Sunshine State News Blogs

A new poll shows Florida CFO Jeff Atwater routing Democratic businessman William Rankin.

The poll of likely voters from Viewpoint Florida finds Atwater taking 54 percent while Rankin garners 38 percent and 7 percent are undecided.

Atwater has the GOP base nailed down, taking 81 percent of Republicans while Rankin has the support of 69 percent of Democrats. Voters outside the two major parties break for Atwater, 56 percent to 35 percent.

The poll of 1,050 likely voters was taken on Oct. 12 and had a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

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After reports emerged that Amber Joy Vinson, the second health care worker who came down with Ebola in recent days, flew across the country on a Frontier Airlines flight on Monday, Gov. Rick Scott called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to contact passengers who were on that airplane that day.

“The CDC announced that they are contacting those passengers on the airplane with nurse Amber Joy Vinson, and I am asking them to expand their contacts today to include all passengers traveling on that plane for the full 24 hours after Amber’s flight,” Scott said in a statement released on Thursday morning. “Within 24 hours of Amber’s flight with a low-grade fever, we know the plane made five additional stops – including one into and one out of our Fort Lauderdale Airport.

“The CDC has already admitted that they have been slow to respond to developing cases of Ebola, and we do not want to take any risk of Ebola coming to Florida,” Scott continued. “Their immediate action to contact all these passengers today is essential to explaining any potential health risks to themselves and their family. I want all Florida passengers to have as much information as possible directly from the CDC to ease any of their fears and understand any way they could have made contact with the disease.

“We continue to hope we will never have a case of Ebola in Florida, but unfortunately, we have seen from the CDC’s own admission that they have failed to get ahead of this disease’s spread in America to date – and we will do everything we can in Florida to get the CDC’s full engagement to protect our Florida health care workers, our citizens and our visitors,” Scott added. “Yesterday, we also requested the CDC conduct health care worker training with all Florida hospitals by conference call. Friday morning, I will meet again with our Florida Department of Health leaders and notify the public of what, if any, action the CDC has taken on our Ebola preparedness requests following that meeting.”

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U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., cheered the news that Kent Fuchs, currently the provost of Cornell University, will be the next president of the University of Florida (UF). Yoho is certainly familiar with UF. Besides living in Gainesville for 35 years, Yoho did his undergraduate and graduate work at UF before embarking on his career as a large-animal veterinarian.

“As a University of Florida alumni (sic), I would like to congratulate Dr. Fuchs on being named president of the best university in the country,” Yoho said. “His extensive experience at Cornell, as well as his 20 years of experience at land grant institutions, will surely be an asset to the University of Florida/IFAS.

“Dr. Fuchs' proven leadership will help ensure that the proud heritage and reputation that has been earned at UF/IFAS -- as one of the top leaders in the nation in higher academics and innovation -- will not only remain intact but flourish.” Yoho added. “I am sure he and his wife will find Gainesville a great place to call home. Welcome to the Gator Nation!”

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U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a member of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, offered his take on the Ebola threat in an op-ed published by CNN on Wednesday. In the op-ed, Rubio backed a travel ban on African nations impacted by the disease.

“We need to prevent the growing crisis in West Africa from leading to more cases in the United States,” Rubio wrote. “The recent announcement of increased entry screening of those traveling from affected countries by Customs and Border Patrol at select points of entry in the United States is a good but, frankly, overdue first step. However, it will not be enough, and the State Department should institute a temporary ban on new visas to non-U.S. nationals seeking to travel to the United States from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.”

The op-ed can be read here.

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Lost in the hoopla over Wednesday night’s Florida gubernatorial debate -- and former Gov. Charlie Crist’s fan -- was another debate impacting the politics of the Sunshine State.

U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., squared off in a debate with Gwen Graham in Tallahassee and the Democratic challenger is getting some national notice for her answers.

Despite being a darling of national Democrats, including a favorite of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DNCC), Graham said she would not back U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for speaker. Earlier in the campaign, Graham refused to say if she would back Pelosi for speaker even as her campaign took money from the Democratic leader’s PAC.

Graham’s refusal to back Pelosi won her some national attention, including from the conservative Washington TimesPolitico also looked at Graham’s criticism of President Barack Obama, his federal health-care law and Democratic congressional leaders like Pelosi.

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From his perch on the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., weighed in on the Ebola threat on Wednesday night.

“I am deeply concerned about the threat Ebola poses to public health,” Bilirakis said. “We must continue to provide diligent oversight of the response and preparedness efforts. The priority must be ensuring the safety of Americans, and stopping this outbreak in West Africa and around the world. In order to guarantee no further importation to the U.S., the Ebola virus must be immediately eradicated in West Africa.

“We must have a robust, consistent, and comprehensive strategy to protect the public and fight this devastating crisis, and all options – including a potential temporary travel ban to the affected areas – should be considered,” Bilirakis added. “The federal government must coordinate with local governments and health care providers to ensure our doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals have the training and resources available to adequately diagnose and treat infected patients. We must also ensure members of the armed forces and first responders have the resources they need.”

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The University of Florida finally has its next president -- on Wednesday, the university named Cornell provost Kent Fuchs to be the 12th person to lead the school. 

Fuchs has a lengthy history in higher education, having worked at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Purdue University and later as dean and provost at Cornell. 

“Dr. Fuchs brings to the University of Florida all of the important qualities we have been seeking in our next president,” said Dr. Steve M. Scott, chair of the board of trustees. “He is a distinguished academic who has very effectively served as provost and chief operating officer of the nation’s 15th best institution among all universities.”

Looking ahead, Fuchs promised he'd keep UF, Florida's largest university, on the right track.

“With the great privilege and responsibility you have given me, I will devote all of my energies, talents and abilities to helping move the University of Florida toward its pre-eminence goals,” Fuchs said. “We won’t be complacent. We will focus on being an even greater institution than we are today.”

The appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2015, and must be confirmed by the Florida Board of Governors. They'll meet next month on Nov. 5 and 6.
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Gov. Rick Scott said on Wednesday that the Florida Department of Health (DOH) is demanding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) instruct health care workers on how to handle Ebola patients. After the death of a Liberian national from Ebola in a Dallas hospital, two health care workers who tried to treat him were infected.

“Now that there is a second health care worker with Ebola in Dallas, we want Florida hospitals to hear directly from the CDC on how to best protect our health care workers on the front lines,” Scott said. “While the CDC has existing guidance, there have been public reports from nurses in Texas that either that guidance was not followed, or the guidance for health care workers needs to be updated. Whatever the case may be, Florida hospitals must hear any new safety guidelines directly from the CDC in the next 48 hours so our hospitals are best prepared to protect the health of nurses, doctors and patients.

“We are asking the CDC to hold a conference call with Florida hospitals on the best training and personal protective equipment protocols in the next 48 hours because we have to act with a sense of urgency to ensure our hospitals are prepared,” Scott added. “We have also informed the CDC of DOH’s work to redirect federal grant funding, so we can purchase more personal protective equipment and other supplies to prepare for any case of Ebola in Florida. In light of this second case in Dallas today, we are asking the CDC to support our work to redirect these federal funds for Ebola preparedness, also within the next 48 hours.”

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Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist will clash in a war of words in their second debate in Davie Wednesday evening.

The debate begins at 7 p.m. at Broward College and is hosted by Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association. It will air in all media markets across the state.

The first debate between the two politicians focused primarily on each of the candidates' respective talking points, with several personal shots exchanged throughout the debate

Polls continue to show a neck and neck race between Scott and Crist as the final weeks to Nov. 4 wind down.

The third and final debate will be held by CNN on Oct. 21 in Jacksonville.
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U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., part of the U.S. House leadership as senior deputy majority whip, will launch a new TV ad which hits the air on Thursday as he runs for a third term in Congress.

Ross plays up his Florida roots, his opposition to amnesty and his commitment to securing the border in the new ad. The congressman also notes his work on helping veterans obtain access to better health-care.

“I understand the challenges we face,” Ross says in the new ad. “Positive solutions for Florida’s families. That’s what it’s all about.”

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Ross is favored to beat Democrat Alan Cohn, a former TV reporter, in the general election in November.  

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The Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA) punched the ticket on Wednesday, announcing it was endorsing Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam for a second term. Putnam faces Democrat Thad Hamilton in November.

“Commissioner Putnam has demonstrated his commitment to the safety and protection of our citizens and our state, and the FPCA is proud to endorse his candidacy,” said Amy Mercer, the executive director of the FPCA.

Mercer pointed to Putnam’s work on the Keeping ID Safe (KIDS) Act and his efforts against fraudulent charities.

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U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., sent a letter to President Barack Obama and members of his administration, asking what they plan to do to combat Ebola. Besides Obama, Rooney wrote U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden.

Rooney ripped Obama’s handling of Ebola and the current crisis in the Middle East and called for Congress to return to Washington to tackle the matters.

“The United States now faces two very different but grave national security threats – the spread of Ebola from West Africa and the growth of IS in the Middle East,” Rooney said on Tuesday. “President Obama should present comprehensive response plans and authorization requests to combat these crises to Congress and the American people, and we should return to D.C. promptly to debate and vote on them.

“My constituents are afraid, and few have confidence that the administration’s response has been sufficient,” Rooney added. “What’s the next step to prevent exposing Americans to the disease? Why isn’t the administration at least restricting tourist travel to and from Ebola-stricken countries? How do we account for individuals that aren’t stopped for screening or pass airport screening procedures because they’re not yet exhibiting symptoms? No one wants to stop humanitarian and medical assistance from reaching West Africa, but I fail to see any national security or humanitarian reason for allowing high-risk individuals – like Mr. Duncan – to enter our country for purely tourist reasons while the disease is uncontained.”

Rooney called for limiting travel to Ebola-impacted nations in Africa and wanted answers on how the various federal agencies are handling matters.

“Rather than issuing an outright refusal on further travel restrictions to and from West Africa, the U.S. should explore every feasible and available option to restrict all non-essential travel,” Rooney wrote.

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There is little opposition to Amendment 1, according to a poll released on Tuesday. Needing 60 percent to pass on the November ballot, Amendment 1 would mandate the Legislature send 33 percent of funds generated from real estate document taxes to be used for environmental conservation efforts for the next 20 years. Estimates shows these funds would range from $700 million to $1.3 billion.

A WFLA/Survey USA shows 49 percent of likely voters support Amendment 1 and only 7 percent are opposed to it. But a large segment of voters -- 44 percent -- remain undecided on Amendment 1 with three weeks to go until the general election.

The WFLA/Survey USA poll of 566 likely voters was taken from Oct. 10-13 and had a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percent.

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Florida TaxWatch noted on Wednesday that legislators will have a small surplus -- $336.2 million -- in the 2015 session. While this is the fourth year in a row there was a surplus, the projected surplus is less than half of what it was this year.

Dominic Calabro, the president and CEO of Florida TaxWatch, said the surplus was a result of job growth.

"More Floridians are working and paying their taxes, which has enabled our government to receive a budget surplus for the past four years," said Calabro on Wednesday. "However, even with a small surplus, it is crucial that lawmakers spend the hard-earned money of Florida taxpayers as carefully as they do for their own families."

"The $336 million surplus needs to be put into context," said Kurt Wenner, the vice president of tax research for Florida TaxWatch. "It is only 1.1 percent of projected general revenue spending. It is also based on leaving only $1 billion in reserves, much smaller than what recent legislatures have left. The budget process will again be very competitive and it is our hope that each project will be thoroughly vetted by the full Legislature."

"Florida has the opportunity to save hundreds of thousands more dollars through cost savings implementation, which would help put more money in the pockets of Floridians, or allow Florida to provide a higher level of service to its citizens," Calabro said.

The group also released its latest Budget Watch on Wednesday.

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The Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) will release a TV ad on Wednesday featuring former Gov. Jeb Bush backing Gov. Rick Scott. In the ad, Bush ignores Democratic candidate former Gov. Charlie Crist though he throws a subtle jab, contrasting him with Scott.

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“In my experience as governor, I found that there are two kinds of politicians,” Bush says in the ad. “Those that are driven by personal ambition and those that deliver results. Rick Scott delivers results. Under Rick Scott’s leadership, our state is moving forward again. Unemployment has been cut in half. And more than 600,000 jobs have been created. And Rick is increasing our investment in education.”
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A new poll from CNN and ORC International shows a tight battle between Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist in the Florida gubernatorial race.

When looking at likely voters, the CNN/ORC poll has the race dead even with Scott and Crist taking 44 percent apiece. Libertarian Adrian Wyllie garners 9 percent of likely voters.

When the poll turns to registered voters, Crist holds a small lead, beating Scott 42 percent to 40 percent. Wyllie takes 10 percent of registered voters.

The poll of 850 registered voters was taken from Oct. 9-13 and had a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent. The poll of 610 likely voters was taken during the same period and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.
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Despite carrying Florida twice, President Barack Obama is upside down in Florida.

Gravis Marketing released a poll on Monday which shows Obama remains underwater in the Sunshine State as a solid majority -- 56 percent -- of those surveyed disapprove of his performance in the White House. Only 37 percent approve of Obama’s performance while 7 percent are undecided.

The poll of 1,023 registered voters in Florida, most of whom say they are very likely to vote, was taken from Oct. 11-12 and had a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.
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A new poll shows Amendment 2, a proposal to expand medical marijuana in the Sunshine State, is in jeopardy.

Gravis Marketing released a survey which shows 55 percent say they will back Amendment 2 while 39 percent are opposed to it and 7 percent are undecided. For Amendment 2 to be added to the Florida Constitution, it needs 60 percent on the November ballot.

The poll of 1,023 registered voters in Florida, most of whom say they are very likely to vote, was taken from Oct. 11-12 and had a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.
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A poll released on Monday shows Gov. Rick Scott with a narrow lead over former Gov. Charlie Crist in the Florida gubernatorial race.

A poll from Gravis Marketing finds Scott ahead with 44 percent, Crist on his heels with 42 percent and 14 percent undecided. Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie -- who has polled in the high single digits in most polls and has cracked double digits in a few -- was left out of the survey.

The poll of 1,023 registered voters in Florida was taken from Oct. 11-12 and had a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.
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Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is asking the Florida Supreme Court to rule on same-sex marriage in the Sunshine State. On Monday, Bondi filed an appeal with the 3rd District Court of Appeal asking them to consider ruling on allowing gay couples to marry in Florida.

Bondi's filing comes on the heels of a U.S. Supreme Court decision last week when the justices rejected appeals to gay marriage rulings in five states --Virginia, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Utah and Indiana. 

"Until recently, the issue was squarely before the United States Supreme Court, and it appeared that a definitive answer was coming," wrote Bondi. "Several certi-orari petitions from several states asked that court to take up the issue and rule. Even those who had prevailed below sought Supreme Court review. The United States Supreme Court had the opportunity to answer the question with a decision binding on all citizens. That decision -- had there been one -- would have ended these cases and all others like it."

Because of this decision, Bondi wrote, Florida's courts will have to rule on the issue without the U.S. Supreme Court's guidance. 

Several Florida judges ruled earlier this year that the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, but their rulings were stayed pending appeal.


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Amendment 2, a proposal to expand medical marijuana use in Florida, is in serious trouble according to a poll released on Monday.

The poll, commissioned by SaintPetersBlog and taken by St. Pete Polls, shows 52 percent of those surveyed support Amendment 2 while 39 percent oppose it and the remaining voters are undecided. When the undecided voters are asked if they are leaning one way or the other, opposition to Amendment 2 creeps up to 40 percent while support moves up to 54 percent.

For Amendment 2 to be added to the Florida Constitution, it will need 60 percent on the November ballot.

The poll of 3,128 Florida registered voters who said they were planning to vote in the election was taken from Oct. 8-11 and had a margin of error of +/- 1.8 percent.
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A new poll shows the Florida gubernatorial race is down to the wire with three weeks to go.

St. Pete Polls took a survey on behalf of SaintPetersBlog which shows Gov. Rick Scott with the narrowest of leads, holding off Democratic challenger former Gov. Charlie Crist 44 percent to 43 percent. Libertarian Adrian Wyllie takes 8 percent while 5 percent are still undecided.

When the 5 percent who are undecided are asked if they have a preference, the numbers barely move. In that scenario, Scott moves up to 45 percent while Crist remains on his heels with 44 percent. Wyllie stays with 8 percent.

Both Scott and Crist are upside down in the poll. Scott is seen as favorable by 41 percent of those surveyed while 51 percent see him as unfavorable. Crist is seen as unfavorable by 52 percent of those surveyed while 40 percent view him as favorable.

The poll of 3,128 Florida registered voters who said they were planning to vote in the election was taken from Oct. 8-11 and had a margin of error of +/- 1.8 percent.
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Remember Yinka Adeshina, the Republican gubernatorial candidate who had a slew of ... interesting campaign donations?

Well, as it turns out, the Tallahassee Police Department arrested Adeshina Monday on two counts of fraud for submitting false reports to the Department of State. Adeshina had been on a three-week-long vacation in Nigeria.

In her reports, Adeshina said she raised $182,000 for her election bid. But a quick background check on the donors she listed in her report yielded puzzling results -- many did not exist and the FDLE ultimately believes she simply made them up to show the Department of State she had raised more than $150,000. Under Florida law, any candidate who raises more than that amount is eligible for matching funds from taxpayers. 

Although she never got the taxpayer cash, Adeshina did give the Department of State fake information to get the money. 

She's currently being held on a $10,000 bail.

Keep it weird, Florida politics.  

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The University of Florida announced the top three candidates for its 12th president on Monday, inching the Gators one step closer to selecting a new president for the university. 

The UF Presidential Search Committee selected Dr. W. Kent Fuchs (provost, Cornell University), Dr. David W. McLaughlin (provost, New York University) and Dr. Sibrandes Poppema (president, University of Groningen, The Netherlands) as the final three candidates out of a pool of 15. They will each be interviewed on Tuesday. 

The search committee will interview the candidates beginning at 7:30 a.m. at the UF Hilton Hotel and Conference Center in Gainesville. Once the interviews are completed, the committee will select the most highly qualified and refer them to the board of trustees for further interviews scheduled for Wednesday. 

The university hopes to select a president by Wednesday, Oct. 15.
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Monday might be Columbus Day but most Americans don’t consider it that important according to a new poll.

Rasmussen Reports released a poll which shows only 8 percent of adults think Columbus Day is one of the most important holidays while 45 percent say it is one of the least important and 43 percent of those surveyed think it ranks between the two extremes.

The poll of 1,000 American adults was taken from Oct. 10-11 and had a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

Still, there’s no rush to abolish the holiday. Last year, a Rasmussen poll found only 26 percent of those surveyed want to get rid of Columbus Day while 58 percent think it should still be celebrated.
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Appearing on “America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum” on Fox News on Monday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., criticized the Obama administration’s handling of Middle Eastern affairs as Islamic State (IS) forces threaten to take Kobani in Syria.

“We’ve been talking to Turkey,” MacCallum said. “Turkey now says that they will allow us to begin missions from Turkey. Do you think we should be pressuring them as well to put ground troops on the line in this fight?”  

“Yeah,” Rubio replied. “In fact, we shouldn’t be pressuring them at all. They should be wanting to do this. Kobani is on their border. In essence, all of those refugees, and the people fleeing a certain massacre, they are all going to go into Turkey. The problem with Turkey is that this whole issue has become enmeshed into their own domestic politics. I mean, they view the Kurds on the other side of the border as equally bad. So, in their mind, they’re not quite sure what to do from a domestic political perspective.

“But the bottom line is in the short term, the Turks have more at stake here than we do,” Rubio added. “And they’re members of NATO. They should act like a member of NATO.”

“We are sending an assessment team to begin the training process,” MacCallum said. “The belief is that there’s about 4,000 fighters, perhaps, that are ready to be trained from the moderate forces in Syria. Are we really at this stage where we’re beginning to assess how many people are available, and that we’re going to send in an American assessment team to start working on this?”  

“I support all those things,” Rubio answered. “That would be great. The problem is that this conflict is moving much faster than our ability to identify, train, equip and place in the field these rebel elements, or anybody for that matter. IS is not going to sit around and wait for us to train the rebels. By the time they’re ready to go, it may be too late. As you can see from the progress they have made. And it’s not just in Kobani. It’s the progress they’ve made now on the outskirts of Baghdad and other parts of the country.

“Let me tell you – if they succeed in Kobani, it will completely demoralize our ability to rally any sort of forces on the ground to confront them,” Rubio continued. “That’s when people strip off their uniforms, they abandon ship, they abandon their post. It has a psychological impact.”

“Well, John Kerry is singing a very different tune,” MacCallum noted before pointing to a quote from Kerry.

“Kobani does not define the strategy of the coalition with respect to Daesh,” Kerry said. “Kobani is one community, and it’s a tragedy what is happening there. And we don't diminish that. But we've said from day one it is going to take a period of time.”

“Sounds to me like he is preparing everybody for failure there,” MacCallum said.

“That’s an absurd statement,” Rubio answered. “I’ll tell you why. Imagine for a moment if you are a Sunni or a Shia, for that matter, on the ground in Iraq, who’s preparing to go out and fight and confront ISIS, and you’re all fired up because the U.S. is hitting them from the air. And yet despite these airstrikes, they keep winning. Now you’re thinking to yourself, ‘You know, these guys are unbeatable. They’re invincible. Despite airstrikes, they’re taking major cities. Why would I join a losing side? It’s better for me to flee into Turkey, or Jordan, or Lebanon or anywhere for that matter.’ It would be deeply demoralizing to this effort to allow them to take territory. And for John Kerry to say that, proves to you how out of touch they are about this reality. They are doing anything they can to disengage us from this process by doing the least amount possible. And it’s leading to this terrible outcome.”
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With three weeks to go in a contentious election against Democrat Gwen Graham, U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., released a TV ad on Monday playing up his national security credentials and tying his opponent to President Barack Obama and U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

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“America faces serious challenges in an increasingly uncertain world,” said Southerland on Monday. “That’s why I voted to end the Beltway bickering and secure our borders now.  And it’s why I voted to give the president the tools necessary to defeat ISIS in the Middle East.  Now more than ever, we need leaders who are willing to put politics aside and work together to make the world a safer place for our children and grandchildren.  There’s too much at stake to do anything less.”
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Former state Rep. Carl Domino, the Republican candidate running against U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., took to the national airwaves on Monday, appearing on “MidPoint” with Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV.

Domino said he wanted to push solutions in Congress and pointed to his record in Tallahassee.

“In my eight years in the state Legislature, I produced solutions to problems,” Domino said. “There’s a lot of solutions to problems out there.”

Asked by Berliner about President Barack Obama‘s federal health-care law, Domino called the law a disaster, insisting “there’s a lot of progress” in health care due to the free market.

“You don’t tear a house down because there’s a leaky roof,” Domino said, calling the law a “redistribution of wealth” while continuing to lash out against it.

“Did we really need the Affordable Care Act?” Domino asked, pointing toward advances in technology and insisting costs were going up.

Despite his jabs at Obama, Domino refused to blame the White House for the Ebola death in Dallas and backed travel restrictions to impacted African nations.
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The Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) announced on Monday it opposed Amendment 2, a proposal to expand medical marijuana in the Sunshine State. If Amendment 2 gets 60 percent on the November ballot, it will be added to the Florida Constitution.

“AIF’s board of directors opposes Amendment 2 because of the myriad known and unknown complications it will render to Florida businesses,” said former U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Fla., the president and CEO of AIF. “The practical and legal inconsistencies that Amendment 2 will heft onto our current workers’ compensation, drug testing, workplace safety, disability, discrimination and health care laws, to name a few, will create confusion that breeds litigation and increases the cost of doing business.”
“Florida businesses cannot afford the tarnished image this amendment would bring to our business-friendly state, nor the negative consequences that increased marijuana use and availability will have in our neighborhoods and communities,” Feeney added. “Simply put, Amendment 2 is bad for business and bad for Florida.”
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With a third presidential bid a real possibility, Vice President Joe Biden turned his attention to the Sunshine State and went to bat for former Gov. Charlie Crist, the Democratic candidate challenging Gov. Rick Scott in Florida. Biden is hitting the campaign trail for Crist on Monday.

In a fundraising email sent out on Monday morning, the notoriously gaffe-proned Biden even insisted Crist was reminiscent of himself since the former governor "speaks from the heart."

“Charlie Crist and I have more in common than just our love of the beautiful state of Florida,” Biden wrote. “Whether it'll help him out politically or not, the man always speaks from his heart. He cares deeply about the people he meets -- he listens to their stories and takes them into account when he's making decisions. His good heart is why I'm proud to join Charlie in Florida today. I know he'll be an incredible fighter for Florida's middle class.”

Earlier on Monday, Scott linked Crist to President Barack Obama’s economic policies.

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