Sunday, April 22, 2018
Politics

Chris Christie gives speech many wanted to hear — a little late

PALM HARBOR — If the main hope of Republicans was that a speech would be delivered this week that would personalize Mitt Romney for Americans, it very well could have been the one Thursday in a hotel ballroom 50 minutes away from the Republican National Convention.

During a 30-minute speech that sounded at times more like a stand-up comedy routine, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spoke of Romney in personal terms as someone who doted on children and who was unrecognizable from the awkward plutocrat many have characterized him as being.

In an elaborate setup, Christie weaved a long personal anecdote about meeting Romney in October at his New Jersey home to talk about supporting his candidacy. The Florida delegation roared with laughter as Christie talked about a mad scramble to clean up his home, made all the more messy by his four children. Christie said his 12-year-old son nearly slammed into Romney while on his inline skates. Later, Christie's daughter showed off her gymnastics, enthralling Romney with somersaults and cartwheels.

Christie said Romney spent the next 2½ hours being entertained by them.

"You can't fake that," Christie said. "What I saw that day from Mitt Romney you can't fake. What it told me is this really is an involved father and a doting grand­father. This is a man with a good heart. He's characterized so often unfairly as kind of this CEO, reserved person who doesn't show his heart. I saw his heart that day. You can't fake it with children. Children don't accept being faked with. If someone is fake with them, they'll just walk away. … If I had any doubt in my mind, after that interaction with my children, I had no doubt left."

The story had the delegates happily buzzing afterward, leaving them almost wistful that it didn't come Tuesday night, when Christie delivered his keynote speech at the RNC.

"If (Thursday's) speech had been broadcast live in prime time, he would have swung the election to the independents," said Blaise Ingoglia, vice chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.

"It was a better speech," said Art Wood, the chairman of the Hillsborough County Republican Party.

Comments
Trump says he doesn’t think personal lawyer will ‘flip’

Trump says he doesn’t think personal lawyer will ‘flip’

WEST PALM BEACH — President Donald Trump said Saturday that he doesn’t expect Michael Cohen, his longtime personal lawyer and fixer, to "flip" as the government investigates Cohen’s business dealings. Trump, in a series of tweets fired from Florida o...
Published: 04/21/18

Vive la France: Trump hosts glitzy White House state dinner

WASHINGTON — Now it’s President Donald Trump’s turn to pull off the ultimate charm offensive. Wined and dined on multiple state visits during his tour of Asia last year, Trump is paying it forward and celebrating nearly 250 years of U.S.-French relat...
Published: 04/21/18
Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

The writer of the letter sounds hysterical. Perhaps a little desperate. And maybe that’s just who Marion Hammer is these days.Most of the world knows her as the take-no-prisoners maven of the National Rifle Association who directs Florida politicians...
Published: 04/21/18
Ex-FBI deputy director ‘disappointed’ in Comey comments

Ex-FBI deputy director ‘disappointed’ in Comey comments

WASHINGTON — Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director, is "very upset and disappointed" by comments made by his former boss James Comey that contradict his account of a disclosure to the news media, McCabe’s lawyer said Friday. "Andy has at all ...
Published: 04/20/18
Carlton: Mayor’s race: plot twists, meteoric rises, candidate implosions. It’s what we do in Tampa.

Carlton: Mayor’s race: plot twists, meteoric rises, candidate implosions. It’s what we do in Tampa.

The one thing you can say for sure about electing a mayor in Tampa is you can’t really say anything for sure.Historical proof: A couple of elections ago, Harvard-educated hometown-boy-gone-to-Washington Frank Sanchez was going to be our next mayor, h...
Published: 04/20/18
Carlton: Kids, want to make them listen? Vote

Carlton: Kids, want to make them listen? Vote

Today across America, high school students are expected to walk out of class in their latest show of solidarity against gun violence and elected officials unwilling to do much about it. It marks a grim anniversary — 19 years since Columbine bra...
Published: 04/20/18
Castor ends speculation: She’s running to be Tampa’s next mayor

Castor ends speculation: She’s running to be Tampa’s next mayor

TAMPA — For months, Tampa political aficionados have speculated: Will she or won’t she?Does Jane Castor, the city’s first woman police chief and presumed heavyweight mayoral candidate, really want the job? Asked and answered. Castor filed paperwork T...
Published: 04/19/18
Everybody loses in a trade war, Canadian chamber CEO warns Tampa officials

Everybody loses in a trade war, Canadian chamber CEO warns Tampa officials

TAMPA — President Donald Trump has tweeted "trade wars are good, and easy to win."Don’t believe it, the president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce told Tampa business and political leaders on Wednesday."We share more with you than with anybody els...
Published: 04/19/18
Hernando clerk of the court announces resignation to run for judicial seat

Hernando clerk of the court announces resignation to run for judicial seat

BROOKSVILLE — Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller Don Barbee this week submitted his resignation — effective Jan. 7 — to run for an open circuit judge seat.Barbee, who is in the middle of his second term, said he made the move "with a tremendo...
Published: 04/17/18
Poll: Democrats’ advantage in midterm election support is shrinking

Poll: Democrats’ advantage in midterm election support is shrinking

Democrats hold an advantage ahead of the midterm elections, but a Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that edge has narrowed since January, a signal to party leaders and strategists that they could be premature in anticipating a huge wave of victorie...
Published: 04/16/18