Conservatives from across the county will be hitting Orlando on Friday and Saturday as the Americans for Prosperity (AFP) Foundation holds the Defending the American Dream Summit at Universal Studios -- and liberals are taking note that two prominent Florida Republicans will be taking part.
Gov. Rick Scott will be offering a keynote address for the event while U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will be speaking there as well. Rubio is not the only possible Republican presidential hopeful speaking at the event. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, all of whom are considered likely contenders for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, are all scheduled to speak.
But the tea party-aligned group can expect protests from liberals including U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., and former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings. The liberal group Organize Now announced on Wednesday it would be protesting the AFP event on Friday.
Stephanie Porta, the executive director of the group, took aim at Scott and Rubio for opposing the federal health care law backed by President Barack Obama.
The governor and the senator have relentlessly been attempting to keep Obamacare out of our state and deny millions of Floridians comprehensive and affordable health care, said Porta. This is not defending the American dream. Their refusal to extend health care to more than 1 million Floridians, their partys endless votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act and draconian education cuts are destroying the American dream.
Demings ran against U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, R-Fla., in 2012. While Democrats had high hopes for Demings, she lost to Webster who defeated Grayson in 2010.
When AFP announced Scott would be addressing the meeting earlier this month, Tim Phillips from the group had warm words for the Florida governor.
Since taking office two years ago, he has fought hard for the principles of economic freedom, leading to impressive job creation, better education, and a balanced budget all without raising taxes, Phillips said about Scott.
Slade OBrien, AFPs director in Florida, also praised Scott and said he would be a welcome addition to the summit.
Without a doubt, this years summit will be one of the most important events of the year in Florida, OBrien said. Thousands of front-line activists come together with the nations most influential thought leaders to discuss how we can promote economic freedom. Were very glad to have Governor Scott join this premier event.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.