest has included one of the worst stretches of his candidacy. He was embroiled in a spat involving Cruz’s wife, which he now says he regrets, was sidetracked by his campaign manager’s legal problems after an altercation with a female reporter, and stumbled awkwardly in comments about abortion.

While Trump is the only Republican with a realistic path to clinching the nomination ahead of the Republican convention, a big loss in Wisconsin would greatly reduce his chances of reaching the 1,237 delegates needed to do so before the GOP gathers in Cleveland.

Cruz headed into Tuesday’s contest with the backing of much of the state’s Republican leaders, including Gov. Scott Walker, but Trump made a spirited final push in the state and predicted a “really, really big victory.”

“If we do well here, it’s over,” he said. “If we don’t win here, it’s not over.”

Complicating the primary landscape for both Cruz and Trump is the continuing candidacy of John Kasich. The Ohio governor’s only victory has come in his home state, but he’s still picking up delegates that would otherwise help Trump inch closer to the nomination or help Cruz catch up.

Trump has grown increasingly frustrated with the governor and has joined Cruz in calling for Kasich to end his campaign. Kasich cast Trump’s focus on him as a sign that he’s best positioned to win over the businessman’s supporters.

“They’re not really his people,” Kasich said. “They’re Americans who are worried about, they’re really most worried about their kids, are their kids going to have a good life?”

If Cruz wins all of Wisconsin’s 42 delegates, Trump would need to win 57 percent of those remaining to clinch the GOP nomination before the convention. So far, Trump has won 48 percent of the delegates awarded.

To win a prolonged convention fight, a candidate would need support from the individuals selected as delegates. The process of selecting those delegates is tedious, and will test the mettle of Trump’s slim campaign operation.

Cruz prevailed in an early organizational test in North Dakota, scooping up endorsements from delegates who were selected at the party’s state convention over the weekend. While all 28 of the state’s delegates go to the national convention as free agents, 10 said in interviews that they were committed to Cruz. None has so far endorsed Trump.

Paul Lorentz, was in line at 6:30 a.m. in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, Tuesday to cast a vote for Kasich saying he typically votes Democratic in the general election and Republican in Wisconsin’s open primary, in order to sway that side to a better candidate.

“My hope is always to have two acceptable candidates running for president,” Lorentz said.

Among Democrats, Clinton has 1,243 delegates to Sanders’ 980 based on primaries and caucuses. When including superdelegates, or party officials who can back any candidate, Clinton holds an even wider lead — 1,712 to Sanders’ 1,011. It takes 2,383 delegates to win the Democratic nomination.

Sanders would need to win 67 percent of the remaining delegates and uncommitted superdelegates to catch up to Clinton. So far, he’s only winning 37 percent.

Even if Sanders wins in Wisconsin, he’s unlikely to gain much ground. Because Democrats award delegates proportionally, a narrow victory by either candidate on Tuesday would mean that both Sanders and Clinton would get a similar number of delegates.

Carrie-Ann Todd, a 39-year-old mother saddled with student debt, said she voted for Sanders on Tuesday given his efforts to address the cost of college.

“I’m paying more on my student loans than I am on my cars,” Todd says. “I don’t know if he’ll get any support if he gets into the White House, but it’s worth a shot.”

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows

Guest lineups for the Sunday TV news shows:

ABC’s “This Week” — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders; Republican presidential candidate John Kasich; Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

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NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.; Priebus.

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CBS’ “Face the Nation” — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump; Priebus.

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CNN’s “State of the Union” — Sanders, Priebus.

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“Fox News Sunday” — Trump, Priebus.

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Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

Donald Trump’s abortion flub shows risks of “winging it” on policy

It was a question sure to come up at some point in the Republican primary campaign.

“What should the law be on abortion?” asked MSNBC’s Chris Matthews to Donald Trump at a town hall event in Wisconsin.

“Should the woman be punished for having an abortion?” Matthews pressed. “This is not something you can dodge.”

Trump’s bungled response — an awkward, extended attempt to evade the question, followed by an answer that, yes, “there has to be some form of punishment” — prompted a backlash that managed to unite abortion rights activists and opponents. It also brought an unprecedented reversal from the notoriously unapologetic candidate less than a week before Wisconsin’s important primary.

The episode demonstrated the extent to which Trump has glossed over the rigorous policy preparation that is fundamental to most presidential campaigns, underscoring the risks of the billionaire businessman’s winging-it approach as he inches closer to the Republican nomination.

“Well, bear in mind I don’t believe that he was warned that that question was coming” and didn’t have a chance to really think about it, said Ben Carson, a former Trump rival who has since endorsed him, in an interview with CNN.

He should have, said political professionals.

“When you’re just winging it, that’s what happens,” said Kevin Madden, a veteran of 2012 nominee Mitt Romney‘s campaign. “Running for president, it’s not a take-home exam.”

This wasn’t the first time Trump’s approach has gotten him in trouble.

He raised eyebrows during a debate when he appeared unfamiliar with the concept of the nuclear triad, an oversight his opponents happily pointed out.

At a town hall on CNN this week, Trump appeared to falter when asked to identified what he believed were the top three priorities of the federal government. Among his answers: health care and education. Trump has vowed to repeal President Barack Obama‘s landmark health care law and gut the budget of the Department of Education.

The lack of preparation extends beyond policy. This week, Trump called into a series of radio stations in Wisconsin, apparently unaware the interviews were likely to be combative.

At the end of a remarkable interview in which he compared Trump’s behavior to that of “a 12-year-old bully on the playground,” WTMJ-AM’s Charlie Sykes asked Trump if he was aware he’d called into someone unabashedly opposed to his candidacy.

“That I didn’t know,” Trump said.

During a recent rally in Vienna, Ohio, Trump delivered his usual indictment of the North American Free Trade Agreement and blasted American companies that have shipped jobs overseas.

But he seemed unaware that Chevrolet, which builds the Chevy Cruze sedan in nearby Lordstown, had recently announced that it was planning to build its 2017 hatchback model in Mexico. It was the kind of local knowledge that requires research and legwork, and could have helped Trump connect with his audience and others in the state.

For most presidential candidates, especially those new to it all, getting up to speed on the intricacies of domestic and foreign policy is a process that begins early. While Trump’s campaign did not respond Thursday to questions about the kind of briefings he receives, it’s clear he has done things differently.

Who does he consult on foreign policy?

“I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things,” Trump said on MSNBC this month. He’s also said he gets information about international affairs from “the shows” and newspapers.

He announced members of his foreign policy team only this month and met with them Thursday as part of a series of appointments in Washington.

Out on the trail, Trump largely skipped town hall events in the early-voting states that were the hallmarks of several rival campaigns. Chris Christie and John Kasich, for example, held dozens of the events, fielding hundreds of questions on every topic imaginable.

Trump might well note that most of his GOP rivals are gone, and he’s still the front-runner.

But what about his abortion comments?

“None of the other candidates would have made that mistake,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, which supports anti-abortion legislation and candidates.

Michael Steel, an adviser to former Trump rival Jeb Bush, said that candidates and presidents have to be able to respond to issues as they arise, which requires a “tremendous amount” of work behind the scenes. It’s one reason major candidates from both parties typically have government experience.

“I think we’ve seen in a variety of venues including the debates that he doesn’t seem to have the knowledge and background on important policy issues that you would expect from a presidential candidate,” Steel said.

Bush spent the months after he announced his candidacy last summer developing a comprehensive domestic and foreign policy platform. Campaign employees assisted by more than 100 outside advisers briefed him in frequent sessions, said Justin Muzinich, the campaign’s policy director.

“He took policy extraordinarily seriously,” Muzinich said.

Dannenfelser, the abortion opponent, said there is still time for Trump.

“The question is, will he be able to get to the point of confidently communicating his position to contrast with Hillary Clinton in a way that helps?” she said. “I think it’s possible.”

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

 

Florida poll shows 62% support pathway to citizenship for undocumented

A poll published earlier this week shows that 62 percent of Floridians support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, while 18 percent say they should be deported. The poll also shows that 16 percent of Floridians support allowing illegal immigrants to become permanent legal residents, but not full citizens.

The numbers come from an exhaustive national survey by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI). It was conducted from from April 2015 through January 2016 and comprised of a massive sample size of 42,000 interviews.

The survey shows that with the single exception of South Dakota, majorities in all states support a pathway to citizenship.  The states with the highest support for providing immigrants living in the U.S. illegally with a path to citizenship tend to be clustered in the Northeast and along the West Coast. Approximately two-thirds of residents in Washington (68 percent), Connecticut (67 percent), New York (67 percent), Rhode Island (67 percent), Massachusetts (66 percent), and Oregon (66 percent) back a path to citizenship. The lowest support for the path to citizenship policy can be found predominately in Southern states, such as South Carolina (56 percent), Arkansas (55 percent), Alabama (54 percent), and West Virginia (54 percent). Its lowest in South Dakota, where fewer than half (46 percent) of residents back that policy.

The survey also found that by a 50 percent-36 percent margin, Florida respondents in the PRRI poll believe that the growing number of of newcomers strengthens American society. A total of 2,572 Florida citizens were surveyed.

Both Democrats running for president this year, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, support a legal pathway to citizenship for the approximately 11.3 million undocumented people in the U.S. Amongst the Republicans who are or were running for president, only John Kasich and Jeb Bush supported allowing illegal immigrants to become permanent legal residents, but not full citizens. None back a full pathway to citizenship.

“These findings show that despite the hate we’ve seen from Republican presidential candidates, not only do Americans largely favor pro-immigrant policies, but two-thirds of Republican voters agree,” said Juan Escalante, director of Florida’s Voice, a pro-immigration advocacy group. “In the short term, it may benefit Donald Trump and Ted Cruz to pander to hardliners in their party and peddle hateful rhetoric, but these numbers show that the general election is a different story entirely. In light of these numbers, Republican presidential prospects, and prospects for Florida candidates who are falling in step with these anti-immigrant policies, are looking grim.”

According to InsideGov, Florida has an estimated 605,000 undocumented immigrants, the fourth most of any state in the U.S.

Pew Research estimates that there are 11.3 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.as of 2014, down from a peak of 12.2 million in 2012.

Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball portends a potential Democratic blowout presidential election

University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato latest Crystal Ball prediction of the 2016 presidential election spells gloom for the Republican Party this November.

The longtime political analyst is predicting that if it’s a Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump matchup, it will be an electoral college blowout, 347-191.

Sabato’s Crystal Ball is a weekly online political newsletter and website that analyzes American politics. In the new column, written by Sabato, Kyle Kondik, and Geoffrey Skelley, the authors acknowledge that while it’s an “extra-early, ridiculously premature projection” that could change after the conventions and a possible third-party candidacy. However at the moment, the electoral map doesn’t look very competitive for the GOP going into November.

Nearly a year ago, Sabato put Florida into the “toss-up” column, but no longer.

Now the Sunshine State is being put into the same bucket of other swing states like Virginia, Ohio, New Hampshire, Nevada, Iowa and Colorado. The Sabado Crystal Ball has now moved all seven states from “toss-up” last May, to now “leaning Democratic.”

“While some will fall to the Democrats less readily than others, it is difficult to see any that Trump is likely to grab,” the authors write, adding that four normally Republican states (Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, and Missouri) “would be somewhat less secure for the GOP than usual.”

But what about the possibility of Trump expanding the electoral map, as some pundits have speculated could happen with his stances on trade and other issues that could bring along disaffected white workers?

“The problem is, there is little evidence that the non-college voters supporting Trump in the primaries are defectors from the Democrats; most have been backing GOP candidates fairly consistently, so the net addition for Trump could be small,” the authors write. “Nor do we buy the theory that increased Republican primary turnout this year means Trump is going to bring out millions more white and primarily male voters that weren’t excited by John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. Maybe there will be higher white male voter participation, but there will probably be augmented, heavily Democratic minority turnout to balance it.”

Although a Clinton-Trump matchup could be an electoral embarrassment for the GOP, Sabato says that because of the political polarization in the country, this would not be an overwhelming victory for the Democrats with the popular vote, as were the blowouts in 1964 and 1972. He sees Clinton taking less than 55 percent of the two-party vote.

The Crystal Ball believes that Ted Cruz would definitely be an electoral improvement for the Republicans, but he would not have enough to secure victory over Clinton. He writes that the “irony” is that Clinton was always an eminently beatable candidate, but more mainstream candidates like John Kasich and Marco Rubio simply haven’t inspired Republican voters.

Bernie Sanders is never mentioned in Sabato’s Crystal Ball predictions.

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Federation of Republican Women: We support the nominee

As big time Republican leaders prop up their egos and influence by supporting this presidential candidate or that presidential candidate and threatening not to support another, a significant grassroots GOP organization, which does the heavy campaign lifting right down to the grassroots, says it will support whoever the nominee is.

The board of the National Federation of Republican Women unanimously approved a resolution that chapters, officers and rank-and-file members will support the party’s nominee. That means Donald Trump, Ted Cruz or whoever is chosen.

“The thing is we have women in the federation who privately support Trump, Cruz or Kasich, but when the decision is made the Federation will support the party’s nomination,” said Dena DeCamp, president of the Florida Federation of Republican Women and a member of the national board of directors.

The federation and its chapters have many of the heavy lifters who work largely unseen and unselfishly for the party while the candidates and contributors primarily make showy speeches or big contributions.

The National Federation of Republican Women was founded in 1938 and has 1,400 chapters in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, said Lisa Ziriax, Federation communications director in Washington.

“We let the process play out in the presidential primaries and once the process is finished, the Federation supports the party’s nominee with its work,” she said.

That has been a Federation rule since its founding, Ziriax said, adding that this “unusual campaign season” necessitated another vote from the board.

“More than anything, our board of directors voted on a resolution that it would support whoever is the party’s nominee to re-emphasize that rule to our chapters and members,” she said.

The federation contains many female leaders in the party and many volunteers.

“We are a bottom-up Republican organization, which involves a lot of grassroots work,” Ziriax said.

Much of that grassroots work can be seen in Florida, especially when the federation’s campaign bus begins its travels around the state, DeCamp said.

“The board has approved the outfitting of a large bus with the slogan, ‘You have a reservation at our table,’ that will travel to the 11 battle states in the fall, “she said. “And, of course, Florida is one of the battle states.”

Hillary Clinton targets Donald Trump in new advertisement

Hillary Clinton is going after Republican front-runner Donald Trump in a new advertisement, without ever mentioning his name.

The Clinton campaign is launching the ad in New York ahead of its April 19 primary, according to POLITICO Playbook. The 30-second spot, called New York, features Clinton speaking over images of New York.

“New York, 20 million people strong. No, we don’t all look the same, we don’t all sound the same either. But when we pull together we do the biggest things in the world,” the former Secretary of State is heard saying in the advertisement.

“So when some say we can solve America’s problems by building walls, banning people based on their religion and turning against each other; well this is New York, and we know better,” she continues as an image of a Trump sign and violence at a rally flash onto the screen.

Trump holds a commanding lead over his Republican opponents in New York. Recent polling averages show Trump has an average lead of 38 percent over John Kasich and Ted Cruz.

Polling averages show Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by an average of nearly 35 percent.

58% of Republican voters say they would be comfortable if Donald Trump is nominee

Donald Trump continues to hold a commanding lead in the polls, and nearly 60 percent of Republican primary voters said they would be comfortable if he was their party’s nominee.

Trump leads the Republican field with 42 percent support, according to a Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday. Ted Cruz is in second with 32 percent, while John Kasich rounds out the pack with 22 percent.

The survey found that 68 percent of respondents said they were firmly committed to their top choice. Trump supporters are the least likely to waver, with 80 percent saying they were committed to their candidate.

The survey that 58 percent of Republicans polled said they would be comfortable with Trump as their party’s nominee. Republicans also said they would be comfortable if either Cruz and Kasich was the nominee. Fifty-three percent said they would be comfortable with Cruz; while 49 percent saying they would be comfortable with Kasich.

But Republicans Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney did not fare well when voters were posed with the same question of whether they would support either man being the Republican nominee.

Sixty-two percent of Republicans said they would not be comfortable if Romney, who was the 2012 GOP nominee, received the 2016 nomination. Ryan, who was the 2008 vice presidential candidate, did a bit better, with 45 percent saying they wouldn’t be comfortable with that selection; while 42 percent said they would.

Romney and Ryan have both been mentioned as potential nominees from the floor if there is a contested convention.

Public Policy Polling surveyed 505 Republican primary voters from March 24 through March 26. The margin of error is 4.4 percent.

Martin Dyckman: Cruzing to a police state?

The economist John Kenneth Galbraith memorably said that politics “consists of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.”

But what if the only choice is between the disastrous and the disastrous?

That’s the predicament of establishment Republican politicians who think John Kasich, the only decent human being who remains in their presidential primaries, is either too liberal (i.e., he accepted the Medicaid money) or too unlikely to limp to the finish line at the Cleveland convention.

Chris Christie, ever the opportunist, forgot every truth he had told about Donald Trump’s spectacular lack of qualifications and endorsed him. You could say he sold his soul for a Cabinet post, but that would raise the question of whether he had one to sell.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, admitting out of one side of his face that Kasich would make the better president, out of the other endorsed Ted Cruz.

That is the same Lindsey Graham who, while supporting Jeb Bush, said that if “you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.”

Mitt Romney came out for Cruz too. He all but begged Kasich to quit the race.

Then Bush himself, whose noblest characteristic was that he’s no bigot, endorsed Cruz, who’s just as dangerous a bigot as Trump. Bush called him “a consistent, principled conservative who has demonstrated the ability to appeal to voters and win primary contests.”

Only a few hours later, that “principled conservative” called for a Castro-style police presence in American Muslim neighborhoods.

Turkey has suffered more bombings recently than any other of our NATO allies. Just this month, at least 41 people died in blasts at Ankara and Istanbul. But Cruz said nothing about that outbreak of terror. Perhaps it was because most of the victims were Muslims.

Then came the terror in Brussels.

That’s when he called for American police to “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.”

What would be next? Gated ghettoes? Special ID cards? Yellow crescents to be sewn on their clothing?

President Barack Obama, referring to his just-completed visit to Cuba, had the perfect putdown for Cruz.

“I just left a country that engages in that kind of neighborhood surveillance, which, by the way, the father of Senator Cruz escaped for America, the land of the free,” the President said.

Trump, meanwhile, used the Brussels tragedy as yet another opportunity to indulge his sick fascination with torture. His Sadean fixation with hurting people is becoming a subject more for psychiatry than political science.

Anyone who talks like either Cruz or Trump is unfit to be president. Any politician who endorses either of them is clueless as to what a “principled conservative” really is, and can hardly be considered one himself.

There’s one principle, though, that Bush and Cruz apparently share. It’s to cut taxes for the rich and raise them on the poor. Citizens for Tax Justice calculated that Cruz’s scheme, more extreme even than Bush’s, would cost $13.9 trillion over 10 years either as added debt or a demolished government. It also would give the top 1 per cent an average tax cut of $435,000 a year.

Interestingly, that doesn’t seem to be endearing Cruz to the billionaire Koch brothers and the other big-money Republican establishment campaign contributors.

Perhaps it’s because they don’t think even Cruz can stop Trump. And Trump is their worst nightmare — someone they doubt that they could control.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that the Koch network is considering investing most of its $900 million campaign budget on protecting what it can control — its Republican allies in the Congress.

“A key element of the strategy,” the newspaper said, “will be a springtime wave of television ads that slam Democratic contenders and tout Republican incumbents as attuned to hometown concerns. Strategists hope the efforts will help inoculate congressional candidates against association with Trump’s incendiary remarks.”

For example, the article said, one super-PAC in the Koch network is spending $1 million to prop up New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, while another is attacking Ohio’s former Democratic governor, Ted Strickland, who’s running against Republican Sen. Rob Portman.

It means they figure Trump for a general election loser who would cost them the Senate and many seats in the House.

It’s a cynical strategy that makes perfect sense. It should have made sense to Graham and Bush too.

In that scenario, continued Republican control of one or both houses would frustrate anything that either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders would want to do — such as appointing any moderate to liberal Supreme Court justice.

Just as they have frustrated nearly everything Obama has wanted to do.

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Martin Dyckman is a retired associate editor of the St. Petersburg Times. He lives in suburban Asheville, North Carolina. Column courtesy of Context Florida.

Mitch Perry Report for 3.24.16 – Jeb Bush’s Ted Cruz endorsement means … what?

On why Americans hate politics, example No. 462.

Jeb Bush came out and endorsed Ted Cruz on Wednesday.

As he put it, “For the sake of our party and country, we must overcome the divisiveness and vulgarity Donald Trump has brought into the political arena, or we will certainly lose our chance to defeat the Democratic nominee, most likely Hillary Clinton, this fall.”

It’s curious why the former Florida governor only now is backing Cruz. Two weeks ago, Bush met with Cruz, John Kasich and Marco Rubio in Miami, shortly before the last GOP presidential debate. When he didn’t endorse anyone at that point, days before Floridians (well, those who hadn’t already voted) went to the polls, it seemed like he would just sit it out.

The endorsement proves that although the establishment probably prefers Kasich to anyone else still standing, the math simply doesn’t work for the Ohio governor, and the calls for him to drop out will only get louder in the next week. That’s despite the fact that he’s the only Republican candidate alive who polls show would beat Clinton in the fall.

A writer for the National Review has the audacity to call the Bush endorsement a “game-changer” for Cruz. Really? Do you actually think Bush believes in Cruz, and that this now gives people who were reluctant to back him the “freedom” to do so?

No, this feels like Mitt Romney backing Cruz, another case of a Republican holding their nose as they freak out about Trump leading the party in the fall.

It doesn’t feel very real, though, does it? OK, I’ll take it back if Jeb goes out to Wisconsin next week to stump for Cruz.

How about some greatest hits from the campaign trail?

“I don’t think Ted Cruz would have the same possibilities of beating Hillary Clinton that I would. Nor would Donald Trump for that matter,” Bush said in January.

Last month, Bush referred to Cruz and Rubio derisively when talking about Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley.

“The guy has not missed a vote for 22.5 years. He probably has a list of accomplishments and service to the state of Iowa and to this country that’s pretty real,” Bush said of Grassley. “Marco doesn’t have it; he’s gifted. Ted Cruz doesn’t have it; he’s gifted. I’m not saying they’re not talented people. But they don’t have a record of accomplishment and some people will think about that when they make the decision of who’s going to be their vote on Tuesday.”

Or how about when Cruz criticized Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts?

“(Ted Cruz] was supportive of the guy he was critical of, that’s Washington world man, I mean that’s the way they roll there. He literally supported John Roberts and then after the fact, with the power of hindsight, this amazing power that only people in Washington have, the rest of us apparently don’t have this skill. He can opine the way he wants.”

In other news …

We attended the Todd JonesBob Henriquez faceoff regarding the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser’s race, so you didn’t have to. Our take.

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Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan made an issue Wednesday about how the conversations with the Tampa Bay Rays and the county about a potential new stadium will be completely transparent. Except for that part where it won’t be.

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Just for laughs: An aide to U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy thought he’d screw around with a video tracker the other day. Pretty funny — though maybe not for the Senate candidate after that video was released.

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Hillsborough County will expand its indigent heath care program for up to 6,000 people.

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Traffic bad in the Tampa Bay area? Sure, but there are a lot of places where it’s worse.

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And the SEIU Florida is backing Pat Frank in the Hillsborough Clerk of the Courts race.

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