Trump was the question. The answers touched on women, 'faux shock,' Beyoncé, Jay Z, the Super Bowl, corruption
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was invited but did not go to Tuesday's RealClearPolitics discussion in Tampa on polls and politics and what they mean for Florida.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Hillsborough County Republican Party chairwoman Deborah Tamargo were there, but during separate Q&A sessions with RealClearPolitics publisher Tom Bevan neither got asked the question Rubio may well have faced (and that he answered in a statement released the same day):
What should Republican candidates do in light of the video of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump talking about kissing and groping women without their consent?
"Abandon ship," Buckhorn, a Democrat and local surrogate for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, said when a reporter asked him outside the lunchtime discussion at the Sheraton Riverwalk Hotel. "To those who were sitting on the fence, if that didn't render him completely unfit to be the president, I don't know what will."
Did Tamargo agree?
"Absolutely not," she told a reporter after her own Q&A before a lunchtime crowd of about 80, adding that "Hillary and Hillary's supporters are in faux shock."
"Well," she added, "how come Hillary Clinton purports to be best friends with Jay Z and Beyoncé and that they socialize with them? It's not just that they take their money. You take money, I guess, from whomever gives it to you. I'm mature enough to know that.
"But you don't hang with these people that speak in these terms in every video on television (and) that make a mockery of our Super Bowl with this over-sexed and over-powerful display. You don't hang with the Miley Cyruses and then pretend to be shocked because a man in a private setting said something to another man,"she said.
"Crude? Yeah, I don't like it, I'm the prude of the universe. So I don't like the crude stuff. but what do I think is worse: being somewhat crude with another man, which we know exists, or being totally corrupt and inept in every job that you have taken on that has cost people lives, reputations, certainly our economy has suffered, the backing of the unaffordable health care plan? Certainly everything that she has been involved with has been corrupted. So yeah, he was crude. She's corrupt. It speaks for itself."