George LeMieux took the social media approach to promote his entry into the Senate race last week. But it was rough going.
First was the less-than-slick video of LeMieux talking about his candidacy that was posted on his campaign website.
"Just watched LeMieux's launch video — sure he is a great guy but I've seen hostage videos with better production," tweeted state Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach.
Later on announcement day, people who signed onto his campaign's Facebook page saw the 41-year-old Republican talking, but there was no audio. LeMieux kept going for a while before realizing the problem. The screen went dark, then he re-appeared — with sound. This after he had to send out a tweet correcting the time of the event.
Glitches happen. But LeMieux should hope that the Facebook audience is not a barometer of his public support. Only 53 people signed on to watch LeMieux's Facebook town hall (But, hey, that's more people than who downloaded Mike Haridopolos' book).
A number of people posted harsh comments about LeMieux on his campaign website, including an accusation he's attempting to "whitewash" his biography, which owes a lot to Charlie Crist. (The site barely mentions Crist, who once considered LeMieux his political "maestro.")
The negative comments were scrubbed within 24 hours.
Site attacks LeMieux
That didn't take long. A day after LeMieux entered the Senate race, a likely rival has a new website attacking LeMieux's ties to Crist.
The site — www.charliecristrepublican.com — features a picture of Crist and his "maestro" and carries the implied warning that LeMieux is a moderate. It comes courtesy of Adam Hasner, the former state House majority leader.
Rubio and Rove chat
What were Marco Rubio and Karl Rove talking about in the Senate dining room last week?
A Rubio spokesman said the senator and Rove discussed the "overall political environment," mainly the spending debate in terms of this week's budget negotiations, the debt limit and next year's budget.
Rubio chastises Trump
In an interview with the Daily Caller, Rubio said he'd advise Donald Trump to back off the talk about President Barack Obama not being born in the U.S.
"There are more important things facing our country," said Rubio, who is focused on the national debt. "I believe Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. … So why are we talking about this?"
LeMieux, Gingrich lead Republican poll
Take this poll with as much skepticism as you care to muster, but Michigan-based GOP pollster Strategic National conducted a March 31 to April 2 poll of 300 likely Republican voters (margin of error plus or minus 5.6 percent) and found LeMieux leading a hypothetical Republican U.S. Senate primary with 18 percent of the vote, compared to 12 percent for Haridopolos, 9 percent for Will McBride and 5 percent for Hasner.
Among presidential contenders, Newt Gingrich received 25 percent, Mitt Romney 22 percent, Mike Huckabee 18 percent, Sarah Palin 11 percent, and everybody else in single digits.
GOP leader says convention stays in Tampa
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus on C-Span last week knocked down the talk of moving the 2012 convention from Tampa — but not the promise to slash Florida's GOP delegation in half if it holds the primary earlier than March.
"The convention has been set, the convention is going to be in Tampa," he said, adding: "I think they're two different issues. The convention is one issue, the primary calendar is another issue. … I think ultimately Florida is going to be outside the window."
Buckhorn on 'Political Connections'
Check out Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn on Political Connections on Bay News 9 today at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Buckhorn talks about Gov. Rick Scott, major hiring decisions he faces, and makes one hard and fast promise: He won't even consider running for governor in 2014.