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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bill Clinton headlines a rally in Orlando that caps off the Democratic campaign in Florida



A crowd of a thousand or more greets former President Bill Clinton shortly before 11 p.m. Monday in downtown Orlando as Florida's full slate of Democrats charged them up in the final rally of the 2010 election cycle.

"I keep looking for this enthusiasm gap the Republicans keep talking about, and I can't find it to save my life,'' he said.

"This is honest to goodness the most fact-free election I've ever seen in my life,'' he says. He gives the crowd a lesson in the "at-risk" student loan program and says they should vote for Kendrick Meek to protect it.

 "Alex Sink got to run the biggest bank in Florida the old-fashioned way, she earned it," he said. "Then she became your comptroller just by running the state better, cancelling contracts. ... She saved money. the other made a fortune by ripping your money off."

Earlier at the rally, attorney general candidate Dan Gelber got the crowd fired up: "The other side, they have had control of this state for 12 years and what they have done with this state is frightening,'' he said. "They have run this state into the ditch. Tomorrow we say: hand over the keys. It’s our turn to drive. And, by the way I’m going to be in the front seat.… While I'd like to be riding in the front seat, I will be riding shot gun because there has to be a woman driving that car: the next governor of the state of Florida, Alex Sink."
Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Scott Maddox took aim at Rick Scott: Scott is “going to wake up Wednesday morning and find out he bought a $73 million butt-whooping. And that hurts a lot worse than a regular butt-whooping.”

Lieutenant Gov. candidate Rod Smith told them: “You can’t buy character. You can’t buy integrity and you can’t buy Florida.”

Sink emphasized GOP control in Tallahassee: "We need change. We need new leadership. … We have the right kind of business experience," she says. Then she revives her call and response: "If you think character matters in the next governor are you ready to join our team and come with us?"

Kendrick Meek said voters are facing a "political emergency'' with this election. "There's no way we can afford sending Marco Rubio to Washington,'' he said. 


[Last modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 11:17pm]


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