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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

LeMieux: 'I am terrified about the future of our country'



George LeMieux Monday asked Tampa Republicans for their help getting him another job with what he called “the most broken, dysfunctional and bizarre institution I’ve ever been affiliated with.”

That would be U.S. Congress.

LeMieux, one of four Republicans running to unseat two-term Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson, sounded all the alarms: unsustainable borrowing; the country’s risk of being unable to make interest payments; a debt ceiling compromise that doesn’t do much.

All of which, he said, is why he feels he needs to run. “I am terrified about the future of our country,” he told a gathering of about 20 Republicans at the Centre Club.

He said he supported a return to 2007 spending levels; the elimination of most tax loopholes and the Social Security proposal by Sen. Marco Rubio that would raise the retirement age for Americans under age 55.

“I’m 42. My generation is going to have to work longer,” he said.

One audience member asked LeMieux how he’d “get over the Charlie Crist taint.” LeMieux worked as the chief of staff for the former Republican-turned-independent governor, who appointed LeMieux to finish the term of Sen. Mel Martinez.

LeMieux said, “People are not going, I believe to ascribe to me the values of a man I worked for.”

He also blamed President Barack Obama and Nelson, a former astronaut, for costing the state jobs by cancelling the Constellation program that was to replace space shuttle missions

“Barack Obama has killed the space program, and Bill Nelson was the pallbearer at the funeral,” he said.

[Last modified: Monday, August 8, 2011 10:59pm]


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