Ex-state House Speaker Marco Rubio (R) voted for “a controversial SunRail commuter rail project” while in the state House and published a book of policy ideas “touting investments in rail, highways and transit as huge job creators.” But now he won’t give a “clear answer” on whether lawmakers should approve a billion-dollar package of rail projects.
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Rubio, on 12/7: “Back then it made sense from an economic perspective. Now we’re living in a much different time, so it’s a new cost-benefit analysis. Everything is done in the context of the moments in which you’re living.”
Gov. Charlie Crist (R) spokesperson Andrea Saul: “While Marco Rubio hedges his bets on SunRail, Gov. Crist and the Florida Legislature are focused on creating much-needed jobs in Central Florida. Florida deserves leaders who will fight to create jobs for Floridians, not those who will turn their backs during these challenging economic times.”
The SunRail debate is “particularly dicey” for Rubio because coming out firmly against the project would making him a flip-flopper and would “antagonize a host of business groups,” but supporting the project would put him on the same side as Crist (Smith, St. Petersburg Times, 12/8).
Rubio: “Here’s the difference between now and the time we voted a few years ago — we’re in the midst of the worst economic times in the history of Florida” (March, Tampa Tribune, 12/8).
You’ve Been Con-Served
Crist “continued to try to demonstrate” 12/7 how Rubio “isn’t as conservative as he would like” primary voters “to believe.”
Rubio spokesperson Alex Burgos, in a release 12/5: “Were it not for Marco Rubio, Charlie Crist would likely have succeeded in imposing an oppressive cap-and-trade scheme in Florida that would have deepened Florida’s economic crisis. As President Obama pursues the same type of job-killing, business-crippling cap-and-trade policies that Charlie Crist tried to impose, Marco Rubio offers Floridians reassurance that he’s the only candidate in this race with a proven record of standing up to this agenda.”
Crist’s camp called the Rubio release “hypocritical” in its own release 12/7. Saul “pointed to interviews and speeches by Rubio’s from the time before the Senate campaign in which the state House Speaker seemed to take a different approach to cap and trade.”
Saul: “Not only did [Rubio] vote for the energy bill he attacks us on, he personally gave a speech and conducted interviews in favor of capping emissions — this is hypocrisy at its best and, yet another, case of Marco Rubio’s rhetoric not matching the reality of his record” (McArdle, CQ, 12/7).
Meanwhile, ex-state Sen. John Grant (R), on Crist: “We used to say the greatest threat to our security was not somebody lobbying a grenade from the gallery but getting between Charlie and a TV camera” (Smith, “The Buzz,” St. Petersburg Times, 12/7).
And Crist “thinks” Gators quarterback Tim Tebow “could be the answer to the Jacksonville Jaguars attendance problems” (AP, 12/7).
Just Like The ‘85 Bears? Ah, Now We Understand
Ex-Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre (D) announced today he opposes Pres. Obama’s proposed increase in troops in Afghanistan. Ferre: “It is my judgment this plan for escalation and withdrawal is not worth one more drop of America blood or $1 of taxpayers’ money because it is doomed to failure based on history and experience. While I feel badly that I cannot support my President, if I were a U.S. Senator today, I would vote against the funding of President Obama’s plan to increase American involvement in Afghanistan.”
More Ferre: “The Afghanistan-Taliban warriors are like the 1985 Chicago Bears — they cannot be defeated at home. Ask the Russians” (release, 12/8).
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"An emerging government funding deal would see Democrats agree to $15 billion in additional military funding in exchange for the GOP agreeing to fund healthcare subsidies, according to two congressional officials briefed on the talks. Facing a Friday deadline to pass a spending bill and avert a shutdown, Democrats are willing to go halfway to President Trump’s initial request of $30 billion in supplemental military funding."
The Michael Flynn story is not going away for the White House as it tries to refocus its attention. The White House has denied requests from the House Oversight Committee for information and documents regarding payments that the former national security adviser received from Russian state television station RT and Russian firms. House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking member Elijah Cummings also said that Flynn failed to report these payments on his security clearance application. White House legislative director Marc Short argued that the documents requested are either not in the possession of the White House or contain sensitive information he believes is not applicable to the committee's stated investigation.
The Washington, D.C. area will undergo "a full-scale exercise" Wednesday morning "designed to prepare for the possibility of a complex coordinated terror attack in the National Capital Region." The drill will take place at six different sites throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. The drill should not be taken as a sign that emergency services are expecting an attack, said Scott Boggs, Managing Director of Homeland Security and Public Safety at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee "acknowledged late Monday that a final report it filed with the Federal Election Commission this month was riddled with errors, many of which were first identified through a crowdsourced data project at HuffPost." The committee raised about $100 million for the festivities, but the 500-page FEC report, which detailed where that money came from, was riddled with problems. The likely culprit: a system of access codes sent out by the GOP's ticketing system. Those codes were then often passed around on the secondary market.