A Look Back at 2013 in Quotes
Around the State
Politicians from all over the country said some memorable things throughout 2013, whether it was to uplift their constituents or tear their opponents down.
Here are some memorable quotes from Florida in 2013:
“At this point, the tea party is no more popular than the Klan.” -- Alan Grayson
Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., is no stranger to voicing his opinions, regardless of how controversial they may be. In October, Grayson caused controversy when he likened the tea party to the Ku Klux Klan in a fundraising email. A burning cross is shown in the email, using the cross as the letter “t” and spells out “tea party” in flaming letters.
Grayson defended the comparison even after he was harshly criticized for it.
“One could go on and on, because there is overwhelming evidence that the tea party is the home of bigotry and discrimination in America today, just as the KKK was for an earlier generation. If the shoe fits, wear it," he said.
“Today I announce that I am running for governor of Florida, and the reason is to put you back in charge, because you deserve a governor who wakes up every day thinking about you, who you can trust to govern honestly in our collective best interest, who will make this economy more fair for hard-working taxpayers like you.” -- Charlie Crist
Charlie Crist’s announcement that he’d be running for governor didn’t come as much of a surprise, but his announcement officially kicked off what will likely be the biggest campaign for a statewide office in Florida during 2014.
"It's working!" -- Gov. Rick Scott
With every positive story about job numbers and the state's unemployment rate came Gov. Rick Scott's famous slogan that "it's working" in the Sunshine State. While Scott used the slogan frequently in his jobs announcements, his opponents capitalized on the slogan as well -- in a campaign-style video, gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist said "it's not working" and urged Floridians to "end this nonsense" and to kick Scott out of office.
“Trayvon is a symbol of a deeper malady. No doubt, the inclination is to boycott Florida, stop conventions, to isolate Florida as a kind of apartheid state given this whole Stand Your Ground law." -- Rev. Jesse Jackson
While Rev. Jesse Jackson isn’t a Florida politician, his comments on Florida following the acquittal of George Zimmerman angered many in the Sunshine State, including Gov. Rick Scott, who demanded that Jackson apologize to all Floridians for his comments.
Jackson wasn’t alone in his call to boycott Florida. Legendary Motown singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder also vowed that he wouldn’t set foot in Florida following Zimmerman’s acquittal, but he was seen in Miami a little over a month later.
“The plan is a good one. I support what the president is trying to do. He’s trying to bring affordable health care to millions of our fellow Floridians.” -- Charlie Crist
Charlie Crist voiced his support for President Barack Obama’s signature health-care law despite the fact that the program’s website was riddled with problems and support of both the president and Obamacare plummeted to an all-time low in November.
"I am thrilled that Allie Braswell is running for Florida's CFO, because he's exactly the kind of leader we need in Tallahassee." -- Allison Tant
Florida Democratic Party chairwoman Allison Tant was quick to endorse Allie Braswell for chief financial officer, but backed out of supporting him soon after it was discovered that Braswell had declared bankruptcy three times since the 1990s.
"I struggle with the disease of alcoholism, and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice. Believe me, I am disappointed in myself, and I stand ready to face the consequences of my actions.” -- U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla.
Trey Radel was arrested for cocaine possession in October, but word didn’t get out about his run-in with the law until mid-November. Radel plead guilty to the charge and opted to attend rehab, but was firm on staying in Congress, saying he’d only be taking a leave of absence while he attended rehab
Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen at Allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen.