State of Florida Archives: on Principles & Values


Rick Scott: As newlyweds, opened a donut shop with wife and their moms

I want to share with you the story of a young man who lived in public housing as a kid. Who never knew his natural father. Who saw his adopted dad struggle to keep a job. And who remembers the heartbreak on his parents' faces when the family car was repossessed.

This young man joined the US Navy after high school. Newly married, he left his young bride in their tiny apartment almost 2,000 miles from their home while he went off to sea. They didn't have much money, so they used the camping equipment they got for wedding gifts as furniture.

This young couple was thrifty. They eventually saved enough money to open a small business. They worked at this business themselves, along with both of their moms. After a while, the business started making money and they added another location.

That young couple is still young at heart, even though they have now been married over 40 years. That small business was a donut shop--and that is the story of how Ann and I opened our first business.

Source: 2014 State of the State Address to Florida legislature Mar 4, 2014

Connie Mack IV: GOP debates only help Democrats

With former Gov. Jeb Bush and other big-name Republicans backing Rep. Connie Mack's Senate bid and polls showing Mack with a sizeable lead over his GOP rivals, the Mack campaign says a debate of Republican primary candidates would only help Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.

So Mack has turned down invitations from The Orlando Sentinel and The Tampa Bay Times to participate in debates with GOP rivals George LeMieux, Mike McCalister and David Weldon. And Mack has effectively said no to an invitation from Leadership Florida to participate in a July 24 Republican primary debate in Tallahassee.

"We are prepared and willing to debate Sen. Nelson and feel that at this point any such Republican primary debate exercise would only serve to benefit Sen. Nelson, which no Republican wants to see," a Mack spokesman said.

Source: Palm Beach Post ON 2012 Florida Senate debate Jun 13, 2012

Connie Mack IV: Son of Senator; husband of Congresswoman

[Long ago], a charismatic young man by the name of Connie Mack became a member of Congress and a U.S. senator, not just because his grandfather was a famed baseball player and manager for whom a youth baseball league was named.

Now many years later, his son serves in Congress and seeks the opportunity to take on incumbent Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson in November. Rep. Connie Mack IV has been endorsed by the head of the official third party organization, branded the "Tea Party." His wife is a fellow member of Congress, Mary Bono Mack, who came to Congress after the untimely death of her late husband, Sonny Bono. Sonny was a very kind and gentle person. It looks like this race in Florida, unless something fires it up, might be as mellow as was Sonny.

Source: SouthernPoliticalReport.com on 2012 Florida Senate debate May 17, 2012

George LeMieux: Kept his promise not run for re-election after appointment

Rep. Connie Mack IV is facing a candidate who ironically has already served in the U.S. Senate, having been appointed to an open seat by then-Gov. Charlie Crist. Former Sen. George LeMieux served a relatively short time in the Senate, keeping his promise not run for re-election, and thus opening the door for the GOP's rising superstar, Sen. Marco Rubio.
Source: SouthernPoliticalReport.com on 2012 Florida Senate debate May 17, 2012

George LeMieux: Judeo-Christian values make us exceptional as a nation

We should never forget that the foundation of our Republic is our Judeo-Christian values. Our Founding Fathers recognized we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that government is formed to secure these rights and guard our liberties. It is what makes us different as a people, and exceptional as a nation. At the center of these values is God and family.
Source: 2012 Senate campaign website, georgeforflorida.com, "Issues" Jul 16, 2011

Charlie Crist: I would have left GOP anyway; they're too extreme

Meek and Crist both tried to portray Rubio as too rigidly conservative for Florida. Crist, who launched an independent campaign after losing the Republican primary to Rubio, said he would have left the Republican Party even if he had won the primary. "Th Republican Party and the right wing of that party went so far right, it's exactly why Marco Rubio stayed there, it's exactly the same reason that I left," Crist said, citing "these extreme views that I am not comfortable with."

Rubio shot back that Crist "changes positions on the issues because he wants to win the election."

Crist tried to present himself as an independent throughout the debate, at one point calling the conversation between Meek and Rubio over tax cuts an example of partisan "bickering" that voters dislike. "You are seeing it right now, right here," Crist said. "That is why I'm running as an independent."

Meek suggested differently: "The governor is running as an independent, because he couldn't beat Marco Rubio."

Source: CNN ElectionCenter coverage of 2010 Florida Senate debate Oct 24, 2010

Charlie Crist: We need open-mindedness in a Senator, not ideology

Meek attacked Rubio, almost warning Floridians against him: "It's important that we grow this economy. It's the very reason we should not federalize Marco Rubio," Meek said. "He is thinking of ideology that would put the middle class in the hole forever. On his economic policies, Meek said, "I can tell you what Mr. Rubio is talking about is not a solution, it's ideology."

In a back-and-forth that defined their campaigns, Crist depicted Rubio as a conservative ideologue unable or unwilling to deviate from extreme views regardless of changing dynamics. "You know, facts change all the time," Crist said. "I think people want an open-minded senator rather than the opposite, a closed-minded senator."

Rubio "wouldn't accept tax cuts on 98% of the people in America because of his ideology," Crist said. "That's exactly the problem, that's what's not right with Washington today." While Crist advocated a compromise, Meek backed the Obama position.

Source: CNN ElectionCenter coverage of 2010 Florida Senate debate Oct 24, 2010

Al Franken: Spent $20M on campaign; more for Great Minnesota Recount

Al Franken's list of contributors was hundreds of pages in the Federal Election Commission's files detailing nearly 14,000 names and about $20 million to back the rookie candidate. A browse through the list revealed donors such as musician Don Henley of the Eagles rock bank, TV journalist Jane Pauley, financier George Soros, movie mogul David Geffen, husband-and-wife actors Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen, and film star Michael Douglas, to name a few. As the recount effort got underway, with Franken needing volunteers and staff at 106 different locations statewide to monitor the hand counting of nearly three million ballots, even more money was needed.

On Nov. 15, eleven days after Election Day and four days before the Great Minnesota Recount was set to begin, more than 1,000 volunteers descended to receive training on how to monitor elections officials' actions, how to collect critical data, and how to challenge ballots.

Source: This Is Not Florida, by Jay Weiner, p. 46 Sep 16, 2010

Al Franken: Recount: What do we want? Patience! When do we want it? Now!

[During the Great Minnesota Recount]: "What do we want?" Franken shouted to the supporters in the auditorium.

"Patience!" the troops responded.

"When do we want it?" the underdog trailing by 215 votes asked again.

"Now!" they replied.

"Patience now." That was a purposely oxymoronic notion, but it was an appropriate call-and-response for all that was in store over the next seven weeks of the recount.

Source: This Is Not Florida, by Jay Weiner, p. 47 Sep 16, 2010

Al Franken: OpEd: Franken should have beaten Coleman easily in blue MN

The landscape of the postelection battle was quickly beginning to take shape, and the recount was but one full day old. Franken seemed to own a bit of momentum. The numbers were sure to change over the next few weeks, but one immutable fact couldn't be denied, one piece of data couldn't be spun, one question still could not be answered. In a blue state, with a charismatic progressive presidential candidate at the top of the ticket, against a flip floppy Bush supporter who had been accused of being linked to corruption, Al Franken, with a $20 million treasury, garnered about 42% of the vote. Why couldn't he knock off an incumbent as vulnerable as Coleman? Why had it all come to this?
Source: This Is Not Florida, by Jay Weiner, p. 63 Sep 16, 2010

Al Franken: Decided to take on Coleman when he berated Paul Wellstone

After living for three decades in New York, Franken had moved back to Minnesota in 2005 with the Senate seat in mind and Coleman in his sights. In 2003 Franken's ideological, and sometimes name-calling, campaign against Coleman began. Just three months after formally assuming Wellstone's seat, in a story noting Coleman's rapid rise to prominence among Republicans, the new senator told Roll Call, "To be very blunt and God watch over Paul's soul, I am a 99% improvement over Paul Wellstone. Just about on every issue."

Such puffery--from a man who jumped parties to aid his ambition, who lost in 1998 to former wrestler Jesse Ventura in a gubernatorial election, and who was an accidental senator because of Wellstone's untimely death--rankled liberals. It flabbergasted Franken, who grew up as a middle class Jewish kid in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park in the 1950's and '60s and who had come to adore Wellstone.

Source: This Is Not Florida, by Jay Weiner, p. 65 Sep 16, 2010

Al Franken: 2005: Formed progressive Midwest Values PAC

Franken formed (in 2005) his Midwest Values Political Action Committee, which soon raised more than one million dollars for progressive candidates nationwide.

With his New York and Hollywood pals, his great sense of humor, his chutzpah and celebrity, raising funds was Franken's strength. Sculpting a major-league campaign that could lift the Democrats to a filibuster-proof majority was not.

Source: This Is Not Florida, by Jay Weiner, p. 68 Sep 16, 2010

Al Franken: Response to attack ad "Angry Al":why isn't Coleman outraged?

On September 12 a commercial called "Angry Al," began with Norm Coleman stating, "I'm Norm Coleman and I approved this message because I thought it was important for you to see it."

The words "Does Al Franken Have the Temperament to Be US Senator?" flashed on the TV screen. What followed were quick audio excerpts from confrontations or interviews or his book in which an agitated, argumentative, profane Franken is exposed. At the end of the 30-second spot, the words "Al Franken. Reckless. Ridiculous. Wrong." are displayed.

Five days later, Franken's campaign punched back with a calm, senatorial Franken responding. "Look, I'm not a politician and I guess I get outraged, and sometimes I've gone too far," he said, adding that with gas, grocery, and health care costs soaring and "special interests" succeeding, "My question is, Why isn't Norm Coleman outraged?"

Source: This Is Not Florida, by Jay Weiner, p. 77-78 Sep 16, 2010

Al Gore: 2000: Urged to recount all FL; focused on just 4 counties

Since working on his first recount, in Indiana's 8th District, Chris Sautter has been called in by the Democrats on virtually every nail-biter since. In 1989, he helped Douglas Wilder win a recount in Virginia and become the first African-American governor of that state. He met [recount lawyer Marc] Elias for the first time when helping Harry Reid win his Senate seat in Nevada in 1998. Election Night 2000, Sautter watched returns of the Bush-Gore battle at the DNC headquarters in Washington with Elias's mentor. As the night wore on, most of the calls started coming from Florida The next day, Sautter flew to Florida to help oversee the likely recount. At strategy sessions in Tallahassee attended by top Gore aides, Sautter urged them to seek a statewide hand count of all six million votes cast. The Gore strategy team rejected Sautter's advice, deciding instead to seek hand counts in only four counties. You know the rest.
Source: This Is Not Florida, by Jay Weiner, p. 51 Sep 16, 2010

Christine Gregoire: 2004 recount battle determined by absentee ballots

A certain number of Absentee Voter (AV) envelopes are always rejected. Most are rejected for valid reasons, e.g., the envelope is post-marked after the election or there is no voter signature. However, sometimes AV ballots are rejected for reasons that are not valid.

There was a presumption in the Franken camp that Coleman would engage in the same sort of absentee-ballot pursuit. But in years past, absentee voters, often older, tilted toward the Republicans.

The next day, the absentee-ballot universe was raised in a conference call of the still-forming Franken legal team. [One attorney] recalled how absentee ballots helped Christine Gregoire, Washington's governor, in her 2004 recount and election contest. The absentees flipped Gregoire's results and her reelection over Republican Dino Rossi. "Go for the absentees," he told his colleagues on the call. "Trust me, they screwed it up. People's signatures change. They get strokes." Stuff happens. Voters mess up. So do election officials.

Source: This Is Not Florida, by Jay Weiner, p. 19-21 Sep 16, 2010

Mary Landrieu: 1996-97: ten-month investigation over voting irregularities

In that 1996-97 period, a U.S. Senate election contest [took place], a real doozy in Louisiana between Democrat Mary Landrieu and Republican Woody Jenkins. The U.S. Senate itself--even more than state courts--is one of the places where decisions can be made about who becomes a U.S. Senator. Right there in the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section IV, it says, "Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members." In the Landrieu case, she won by nearly 6,000 votes.

Jenkins claimed widespread irregularities in the election. For ten months, the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate investigated Landrieu's alleged involvement in alleged shenanigans. Landrieu kept her Senate seat.

Source: This Is Not Florida, by Jay Weiner, p. 35-36 Sep 16, 2010

Norm Coleman: If I were 725 votes down, I'd say 'We need to heal'

[During the recount, Coleman was asked], "Senator, if you were down by 725, would you say forget it and save the taxpayer's money?" The implication was this: If Coleman were Franken, would he give up? Would he concede in the face of a 725-vote deficit barely 15 hours after the polls closed. Even as that 725-vote margin was dipping into the 200s as he spoke?

Coleman: "To be honest, I'd step back. My friend John Thune, now Senator, was down in 2002 by 500 votes, and he said, "We need to heal,' and he stepped back. I can only speak for me. I would step back. I just think the need for the healing process is so important. Mr. Franken will decide what Mr. Franken will do. But do I think under the circumstances it is important to come together? I do."

Coleman seemed earnest, but his comment was one he would regret. "Act as if you've won," he was told, taking a page from the Bush 2000 script. But he went one step further, giving advice to Franken, to the last man on earth who would take it from him.

Source: This Is Not Florida, by Jay Weiner, p. 15-16 Sep 16, 2010

Norm Coleman: I'm a 99% improvement over Paul Wellstone

In 2003 Franken's ideological, and sometimes name-calling, campaign against Coleman began. Just three months after formally assuming Wellstone's seat, in a story noting Coleman's rapid rise to prominence among Republicans, the new senator told Roll Call, "To be very blunt and God watch over Paul's soul, I am a 99% improvement over Paul Wellstone."

Such puffery rankled liberals & flabbergasted Franken. It got the creative writer in Franken to fantasize aloud in a sarcastic Op-Ed piece in the Minneapolis Star Tribune piece about a phone conversation he said he had shared with Coleman. In it, Coleman called Franken to chat, somewhat apologetically, about the "99%" comment and to explain the remaining 1% in which Wellstone bettered him. As the imagined conversation unfolds, Coleman acknowledges many attributes at which Wellstone bettered him. "I'm going with 68," Coleman tells Franken in this faux phone call. "I'm a 68% improvement over Wellstone. That's still a big improvement."

Source: This Is Not Florida, by Jay Weiner, p. 65 Sep 16, 2010

Norm Coleman: 2002: Hand-picked by Vice President Dick Cheney

The fundamentals were different from 2002. Coleman was now the incumbent. Handpicked by Vice President Dick Cheney six years earlier, such a connection at the hip was a ball-and-chain. In his early years as a senator, he voted more than 90 percent of the time with Bush. He backed the Iraq war. He cozied up to conservative special business interests.
Source: This Is Not Florida, by Jay Weiner, p. 67 Sep 16, 2010

Norm Coleman: Attack ad: evaded questions about $75K donation through wife

The Minneapolis Star Tribune's investigative reporters were in pursuit of Coleman, in a video of taken by a tracker for the Franken campaign. In their hands they held a copy of a lawsuit filed in Texas, in which a Texas businessman alleged that Nasser Kazeminy, Coleman's benefactor, funneled $75,000 to Coleman via a Minneapolis insurance company where Laurie Coleman worked. The lawsuit alleged that funds intended for Coleman were sent in three installments of $25,000 in 2007 to the insurance broker that employed Mrs. Coleman.

The video almost made it seem as if Coleman were on a perp walk. Coleman was surrounded by security and aides. A dogged Star Tribune muckraker yelled out "Senator, I'd like to ask you questions about the allegations about your wife receiving $75,000." Coleman kept moving.

Instantly, the video hit YouTube. The DSCC excerpted a 30-second spot entitled, "Why is Norm Coleman Running From Reporters?" It ended with the reporter pleading, "Please answer the question, Senator!"

Source: This Is Not Florida, by Jay Weiner, p. 82-84 Sep 16, 2010

Paul Wellstone: Died 12 days before likely re-election

Liberal champion Paul Wellstone was the principled firebrand whose death eleven days before the 2002 election made it possible for Coleman to win that election. After Wellstone's death, the 2002 U.S. Senate race disintegrated into tragedy and controversy. It triggered a genuine statewide numbness. Coleman won because the other guy died.
Source: This Is Not Florida, by Jay Weiner, p. 3 Sep 16, 2010

Jeff Greene: Ran as Republican for Congress in California in 1982

Meek brought up Greene running for Congress in California back in 1982 -- as a Republican.

Asked about his reputation as a playboy, Greene said it is not an issue, noting that he had married late in his life and now is the father of a 10-month-old baby.

Source: 2010 Florida Dem. Primary Debate, in Sunshine State News Aug 11, 2010

Marco Rubio: Fundraised via "Floridians for Conservative Leadership"

In 2004, he set up another committee of continuous existence called Floridians for Conservative Leadership in Government, and raised nearly $400,000. His financial management was questionable. The St. Petersburg Times found that $14,000 from the fund wen to Rubio's mother-in-law and two of his wife's cousins for "courier work." About one-fifth of the committee's expenses were never accounted for at all. Rubio says that's because the money went toward expenses under $500, which don't have to be detailed.
Source: Miami New Times coverage of 2010 Florida Senate debate Jul 22, 2010

Marco Rubio: Repaid Florida GOP for overspending on party credit card

Rubio spent like mad on an American Express credit card issued to the Florida Republican Party and paid for by donors. Between 2007 and 2009, he charged about $100,000 on the card--including almost $16,000 in personal expenses such as a $135 haircut and $1,000 in repairs to his family's minivan, according to a Herald investigation. (Rubio has repaid the party for some charges but refuses to assume other expenses he says were legitimate.)

A St. Petersburg Times investigation later found that Rubio had also double-billed the state and the GOP credit card for eight flights. After the report, he admitted the error and repaid the party $3,000.

Source: Miami New Times coverage of 2010 Florida Senate debate Jul 22, 2010

Marco Rubio: Home purchases funded by very GOP-friendly bank boards

In 2005, Rubio bought a new house for $550,000; he took out a $495,000 mortgage. The fishy part: A month after Rubio purchased the home, US Century Bank reappraised the house at $735,000 & then offered him a new $135,000 home equity loan that the speaker accepted. US Century's board of directors included a megadeveloper who allied with Rubio on a key vote against slot machines--as well as [several GOP operatives]. Essentially, a bank controlled by supporters printed Rubio $135K out of thin air.

Then, in 2007, Rubio finally found a cash buyer for his first house, who paid $380,000 up front--a $105K windfall over Rubio's 2003 purchase price. The buyer was the mother of the lobbyist who spent months lobbying Rubio for his critical support of an insuranc law. Rubio voted for the bill a few months afterwards.

Did the home sale buy his vote? Rubio says no. "My understanding was that [the buyer] had some life insurance proceeds that she was using to buy it, and she was willing to close on it quickly."

Source: Miami New Times coverage of 2010 Florida Senate debate Jul 22, 2010

Marco Rubio: As Speaker, passed 57 of "100 Innovative Ideas"

Rubio thrust himself onto the national stage thanks to a campaign called 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future. The tour had Rubio and other Republicans traveling the state for so-called idea-raiser town halls with voters. Rubio later published the ideas in a book and was hailed as a rising GOP star. (Gingrich, for example, predicted Rubio would "emerge as a national leader" and called the project "a work of genius."). By 2005, Rubio's official election ceremony as speaker felt like a coronation.

His ambition, though, again proved greater than his ability to find consensus. Both his tax plan and spending cap made it out of committee, but as the House was forced to make the deepest budget cuts in state history, the Senate refused to even take up the plans.

In the end, Rubio's two terms as speaker [ending in 2008] had yielded no flashy tax overhaul, but the House did pass 57 of his "100 Innovative Ideas."

Source: Miami New Times coverage of 2010 Florida Senate debate Jul 22, 2010

Charlie Crist: In Rubio's $600,000 slush fund only $4000 went to candidates

CRIST: I view public service as a calling, something that you do to try to help other people. Unfortunately, recent news accounts indicate that Speaker Rubio views public service as a way to enhance his personal enrichment. And that's just wrong. For example, he set up about a $600,000 slush fund which he utilized for ostensibly political purposes but it's been shown lately it's been used to fix his minivan, get haircuts, employ family members, things of this nature that are not what a political committee is supposed to do. In fact, out of the $600,000 that were raised, only $4,000 went to candidates to try to improve their chances to be elected to office.

RUBIO: Those allegations have been proven false. Here are the facts. This is not taxpayer money. It was raised for the purposes of political advancement, for advancing a political agenda. And that's what the money was spent on. All this money's been accounted for.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2010 Florida primary Senate debate Mar 28, 2010

Charlie Crist: Problem solving requires consensus, and sometimes concession

Q: In your recent state of the state speech, you said this: "Problem solvers recognize that important achievements often require consensus, and consensus sometimes requires concession." You'd look for areas to work with President Obama, areas of consensus and areas of concession?

CRIST: I would work to make sure that I stand with people who will help the people of my state and my country. I am a pragmatic, common-sense conservative, always have been. I also understand that we're in a tough economy right now, and when you're in a tough economy, sometimes you have to do the kinds of things that make sense in order to be able to keep people employed. You can't just be off on some limb, rattling the cage and saying you're going to do great things and stand on principle above the people of your state that you're supposed to serve. You've got to do what's right. And this race comes down to doing what's right. That's what it's all about.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2010 Florida primary Senate debate Mar 28, 2010

Marco Rubio: Without America, the world would be a worse place

RUBIO: People from all over America, all over Florida, are looking at this administration chip away at all the things that have made America great and unique throughout our history. America is not just exceptional nation. Without its greatness the world would be a very different and I would dare say a worse place. And all of that's being chipped away now by this administration.People are looking for leaders that will go to Washington, D.C. and stand up to this agenda and offer a clear alternative. And I've chosen to run for the United States Senate in Florida, because in Florida there's no other candidate that we can count on to actually do that. That's the basis of my campaign. It's the only reason why I'm running. And I think it's a compelling one. It's the reason why I think we've found success.
Source: Fox News Sunday 2010 Florida primary Senate debate Mar 28, 2010

Marco Rubio: $600,000 fund was not taxpayer money, & is fully accounted

CRIST: Speaker Rubio set up about a $600,000 slush fund which he utilized for ostensibly political purposes but it's been shown lately it's been used to fix his minivan, get haircuts, employ family members, things of this nature that are not what a political committee is supposed to do. In fact, out of the $600,000 that were raised, only $4,000 went to candidates to try to improve their chances to be elected to office.

RUBIO: Those allegations have been proven false. Here are the facts. This is not taxpayer money. It was raised for the purposes of political advancement, for advancing a political agenda. And that's what the money was spent on. Now, there were some occasions where we had some personal expenses which I identified and I made payments on out of my own pocket at the time those expenses were made. All this money's been accounted for.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2010 Florida primary Senate debate Mar 28, 2010

Marco Rubio: Attended 15-20 Tea Party events; but not formally vetted

Q: Some activists say that if elected, you will be the first Tea Party senator. On the other hand, we got a bunch of e-mails from Tea Party activists, and let's put one on the screen: "Ask Marco Rubio why he refuses to be vetted by the Florida Tea Parties. I want to hear from Rubio or I will not vote for him."

RUBIO: Sure. The Tea Party movement has been mischaracterized in the press as some sort of an organization. Tea Parties are where people go and what people do. It's not what they are and it is not an organization. If you go to a tea party, what you're going to find there are people that largely have never been involved in American politics.

Q: So why don't you go? We get this from [many] Tea Party groups.

RUBIO: I have gone to 15, 20 of these around the state. I've met with multiple groups. If there's a formal vetting process, I've not been made aware of it. But I can tell you that I'm proud of my association with the Tea Party folks and the fact that we have attended multiple events

Source: Fox News Sunday 2010 Florida primary Senate debate Mar 28, 2010

Marco Rubio: Are Floridians better off than they were four years ago? No!

RUBIO: The governor likes to call himself a Reagan Republican. I don't ever recall Reagan being questioned about running as an independent.

CRIST: Actually, Reagan was a Democrat before he was a Republican. So if you want to talk about Reagan, let's talk about him.

RUBIO: Ronald Reagan had a great question he asked during his campaign: Are you better off today than you were four years ago? And for Floridians, there's a powerful answer to that. We have the highest unemployment record in our history We have record foreclosures. And we have a governor that supported Barack Obama's stimulus package. That doesn't sound like a Reagan record to me, and I think it makes the answer to that question very easy. Floridians are not better off than they were four years ago since you became governor. And now your promise is to take those ideas to Washington. I'm running for Senate because if I get there, I will stand up to this. We can't trust you, Governor, to stand up to Barack Obama.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2010 Florida primary Senate debate Mar 28, 2010

Bob Smith: Only one in this race with real-world experience

Bob Smith, a former Republican senator from New Hampshire who moved to Sarasota in 2003, is critical of Crist in the primary: "There is clearly a war going on in the Republican Party." Smith is a 68-year-old Vietnam veteran who jumped into this war himself recently by entering the Senate primary. "The sooner the party's leadership recognizes that," he added, "the better off they'll be." There are moderates and conservatives who will operate inside the party, he maintained, and a group of conservatives who operate independently of it--"the Tea Party folks," he said.

Smith went on, "I'm intent on showing people that I am the only one in this race with real-world experience and Senate experience." In his two terms--from 1990 to 2002-- Smith gained a reputation as a bit of an odd duck. He briefly declared himself an independent in 1999, and he also briefly endorsed John Kerry's presidential campaign in 2004 (Smith later retracted the Kerry endorsement.)

Source: New York Times on 2010 Florida Senate debate Jan 10, 2010

Marco Rubio: God does not love America more than Belgium

He jackhammers his message about America's exceptional status in the world. "This is the only society in history where your future is not determined by where you were born," he said. "I believe that the United States of America is the greatest society in the history of humanity." America is unique for its belief in limited government, he says, not because it is anointed. "Does God love us more than Belgium?" he asked. "No."

Rubio's political resume essentially began right after he graduated from the University of Miami Law School. He served as a city commissioner in West Miami before winning his first term in the Florida House of Representatives in 2000. He was sworn in as speaker in 2006, the youngest person and the first Hispanic to hold that position. The centerpiece of his speech is a sweeping homage to conservative principle. "We are not debating stimulus bills or tax codes," he said. "We are debating the essence of what government should be and what role it should play."

Source: New York Times on 2010 Florida Senate debate Jan 10, 2010

Jeb Bush: Bush family name is a detriment that limits career choices

Jeb Bush's adult prepolitical career was spent in Texas, in Venezuela, and in south Florida where most of those who followed his career say that he employed a political and business strategy long familiar to historians of the political dynasty whose name he carries. The strategy was to exploit the Bush family name and to draw on a huge universe of family relationships, family money, and elite contacts in order to propel himself into successful careers in both business and politics.

Some saw it as a two-step procedure:

  1. leverage the Bush family name and a small personal investment into really big money, always provided by others, and
  2. if any deal goes sour, exit early with personal fortune intact, or rely on a bailout from one of Dad's fairy godfathers."
Not unexpectedly, Jeb took umbrage at the implication that he was not a self-made man and said that the Bush family name was really a detriment to his ambitions and that it limited his career choices.
Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p. ˇ1 Dec 11, 2009

Mel Martinez: Call to public service strong, but call to family stronger

If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it is that life can have many wonderful detours from where you think you're going. These result from chance, adversity, and a call to duty.

The Senate is the only federal office carrying a six-year term, so a decision about whether to run for re-election is one that my family and I have carefully considered over the past year.

The inescapable truth, for me, is that the call to public service is strong, but the call to home, family and lifelong friends is even stronger. So today, with deep love for this country and with sincere gratitude to the people who placed their trust in me, I announce that I will not run for reelection to the US Senate.

So with two years left in my term, I make this announcement today in order to give the many qualified individuals who might choose to try to succeed me an opportunity to organize and gather support. I look forward to serving out these next two years.

Source: Retirement announcement speech, in Orlando Florida Dec 2, 2008

John McCain: FactCheck: Won NH & SC via independents, but lost GOP vote

McCain dubiously claimed that he won the GOP vote in both New Hampshire and South Carolina. But in New Hampshire, the National Election Pool Exit Poll showed Romney edging McCain 35% to 34% among Republican voters. McCain wouldnít have won if he hadnít collected 40% of the independent vote, an overwhelming plurality.

McCain can point to an exit poll done separately by Fox News, which shows him beating Romney among Republicans in New Hampshire, 35% to 33%. The same poll, though, shows Romney received more of the self-identified ďconservativeĒ vote, 38% to McCainís 31%.

But if McCain wants to use Foxís exit polls as his standard, the one taken after the South Carolina primary disproves his point: Huckabee edged him among Republican voters, 32% to 31%, and it was only through the votes of independents, who swung for him 42% to 25%, that McCain prevailed.

Source: FactCheck.org on 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

Mike Huckabee: Ought to be able to respect people who donít have any faith

We ought to be able to respect people who donít have any faith. I donít feel like a person has to share my faith to share my love of this country. If a person hates me because of my faith, Iím not sure if they understand what it means to truly be an American, where we can live with each other no matter how different our faith is. Faith has been an important part of who this country is. Most Americans believe in God. If you want a president that doesnít, youíll have to pick somebody else.
Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

Mike Huckabee: People should deal with the use of faith in my campaign

Q: A Bush administration official said that, quote, your use of faith in your campaign gave him a ďqueasy feeling.Ē Your response?

A: I would say that would be his problem, not mine. My faith does not give me a queasy feeling; it gives me a solid core from which Iím able to live every day. I donít wake up every day and have to look at a poll to decide what I believe. My faith grounds me. It gives me some sense of direction and purpose. I donít try to impose it on other people, and I certainly would never use the auspices of government to try to push my faith. But for me to run from it? Impossible. Itís who I am. If it gives some people a queasy feeling, then theyíll have to deal with it. The fact is, this country has always been a country where people were able to respect people who had faith.

Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

Mitt Romney: Donít think religion figuring into this race

When the Constitution and the founders said no religious test shall ever be required for qualification for office or public trust in the US that the founders meant just that. And I donít believe for a minute that Republicans, or Americans for that matter, are going to impose a religious test when the founders said itís as un-American as anything you can think of.

I donít think youíre going to see religion figuring into this race after people have had a chance to get to know all the candidates.

Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

Ron Paul: The Republicans donít act like Republicans anymore

My biggest concern is they wonít stick to the party principles that Republicans stood for so long: balanced budgets and limited government and individual freedom. The Republican Party has a problem because we donít act like Republicans. Weíre spending money that we donít have, weíve run up these deficits. In the old days we used to be against the Department of Education; now weíve doubled the size of it. No child Left behind. Even the Democrats are running against some of the things that we do. They used to love that kind of stuff. It used to be that we stop the wars. We stopped the Korean War. We were supposed to stop the Vietnam War the Democrats started. Here weíre starting these wars. Thatís why weíve lost our way. So I donít think itís a matter of me leaving the Republican Party. Yet they say: Oh, youíre too strict on the Constitution. Why should us who believe strictly in the Constitution, the rule of law, be excluded? Thatís what the Republican Party used to stand for.
Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

Mike Huckabee: Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office

Q: The death penalty, what would Jesus do?

A: I believe there is a place for a death penalty. Some crimes are so heinous, that the only response that we, as a civilized nation, have for a most uncivil action is not only to try to deter that person from ever committing that crime again, but also as a warning to others that some crimes are beyond any capacity for us to fix.

Q: But what would Jesus do?

A: Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office. Thatís what Jesus would do.

Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida Nov 28, 2007

Mike Huckabee: I believe the Bible is the word of revelation

Q: Do you believe every word of this book [The Holy Bible]?

A: Sure. I believe the Bible is exactly what it is. Itís the word of revelation to us from God himself. I donít fully comprehend and understand [it all], because the Bible is a revelation of an infinite god, and no finite person is ever going to fully understand it. If they do, their god is too small.

Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida Nov 28, 2007

Mitt Romney: Bible is the word of God; I donít disagree with Bible

Q: Do you believe every word of this book [The Holy Bible]?

A: I believe the Bible is the word of God, absolutely. I might interpret the word differently than you interpret the word, but I read the Bible and I believe the Bible is the word of God. I donít disagree with the Bible. I try to live by it.

Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida Nov 28, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: Bible is greatest book ever written, but itís allegorical

Q: Do you believe every word of this book [The Holy Bible]?

A: The reality is, I believe it, but I donít believe itís necessarily literally true in every single respect. I think there are parts of the Bible that are interpretive. I think there are parts of the Bible that are allegorical. So, yes, I believe it. I think itís the great book ever written. I read it frequently.

Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida Nov 28, 2007

Fred Thompson: Giuliani sides with Hillary on abortion, guns. & immigration

Q: [to Giuliani]: Sen. Thompson says that youíre soft on abortion, that youíre soft on gun control, & that youíve never claimed to be a conservative. Who is more conservative: you or Fred Thompson?

GIULIANI: I canít comment on Fred. I can tell you that George Will wrote that I ran the most conservative government in the US in the last 50 years. I brought down crime more than anyone in this country. I brought down taxes. I drove pornography out of Times Square. You can always find one exception or two to someone being absolutely conservative, but I think I had a heck of a lot of conservative results.

THOMPSON: Mayor Giuliani believes in federal funding for abortion. He believes in sanctuary cities. Heís for gun control. He supported Mario Cuomo, a liberal Democrat, against a Republican who was running for governor; then opposed the governorís tax cuts when he was there. So I simply disagree with him those issues. And he sides with Hillary Clinton on each of those issues I just mentioned.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

Fred Thompson: Consistent since reading ďConscience of a ConservativeĒ

Q: [to Romney]: Sen. Thompson says that you run to the left of Teddy Kennedy in 1994, that you were proudly pro-choice, as recently as 2005, and that his philosophy doesnít depend on geography. Who is more conservative: you or Fred Thompson?

ROMNEY: Weíre going to have to bring together the same coalition that Ronald Reagan put together; conservatives fiscally, conservatives from a military standpoint and conservatives socially. Because weíre not going to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House by acting like Hillary Clinton.

THOMPSON: I was conservative as soon as I put down Conscience of a Conservative when I was in the college. I came back to Tennessee & started the first Young Republicans Club. In 8 years in the US Senate, I fought for tax cuts, a balanced budget, and welfare reform, all of which we achieved, and I also fought for judges who would abide by the Constitution and the law and not make it up as they went along. All that time, I compiled a 100 percent pro-life voting record.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

Fred Thompson: Free markets, free people, free enterprise

If we stick to our basic principles, we will win next November. But weíve got to remember our first principles--the fact that what the founding fathers told us a long, long time ago, that our basic rights come from God, not from government; that we have a system of divided government, both state and local and state and federal level.

We believe in free markets. We believe in free people. We believe in free enterprise. And Americans who work hard and play by the rules have a decent chance of living the American Dream, just like I have and so many others have.

Thatís the things that we have to keep in mind. Letís donít get diverted onto some single individual, whoever their nominee is. Theyíre going to lead us down the road to a comfortable mediocrity. And thatís not the United States of America I grew up in.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

John McCain: I didnít manage for profit, I led for patriotism

Q: You didnít like it much when Governor Romney said recently that he spoke for the Republican wing of the Republican party. Whoís more conservative: you or Mitt Romney?

A: I think itís pretty obvious that that statement was a paraphrase of Howard Deanís statement about the Democrat party. The fact is, Iím running on my record as a reliable conservative of 24 years. And the indicators of that, obviously, is that Iíve fought wasteful spending, I have had a strong and a long relationship on national security, Iíve been involved in every national crisis that this nation has faced since Beirut, I understand the issues, I understand and appreciate the enormity of the challenge we face from radical Islamic extremism. I am prepared. I need no on-the-job training. I wasnít a mayor for a short period of time. I wasnít a governor for a short period of time. For 20-some years, including leading the largest squadron in the US Navy, I led. I didnít manage for profit, I led for patriotism.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

John McCain: Romney is conning people about conservatism of his record

Q: [to Romney]: Sen. McCain suggests that youíre conning people--he has used that phrase--with your conversions on a number of issues.

ROMNEY: When I ran against Ted Kennedy in 1994, that was a big uphill climb. But let me tell you, I was fighting for issues like making sure that we would have the death penalty in our state, fighting to keep our taxes down. I was fighting against the Liberal Lion in perhaps the toughest state in America. And Iím pretty proud of what I was able to accomplish in that race, but nothing compares to the pride I have with the work that I was able to do as a governor.

McCAIN: Gov. Romney, youíve been spending the last year trying to fool people about your record. I donít want you to start fooling them about mine. I stand on my record as a conservative, and I donít think you can fool the American people. They may not agree with me on a couple of issues, but theyíll know Iím telling the truth, and my steadfast positions on these issues for more than 20 years.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

Mitt Romney: Acting like Hillary wonít keep Hillary out of White House

Q: [to Romney]: Sen. Thompson says that you run to the left of Teddy Kennedy in 1994, that you were proudly pro-choice, as recently as 2005, and that his philosophy doesnít depend on geography. Who is more conservative: you or Fred Thompson?

ROMNEY: This is a critical time for our nation and for our party. Weíre going to have to bring together the same coalition that Ronald Reagan put together; conservatives fiscally, conservatives from a military standpoint and conservatives socially. Because weíre not going to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House by acting like Hillary Clinton. Now, Iím proud of my record. Not just of the words, but of the record of the governor of Massachusetts.

THOMPSON: I was conservative as soon as I put down Conscience of a Conservative when I was in the college. In 8 years in the US Senate, I fought for tax cuts, a balanced budget, and welfare reform, all of which we achieved. All that time, I compiled a 100 percent pro-life voting record.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

Mitt Romney: Proud of his accomplishments in fighting the Liberal Lion

Q: [to Romney]: Sen. McCain suggests that youíre conning people--he has used that phrase--with your conversions on a number of issues.

ROMNEY: When I ran against Ted Kennedy in 1994, that was a big uphill climb. But let me tell you, I was fighting for issues like making sure that we would have the death penalty in our state, fighting to keep our taxes down. I was fighting against the Liberal Lion in perhaps the toughest state in America. And Iím pretty proud of what I was able to accomplish in that race, but nothing compares to the pride I have with the work that I was able to do as a governor.

McCAIN: Gov. Romney, youíve been spending the last year trying to fool people about your record. I donít want you to start fooling them about mine. I stand on my record as a conservative, and I donít think you can fool the American people. They may not agree with me on a couple of issues, but theyíll know Iím telling the truth, and my steadfast positions on these issues for more than 20 years.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

George W. Bush: Declares victory; names transition team

Secretary Cheney and I are honored and humbled to have won the state of Florida, which gives us the needed electoral votes to win the election. We will therefore undertake the responsibility of preparing to serve as Americaís next president and vice president.

All of us in this election fought for our views. Now we must live up to our principles. We must show our commitment to the common good, which is bigger than any person or any party. We cannot change yesterday, but we share a responsibility for tomorrow.

Time runs short, and we have a lot of work to do. So tonight Iím naming Dick Cheney to chair our transition effort. Iíve asked him to work with President Clintonís administration to open a transition office in Washington. And we look forward to a constructive working relationship throughout this transition.

The end of an election is the beginning of a new day. Together we can make this a positive day of hope and opportunity for all of us who are blessed to be Americans.

Source: Bush speech following Florida certification Nov 26, 2000

Joseph Lieberman: If every vote counts, then count every vote

From the beginning of this extraordinary period of time, Vice President Gore and I have asked only that the votes that were cast on Election Day be counted. This evening, the secretary of state of Florida has decided to certify what by any reasonable standard is an incomplete and inaccurate count of the votes cast in the state of Florida. The secretary of state has even refused to accept the results of the count in Palm Beach County, which means that hundreds of votes that have already been identified for Governor Bush or Vice President Gore are being discarded.

In thousands of hours of work by hundreds of citizens of Florida, Republicans and Democrats and independents alike are being ignored. What is at issue here is nothing less than every Americanís simple, sacred right to vote. How can we teach our children that every vote counts if we are not willing to make a good-faith effort to count every vote?

Source: Speech by Lieberman responding to Florida re-certification Nov 26, 2000

Al Gore: Offer to Bush: Hand count, then meet to show unity

Source: Statement by Al Gore on Florida recount Nov 15, 2000

George W. Bush: Election principles: be fair, accurate, & conclusive

Source: Statement by Gov. Bush on Florida recount Nov 15, 2000

Jeb Bush: Priorities: public education & public safety

As governor, I would work to restore public education and public safety as the two most important priorities of state government. Our education plan would fully fund education, create financial incentives for all public schools that show improvement, improve accountability through higher standards and strengthen school safety. On the crime front, we have a comprehensive strategy for reducing the prevalence of drugs in Florida and would implement strict mandatory sentences for criminals who use guns.
Source: 1998 Florida National Political Awareness Test Jul 2, 1998

  • The above quotations are from State of Florida Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Principles & Values.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Principles & Values:
  Republicans:
Amb.John Bolton(MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Rep.Peter King(NY)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Secy.Condi Rice(CA)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Democrats:
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Gov.Brian Schweitzer(MT)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
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Page last updated: Sep 08, 2014