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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bill McCollum: I'm cool with waterboarding

Mccollum1  Attorney General and potential gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum made a strong showing at Suncoast Tiger Bay in Pinellas County today, fielding (and evading) some good, pointed questions.

***What does it mean to be a Republican, and who's a better Republican- Charlie Crist or Marco Rubio?: Passed on Crist/Rubio but said Republicans stand for individual liberty, choice, free enterprise, free markets, strong national security. "On the economic side we have big differences with the Democrats because we believe in growing the pie and growing wealth and not redistributing it."

***Should the Justice Department pursue the "torture memos" and pursue all those involved in the alleged torture, including Dick Cheney? "I believe we have in this debate really stretched the definition of torture...I don't think the techniques that they're describing first of all were torture, by definition under the international way of defining it, and secondly I believe the men and women who undertook to get advice on this gave their best advice."

***As governor,would McCollum stand side-by-side with Barack Obama and cheer the economic stimulus package? "We're all Americans at the end of the day. ...Whoever the future governor is, and I'm not talking about me...needs to have everybody involved. We'll have all elections, but when the're over with we need to focus on the answers. We may disagree on some of the needs, but we need to get together and work together on solutions." On the stimulus, "President Obama failed to involve the Republicans the way he professed to do at the beginning of the process."

**With Pinellas law enforcement agencies forced to cut domestic violence programs because of budget cuts, would McCollum support a tax increase to bettter fund law enforcement? "Public safety is first. It is the first line no matter what in the legislature, or should be...I'm not here to advocate new taxestoday with you. I haven;t studied that enought to tell you where we would find the revenue, but I can tell you the priority setting from my perspective was not skewed properly...There ought to be a big, healthy look, with everybody participating, in the structure of our tax system in this state."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 5:59pm]


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