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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Alex Sink on Obama, Bill McCollum's health care maneuvers

20

January

We caught up briefly with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink, who said the upset Senate election in Massachusetts "not at all" worries her and in fact shows that voters everywhere want the kind of change she represents. "The message is clear that the voters, they're concerned about a new and different kind of leadership. They want somebody out there talking about jobs and the economy and the issues that matter to them. And that's why I'm running for governor. That's the whole reason I'm doing this, having been this short time in Tallahassee I know Floridians want a new and different kind of leadership."

Excerpts:

Q: Would you welcome and encourage Barack Obama to campaign alongside you in Florida?

A: Well, there'll be a lot of campaign activities. I'm angry about what I see going on in Washington just like a lot of other people are. I want to hear more about what Washington's going to do to support jobs, so I think certainly (the Massachusetts result) would be a big wakeup call in Washington and get the Congress and the president on the path toward talking to Americans about our economic situation and providing programs to grow jobs, and that's what I'm going to be focused on in Florida.

Q: So does that mean no, you wouldn't necessarily want Obama to campaign for you in Florida?

A: No, I think we ought to welcome the president of the United States in Florida to talk about their economic stimulus plans or their jobs plan and the way they're going to support the most important issues of the day, which are jobs and the economy.

Q: Has (Obama) taken his eye off the ball in terms of too much focus on health care reform and not enough on jobs?

A: Obviously there's been a lot of focus on health care reform. The administration has put in place a lot of stimulus programs, and in fact Florida's benefited from billions and billions of dollars of stimulus money that has helped protect jobs in the state of Florida. It's just that right now I think there has to be more of a focus on jobs and the economy.

Q: What do you think of Bill McCollum challenging the constitutionality of the health care reform proposal?

A: He's a lawyer, he's the attorney general of this state. Certainly it's his right to do it. I hope it doesn't take his attention and his staff's attention away from things Floridians really care about. ... He has not historically been a supporter of Medicare, and that's a mandate also. I don't know what direction he's heading into with this thing. It sounds very political to me, and as attorney general he ought to be focused on issues that really are important to Floridians, like protecting Floridians against fraud and things like mortgage fraud and issues that are of concern to ordinary Floridians.

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[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:15pm]

    

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