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Joe Gruters bringing ‘stop impeachment’ effort to Stephanie Murphy

GOP looking for better result than Monday’s rally in St. Pete

Fresh off the arguably disastrous “Stop Impeachment” rally Monday outside Democratic U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist‘s St. Petersburg office that was to feature Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz but didn’t, Republicans are bringing it to Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy next.

Republican Party of Florida Chair Joe Gruters, a state Senator from Sarasota, is being billed to lead the #StopTheMadness Stop Impeachment rally outside Murphy’s Sanford office Thursday morning.

Organized by the Seminole County Republican Party Executive Committee and the Republican National Committee, the rally is set for 10:30 a.m. outside Murphy’s office at 110 W. First St. in Sanford.

Republicans are aiming, as they did Monday in St. Petersburg, at a moderate Democrat who’ll be running for reelection in a purple district.

Murphy of Winter Park has picked her impeachment words carefully in view of House Democrats’ impeachment movement. She has declared her support for an impeachment inquiry, but not for impeachment.

While Crist called for impeachment proceedings, Murphy called for an investigation on Sept. 24, after revelations that President Donald Trump may have tried to pressure Ukraine into digging up dirt on political rival former Vice President Joe Biden. She also has a seat on one of the committees that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi assigned to investigate, the House Committee on Ways and Means.

“This is part of an ever-expanding body of evidence this President is violating his oath of office & abusing his power – putting our national security at risk,” Murphy tweeted about the Ukraine news. “We must uncover all the facts and provide answers to the American people.”

In St. Petersburg Monday, the Stop Impeachment rally was overwhelmed when Democrats and other groups organized a counter-rally reported to have drawn at least twice the number of protesters as the Republicans’ turnout. And Gaetz never showed up. A spokeswoman later said there had been a “miscommunication” leading to the absence of the headliner. Gaetz, one of Trump’s most zealous supporters in Congress, reportedly canceled his appearance about an hour ahead of time.

Gruters was co-chair of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign in Florida.

In 2016, Murphy was an upset winner in Florida’s 7th Congressional District, covering Seminole and northern and central Orange County. She then won reelection easily in 2018 in a district that has trended from strong Republican to a slight Democratic edge in voter registration. She has no significant Republican challengers yet for the 2020 election.

“Show your support for President Trump!” Seminole Republican Chair Linda Trocine wrote in a communique Tuesday to Seminole Republicans. “And let Congresswoman Murphy know that you do not support her and Speaker Pelosi on their Witch Hunt. Stop Impeachment. Stop the Madness.”

Murphy responded with a Facebook post that read, “The Republican Party of Florida can attack me all they want, but I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. I will not be bullied into abandoning my oath. I will continue to hold this Administration accountable and follow the facts wherever they may lead. We must uncover the truth and get the facts for the American people.”

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. DumpTrump2020

    October 8, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    Republican blowhards aren’t going to stop Trump’s impeachment by bloviating about it. Trump WILL be impeached/indicted by the Democratic majority in the U.S. House for violations of 52 USC 30121 as amended AND for obstruction of Congress. Then, the cowardly and cowering bloviators can dispose of those charges in the U.S. Senate by simply throwing them out. The IMPORTANT THING is that SOMEBODY OFFICIALLY AND PUBLICLY STANDS UP against the corruption, chaos, mayhem, and bedlam in the Trump/Republican presidential administration – and, more importantly, GO ON THE HISTORICAL RECORD detailing at least SOME of the corruption and criminal enterprise-like behavior of the corrupt, racist, draft-dodging, lying, and cheating Trump.

  2. Theresa

    October 8, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    Let’s hope some Republicans will do what they know they should and get Trump out of office while there is still time to save the country…and the land, and the water, and the air.

  3. Lisa huston

    October 9, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    This is all purely theater on the Democrat side. If they truly are serious about impeachment why don’t they hold a legitimate vote and do impeachment proceedings the way they are suppose to be done? Hold a vote , then proceed . There are no impeachable offenses , but merely fabrications in the mind of Adam Schiff – who had to make up and distort the real transcript call the President provided. This is all an effort to get unknowing Americans to get all fired up – just in time for the big reveal about the FISA abuse explodes in the Democrats face.

  4. Sonja Fitch

    October 9, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    Evil Russian Operative Trump set up the Syrians two days ago
    For Putin and Turkey to bomb and invade today. goper trumpers your evil traitor makes hitler proud! goper trumpers you are NOT AMERICANS! You are damn traitors. You are a cult of stupid !!!

  5. Lisa G Thorell

    October 9, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    Thank you for reporting on this significant event. It’s frightening to contemplate whether this GOP-organized protest was a test-drive for future Florida (and another swing state) local protests. Odds, anyone?

    Given that the impeachment investigation has important national security implications for the U.S., what’s worrisome is that a ‘Stop the Madness’ tagline for dismantling the inquiry is a near-perfect disinformation bomb – where the madness of risking our nation’s security is slyly disguised as the viewpoint of every sane person alive. For those not listening or reading the Ukraine story carefully, “Stop the Madness” is a simple drop shot into their brains, reassuring them with both the utter simplicity of . the phrase as well as suggesting that any madness one sees in the news media is being promulgated by the inquirers, not the conspirers. Very tricky, very “sticky” and probably dang effective among the non-analytical voting base. The Dems better learn to defuse this linguistic bomb pronto or they’re potentially heading into MAGA Deja Vu.

  6. LEA

    October 10, 2019 at 3:44 am

    LOL … Angry Democrat Leaders like US Rep Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) have TDS hate blinders to not see the MAGA economy results
    https://c1.legalinsurrection.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Blind-Hate-600-LI.jpg

  7. LEA

    October 10, 2019 at 3:48 am

    Here is what radical Democrat Leaders like US Rep Darren Soto (D-FL), US Rep Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), etc, and the Liberal News Media buffoons, like Univision, Telemundo, CNN, MSNBC, etc, do not like to publish:
    Trump MAGA reduction in taxes, reduction of business killing policies, progress with better international agreements and national energy independence is working to lower unemployment of Puerto Ricans and all other Hispanic Americans.

    At Puerto Rico:(tradingeconomics.com/puerto-rico/unemployment-rate) Trading Economics reported that Unemployment Rate in Puerto Rico decreased to 7 percent in August from 7.80 percent in July of 2019. This the lowest rate since 1976.

    (www.bls.gov/eag/eag.pr.htm) The US Department of Labor reported that the seasonal adjusted unemployment rate for PR was 7.7 percent in August from 8.1 percent in July of 2019. This also looks like a record low for Puerto Rico.

    And the September results are even better.

  8. LEA

    October 10, 2019 at 5:05 am

    • Jeff

      October 11, 2019 at 7:25 pm

      The Sentinel is a fish wrapper

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