Patrick Murphy Archives - Page 7 of 73 - Florida Politics

FAU poll in Florida shows Hillary Clinton at 46 percent, Donald Trump at 43 percent

Hillary Clinton continues to lead Donald Trump in Florida 46 percent to 43 percent, according to a new poll conducted by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative and released on Wednesday. However, momentum is moving with Trump. A similar survey conducted just two weeks ago had Clinton up by six points.

The survey of 500 likely Florida voters was conducted from Oct. 21-23.

As expected, Trump has a 17-point lead among white voters, 53 to 36 percent. Clinton has a 49-point lead among African-Americans, 73 to 24 percent, and leads with Hispanics, 68 to 19 percent. Clinton is winning with independents 50 to 34 percent.

Trump enjoys strong support in northern Florida, where he leads Clinton 56 to 32 percent, as well as in the central part of the state, which is breaking 49 to 38 percent in his favor. Clinton is winning overwhelmingly in South Florida, 68 to 26 percent.

In a sign of the Clinton campaign’s organizational strength, she leads among the 26 percent of respondents who said they already voted, 54 percent to 41 percent for Trump. Clinton also leads 49 to 40 percent among women voters. Trump leads among those who plan to vote on Election Day, however, 50 to 36 percent.

Kevin Wagner, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at FAU and a research fellow of the Initiative, said it increasingly looks like this election will turn on which candidate is better able to get their supporters to the polls. “Secretary Clinton is building a substantial lead among the early voters in our sample,” he said. “That could create a difficult lead to overcome for Mr. Trump on Election Day.”

The poll also shows Marco Rubio leading over Patrick Murphy in the U.S. Senate race, 46 percent to 42 percent.

The poll also shows strong support for Amendment 2, the initiative to legalize medical marijuana in Florida, with 67 percent saying they will vote in favor of the measure. The amendment must get 60 percent support from the public on Nov. 8 to become law.

The poll was conducted in both English and Spanish, and data was collected via Interactive Voice Response. The poll was conducted Oct. 21-23 and carries a 4.3 percent margin of error and a 95 percent confidence level.

A Bloomberg Politics poll released earlier Wednesday showed Trump leading Clinton, 45 percent to 43 percent.

Two new polls show Marco Rubio still leads Patrick Murphy in Florida Senate race

A series of recent polls have shown a tightening in the U.S. Senate race in Florida, but two new surveys released Wednesday show Marco Rubio still very much on command.

A Bloomberg Politics poll has Rubio leading Patrick Murphy by one of the biggest margins yet, 51 percent to 41 percent. A Bay News 9/News 13 poll has the race closer, with Rubio leading Murphy, 45 percent to 41 percent.

The Bloomberg poll surveyed 985 Florida registered voters from Oct. 21-24. The margin of error is 3.2 percent.

It shows Rubio’s edge over Murphy with independent voters is significant, 51 percent to 36 percent.

His biggest margins are from voters in the Panhandle (+26 points), Catholics (+24 points) and those without a college degree (+13 points). Interestingly, the two are tied with Hispanics, which has been a vulnerable point for Murphy in other Senate polls.

One of Murphy’s most frequent criticisms of Rubio is that he is unable to commit to serving a full six-year term if re-elected, and is still focused on making another run at the White House in 2020. The Bloomberg poll shows most people agree with that contention, and yet are still supporting him. When asked, “Do you think Rubio’s decision to run for Senate is more about serving the people of Florida, or more about preparing to run for president in 2020?”, 49 percent say he is gunning for the White House, while 27 percent say he is all about serving in the Senate, and 24 percent weren’t sure (Rubio said at last week’s debate that he would serve all six years in office, “God willing”).

Meanwhile, in the Bay News 9/News 13 that shows Rubio up over Murphy 45 percent to 41percent, the poll was conducted by SurveyUSA from Oct. 20-24 of 1,251 likely voters, with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.3 percent.

In a major difference from the Bloomberg poll, the Bay News 9/News 13 poll shows Murphy leading Rubio among independents, 38 percent to 28 percent. Another 11 percent prefer either the Libertarian candidate or one of the other non-party-affiliated candidates, and 23 percent are undecided.

Rubio is leading among Cuban, Hispanic, and white voters, while Murphy is doing favorably among black and Asian voters.

Rubio and Murphy will engage tonight at 7 p.m. in their second and final debate of the campaign season.

Mitch Perry Report for 10.26.16 — Can Donald Trump exploit ACA premium increases?

The announcement this week that premiums for “silver” health care plans in the state-based exchanges will rise by an average of 22 percent next year has received maximum news coverage, including by political reporters who think it could an “October surprise” that benefits the Republican Party.

It is a gift to Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, and other Republicans running in tight races, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out over this week, and how Hillary Clinton addresses the issue.

In Rubio’s hands, it could be a devastating talking point in tonight’s second and final Senate debate against Patrick Murphy. With polls showing the Democrat closing the gap, Rubio will need to unleash his full artillery in the statewide-aired broadcast.

But can Trump make it work for him?

Standing before dozens of his employees at his Doral golf resort Tuesday, he lamented that “what they’re going through with their healthcare is horrible because of Obamacare.”

One little problem. Most of Trump’s employees are covered by private insurance.

“There really isn’t a need for the vast majority of our employees to purchase Obamacare,” David Feder, Doral’s general manager, told reporters quickly after the political event wrapped up.

I’ve actually found that to be the case with some ACA haters over the past couple of years. They complain about their premiums going up, and then admit they actually aren’t on the ACA themselves.

Nevertheless, it’s definitely good news for Trump, and not so much for the Dems. Last month was a little better for Clinton and the Democrats on that front, when it was announced the national uninsured rate had been cut nearly in half since 2010 to 8.6 percent of the population — the first time it had ever dropped below 9 percent. That’s a substantial achievement.

According to reports, the rate increase will most likely affect people who do not qualify for government subsidies, which is around five to seven million people . Those people (which includes me personally) will feel the pinch to some extent next year, depending on what state you live in.

Clinton and Murphy have both talked about a public option, a government-run insurance program to compete with private health insurance, as a possible remedy. But they haven’t said much about it. They should. Democrats talking about “making tweaks” just isn’t going to cut it, regardless of how the election turns out.

In other news …

Republican Party of Florida Chairman Blaise Ingoglia says he thinks the battle to win Florida will be much closer than people think.

It was a wild Hillsborough County PTC meeting Tuesday, with the bottom line being — well, nothing’s changed actually, though PTC executive director Kyle Cockream says he’s the victim of a witch hunt perpetrated by the local media and PTC chairman Victor Crist.

As early voting continues, Missouri Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver visited East Tampa to admire the Sunshine State’s dedication to early voting.

The Tampa Greater Realtors is backing Democrat David Singer over Republican Jackie Toledo in the HD 60 race.


Florida GOP Chair Blaise Ingoglia says ‘shadow’ Donald Trump vote in Florida is real

The conventional wisdom in Florida is that the Hillary Clinton campaign has created a much more robust infrastructure in the state compared to the Donald Trump campaign.

There are now 82 Hillary For America/Florida Democratic Party field offices in the state, dozens more than the Trump campaign.

Clinton and her allies have spent more than $50 million on television advertising, while Trump has spent around $30 million.

But Blaise Ingoglia, the always-fiery Republican Party of Florida chair, disputes the notion that the Clinton campaign is stronger in the Sunshine State.

Hillary Clinton and the Florida Democratic Party [were] absolutely absent over the last 22 months. They’ve had to hire all of these people over the last two months,” he said, claiming that is exactly the opposite of what the RPOF has been doing. “We had operatives on the ground working in these communities, registering people, ID-ing people, talking to people for the better part of two years; we have paid people and people we have been training for the better part of two years.”

Ingoglia’s point is that while the Trump camp may have been slow in developing, the Republican Party of Florida has been harder at work that their Democratic counterparts. “We’re knocking on doors, we’re talking to voters, we’re chasing absentee ballots. We’re doing everything that a campaign should be doing in conjunction with the Trump campaign,” he said.

Ingoglia was in Tampa making the media rounds a day after he was one of the opening speakers at Trump’s latest rally, this one before more than 15,000 people at The MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater in eastern Hillsborough County. Ingoglia disputes reporting that he’s been MIA at Trump events this year, saying he’s appeared in at least four Trump and/or Mike Pence rallies since the GOP convention in late July.

Earlier in the day, Democratic strategist Steve Schale tweeted Democrats were in a better position regarding the early/absentee vote at this juncture than they were in 2012 when Barack Obama ultimately won the state by less than one percent.

Ingoglia isn’t buying it.

“The first thing I would say is that if you look since 2010, the trend has been for more people to vote early and especially by vote-by-mail,” he said. “Vote-by-mail has become very popular in Florida and the Democrats have been pushing the vote-by-mail ballots very heavily since 2012, 2014, and 2016. So I’m not concerned because all the Democrats are doing are taking away early voters and Election Day voters and moving them up and getting them to vote earlier by voting absentee and early vote.”

Current polls show on average Clinton is leading Trump by approximately four percentage points in the Sunshine State. Throughout the year, however, there have been those who say that there is a “hidden Trump vote,” that isn’t being captured by pollsters. Count Blaise Ingoglia as one Republican who believes in that theory.

“That exists — that is real,” Ingoglia insisted. “If you take the number for the people coming out of the presidential preference primary who never voted before, that number was 150,000. So those people are going to be voting in the general election, and the overwhelming majority of them are going to be voting for Donald Trump. If you take into account that general elections bring out a lot more voters, I think that you can expand upon that number.”

“I think this race is going to be a lot closer than what people are predicting,” he surmised, citing the numbers from GOP stronghold Collier County to provide ballast for his argument. There was a record 7,633 participating in the first day of early voting there on Monday.

On Monday, Simone Ward, the Florida state director for Hillary for America, wrote in a memo that, “Our organizers and thousands of volunteers have been able to build a game-winning ground operation designed to engage, register, and turn out Florida’s expansive and diverse electorate. We feel confident that we will deliver the state of Florida for Hillary Clinton and Democrats up and down the ticket, but realize there’s much more work to be done.”

Ward also noted 259,000 new Democrats were added to the voting rolls this year, a seven percent advantage over the GOP, which added 206,000 registered Republicans. “In fact, Democrats have added nearly 692,000 new voters to the rolls since 2012 versus 593,000 Republicans — and the trends continue to go upward in our favor,” she wrote.

Some Democrats have been getting excited about new polls that show Senate hopeful Patrick Murphy getting closer to Marco Rubio, though there hasn’t been a credible poll showing Murphy actually leading the race.

Ingoglia predicted the GOP incumbent would win the seat by four or five percentage points.

Since being elected in an upset over Rick Scott’s choice to chair the RPOF back in January of 2015, Ingoglia has emphasized that his raison d’être has been to move Florida into the red column in the 2016 presidential election, after it went for Obama in ’08 and 2012. We asked if he feels he’s done everything he can to make that happen, acknowledging the fact that some factors are beyond his control (such as the behavior of his party’s standard-bearer).

“I will say I have an amazing bunch of people who make up the Republican Party of Florida, both staff and the members of the RPOF. We have busted our butts over the last two years preparing the party for this election. I am proud of the work that we have done, we have literally worked day and night, night and day to rebuild the party infrastructure for the future. So to answer your question, yeah, we will continue building the party after this election.”

Reuters poll: Marco Rubio 40%, Patrick Murphy 38%

Sen. Marco Rubio has a narrow lead over Rep. Patrick Murphy, according to a new poll of likely Florida voters.

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows 40 percent of likely voters said they were backing Rubio in the U.S. Senate race, while 38 percent picked Murphy. The poll found 12 percent of voters either didn’t know or refused to say and 6 percent said they were voting for someone else.

Murphy has the support from 74 percent of Democrats and 35 percent of independent voters. The survey found 6 percent of Republicans said they were backing him.

Rubio, the poll found, has the backing of 79 percent of Republicans and 36 percent of independent voters. He also has support from across the aisle, with support from 13 percent of likely Democratic voters.

The online poll of 1,532 likely voters was conducted from Oct. 5 through Oct. 12.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll is in line with other recent surveys, which showed a tight race between the two men. According to RealClearPolitics, Rubio has an average 3.4 percentage point lead over Murphy.

The two men are scheduled to meet Wednesday for their second debate of the election cycle. The one-hour televised debate, hosted by Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association, kicks off at 7 p.m. at Broward College in Davie. The debate will be broadcast in each of Florida’s 11 media markets and simulcast on Florida Public Radio member stations.

Cynthia ‘Cindy’ Graves: Patrick Murphy — utter disrespect for women

Living in a world that is out-of-touch with most Floridians, Congressman Patrick Murphy has consistently shown us why he is unfit for the job of congressman, much less the office of senator, a promotion he is currently seeking.

Murphy has spent his life sheltered from the real difficulties Floridians face every day and has exaggerated his life experience in a desperate attempt to make up for the fact that he has accomplished absolutely nothing in the private sector, or in his four years in Congress.

Murphy has lied on his resume about everything from his college degree to his career and went so far as to attempt to delay much-needed algae crisis aid to Floridians so he could take credit at a news conference earlier this year.

All of these things, and believe me, there are more, deem him unfit for office in my mind. However, the latest Murphy news is enough to make anyone’s head spin, especially mine as a mom.

In the first debate of Florida’s U.S. Senate race, Murphy the nerve to lecture Sen. Marco Rubio on the fair and respectful treatment of women.

Really, Mr. Murphy?

A photo had surfaced in recent weeks that is not befitting of any man, much less a Congressman of the United States of America, a picture of Murphy groping a young woman’s chest that was on his Facebook in plain sight when he first ran for Congress just a few years ago.

This is a photo that is proof that doesn’t take himself, his job, or the women around him seriously. Murphy’s excuse was simply that this was his girlfriend, nothing to see here, move along.

An excuse saying this was a girlfriend? That’s not an excuse; that’s even worse.

The privilege that Patrick Murphy has shamelessly exhibited over the last several years as a congressman is a dangerous example of a young, wealthy man who simply thinks the rules don’t apply to him. Murphy has exemplified this not only through this photo but also his repeated lies to Floridians, lies he thought he could easily get away with.

With his U.S. Senate race, Mr. Murphy’s dishonesty and disrespect for the voters of Florida have now gained statewide attention.

As the mother of four adult children who are respectful of their own privilege and has achieved professional success based on their acumen and honest accomplishment, I must share my grave concerns regarding this man.

I want a senator who sets an example by inspiring the trust of Florida citizens with his unfailing honesty, dedication to his job, respect for his elected office, and respect for the women in his life.

I will be voting for Marco Rubio on Nov. 8.


Cynthia “Cindy” Graves is chair of the Republican Party of Duval County and a past president of the Florida Federation of Republican Women.

Mitch Perry Report for 10.25.16 — DCCC ad linking Trump to Jolly goes away, but has the damage been done?

Attention political junkies: not every voter pays attention to politics until right before the election, which is why that ad by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee “dramatizing” David Jolly standing with Donald Trump was so egregious.

The ad — one of the most controversial of any produced this season in American politics — was immediately denounced by the Jolly campaign, who protested to local television stations to stop airing it. They did not. Nor did his Democratic opponent, Charlie Crist, say anything negative when called to denounce it at the time.

But beware the power of the Tampa Bay Times editorial page. On Monday morning, the Times took shots at that ad, and called for Crist to demand his new political party take those dishonest ads off the air. They also criticized other negative ads being aired against Hillsborough County State Attorney Mark Ober and state Senate District 18 Democratic candidate Bob Buesing.

After reading the editorial, Crist did as the Times demanded and called on the DCCC to drop the ad. In his own words, Crist said he was “moved” by the Times editorial, and expressed contrition that he hadn’t asked the DCCC to take it down earlier.

But the damage has been done, and Jolly wasn’t “moved” by Charlie’s about-face.

“I’ll be blunt: Charlie is a liar, always has been,” Jolly said. “Charlie’s opportunity to be moved was two weeks ago when he was confronted at Eckerd College about the ad and he claimed the First Amendment.”

The question that maybe we’ll never know is: how many voters on the fence in the 13th Congressional District were undecided about this congressional race, but are turned off by Trump and thus were persuaded not to scribble in the circle next to Jolly’s name on the ballot in Pinellas County?

The fact is, we can’t allow any candidate or third-party group in the future to allow for such “dramatizations.” They’re outright lies, and there’s already enough of that on an everyday basis in our politics, and in our campaign ads. Faking pictures is going to a new low, and while it may not be illegal, it shouldn’t be allowed.

In other news …

Donald Trump returned to Tampa last night. We hung out with some of his supporters before he came on the stage.

Hillary Clinton returns to Tampa for her fourth time this year on Wednesday.

Marco Rubio began his Monday in Sun City Center, where he added “liberal” to the other epithets he’s been throwing at Democratic Senate opponent Patrick Murphy.

The Hillsborough County Republican Party recently gave a $1,000 contribution to the lone Republican in the Tampa City Council District 7 race, Jim Davison. However, according to the City of Tampa’s charter regarding nonpartisan races, that’s a no-no.

HART has received $1 million to study a driverless bus in the county.

And what happens if Hillary Clinton wins in November, and Barack Obama passes the TPP in December? Chaos in the Democratic Party? Local guy Frank Sanchez agrees with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn on supporting the TPP, for what that’s worth.

National Taxpayers Union gives Marco Rubio an A, Patrick Murphy an F

The National Taxpayers Union, a fiscal conservative organization, is out with its new grades of federal lawmakers, drawing a clear distinction in assessments of candidates for Florida’s U.S. Senate race: Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio got an A, and Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy an F.

“Patrick Murphy’s F-rating from the National Taxpayers Union should come as no surprise after his years of casting liberal votes in Congress. Murphy supports higher taxes, a carbon tax, and wants to make it easier for the federal government to create new regulations. With a record like that, no wonder Murphy never actually worked as a CPA. Murphy’s liberal policies don’t work, and Florida families can’t afford them” Rubio spokesman Michael Ahrens stated in a news release issued by Rubio’s campaign.

Both candidates are in good company within their parties. The taxpayers union’s annual Taxpayer Score also gave Fs to Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and every other Democratic member of Congress from Florida except U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, who got a D. Among Florida Republicans, U.S. Reps. Curt Clawson, Ron DeSantis, Jeff Miller, and Ted Yoho also got As. The worst grades among Florida Republicans were the Cs that went to U.S. Reps. Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Letinen.

Murphy’s 25 percent score from the taxpayers union was in fact the second-highest among Florida Democrats, after Graham’s 33 percent. Nelson got a 17 percent score. Rubio got an 87 percent score, tied for best among Florida’s congressional delegation.

The National Taxpayers Union was founded in 1969 and calls itself the”The voice of America’s taxpayers.”

“The Taxpayer Score measures the strength of support for reducing spending and regulation and opposing higher taxes. In general, a higher score is better because it means a member of Congress voted to lessen or limit the burden on taxpayers,” according to the organization.

Democrats betting on gun control in new anti-Marco Rubio mailer

Democrats are investing heavily in the idea that Florida voters want to see some gun law changes, and the Democrats’ latest is a statewide mailer declaring “Senator Marco Rubio letting guns fall into the wrong hands.”

The mailer, from the Florida Democratic Party, hits Rubio, Florida’s Republican U.S. Senator, on donations his campaigns have taken from pro-2nd Amendment/gun groups and accusing him of three times voting against banning suspected terrorists from purchasing guns, and seven times voting against preventing felons, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill from buying guns.

The mailer is in support of Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of Palm Beach Gardens, who’s running against the incumbent Rubio.

“I’ll work to pass commonsense gun laws like banning suspected terrorists from purchasing guns and closing the gun show loophole to make sure guns don’t fall into the wrong hands,” Murphy is quoted as saying.

The mailer also graphically states that background checks have “stopped 2.4 million gun sales to prohibited people…but 40 percent of gun sales go unchecked because of politicians like Senator Marco Rubio.”

There is no explicit mention of Omar Mateen, the ISIS-pledging, gay-hating madman who shot up Orlando’s popular gay nightclub Pulse on June 12, broadly raising gun issues in Florida, specifically in Central Florida. However, since Pulse, virtually every Democrat running in Central Florida has made guns a top issue, and, as the Democrats are doing with Rubio, tried to paint Republican opponents as tied to the gun lobby.

Rubio’s campaign countered by pointing out that just last month he sponsored three bills relating to gun law reform and the Pulse tragedy. Rubio voted for three measures to curb terrorists’ purchases, while voting against three others in what had been a highly-partisan split on six post-Pulse proposals.

“Marco supports laws that keep guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists while protecting the rights of law-abiding Americans to defend themselves and their families,” campaign spokeswoman Olivia Perez-Cubas said. “Following the tragic terrorist attack in Orlando, Marco voted for efforts that would alert the FBI and delay the purchase of weapons for anyone currently on or previously on the terrorist watch list. Ultimately, Marco believes we must refocus our efforts on combating terrorism, both at home and abroad, and addressing the mental health crisis in our country.”

At Sun City Center, Marco Rubio derides Patrick Murphy as an ‘old-fashioned liberal’

Marco Rubio has been making the case that Patrick Murphy hasn’t accomplished much of anything during his four years in the House of Representatives. Now, with the polls tightening, he’s saying the voting record of his Democratic rival in the U.S. Senate race is also too liberal.

“Why does someone lie about their background, about things that they have done? Apparently because they haven’t done anything,” Rubio told a couple dozen supporters at a golf clubhouse in Sun City Center in South Hillsborough County early Monday morning. “Here’s what’s worse: When he’s not lying, he’s actually incredibly liberal.”

Rubio citied Murphy’s support of the Iran nuclear deal and his support for closing down Guantanamo Bay as evidence that the Jupiter representative is too left for Florida voters.

“I’ve seen this ad the other day. It says he’s an independent voice,” Rubio said, adding, “Not on the issues that count.”

“On the issues that count, he doesn’t just mislead people, he’s a good old fashioned liberal, and Florida cannot afford to have somebody that liberal in the U.S. Senate, particularly on issues of national security,” Rubio said.

“Patrick Murphy is one of the most independent members of Congress and it’s clear that Marco Rubio is desperate,” replied Murphy spokesperson Galia Slayen. “Despite millions of dollars in special interest money being spent against Patrick, we’re tied in the polls, Rubio’s hometown paper endorsed Patrick, and President Obama exposed Rubio for the coward that he is for continuing to support Donald Trump. Marco Rubio is devoid of political courage and lying about Patrick’s record. Floridians deserve better.”

Murphy’s voting record was certainly not considered that liberal to Florida progressives when he first declared his candidacy for Senate in early 2015. Murphy actually was a Republican before switching to become a Democrat, and his votes in support of the Keystone XL Pipeline and for a House committee to investigate Benghazi were frequently invoked by Alan Grayson, Murphy’s top opponent in the Democratic primary.

Campaigning on the first day of early voting in Hillsborough County (and in 49 other counties in Florida), Rubio said while much of the focus is on the presidential race, he emphasized the importance of his Senate race, referring to the power a senator has in approving or rejecting Supreme Court justices. He said if the next nominee happens to be in their mid-50s, they’ll likely be on the court for the next 20-25 years, “which is the equivalent of three eight-year presidencies.”

“That means that for the next 25 years, the very balance of the Supreme Court is at stake,” he added.

With Donald Trump speaking in Tampa Monday night, the Murphy campaign issued out a statement with the headline, “Will Today Be The Day?” asking mischievously if the two could end up on stage together. “We’re not doing presidential events,” Rubio said, not looking pleased to answer the question.

The Florida senator continues to be hammered by members of the media for not disassociating himself from the GOP nominee, who he blasted during the presidential primary season, but is now backing because he says Trump is preferable to a Hillary Clinton presidency.

On “This Week in South Florida” on Sunday, Miami WLPG-TV host Michael Putney blasted Rubio as a “smart, talented guy who earned our respect when he first sought elected office,” but “now it seems he’ll do or say anything to stay in office, even swallow his pride and vote for a presidential candidate he clearly detests, all to advance his own political ambitions.”

Rubio said when it comes to Trump, he’s letting such criticism roll off of him.

“I’ve talked about that race repeatedly. People know how I feel about it,” he said regarding his continuing support for a Trump presidency. “I’m focused on the Senate race. If people want to continue talking about other things, they certainly have the right, it’s a free country. We’re blessed to have such freedoms in this country.”

“We’ve reached this point in America where people hate each other because of who they’re voting for,” Rubio later said, alluding to how divisive the Clinton-Trump race has become. “People hate each other because of what bumper sticker they have on their car. We’ve got to back away a little bit from that. We should feel passionately about our issues, but ultimately we all have to share the same country. There is no scenario where half of us do better and the other half does worse — that’s not a country that works. We can all be better off, and we should be able to disagree on political issues while still working on issues that we agree on.”

Rubio has spoken critically for years about Hillary Clinton, prompting FloridaPolitics to ask the senator if he could work effectively with her if the two of them both won on Nov. 8?

“When she agrees with me,” he immediately quipped. “I’ll look forward to working with her.”

He then went on to say the majority of his major legislation passed in his six years in the Senate have had major buy-in from Democrats, referring specifically to his “Girls Count Act” with New Hampshire’s Jeanne Shaheen (that will direct current U.S. foreign aid to support the rights of women and girls in developing countries by working to establish birth registries in their countries) and proposed higher education legislation with Virginia’s Mark Warner.

“When we agree on something, I enjoy working with people who I disagree with on other issues,” he said.

Rubio was scheduled to then attend a forum on the opioid crisis with Congressman Vern Buchanan in Bradenton.


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