Friday, June 22, 2018
Politics

Condoleezza Rice wows Republican delegates at breakfasts all over town

TAMPA — Paul Ryan was a no-show at the Wisconsin delegation breakfast Thursday. But not a soul seemed disappointed when one of the party's biggest stars bounded in.

Condi Rice brought delegates and supporters to their feet cheering, as she basked in the glory of her well-received speech to the convention Wednesday. Craig Romney, the nominee's son, introduced her, noting her speech had moved him to tears.

The former secretary of state has been as ubiquitous this week as Romney campaign buttons, speaking at delegation breakfasts all over town — sometimes two per day. Speculation about her motives has been rampant since she has long avoided political events.

"There aren't enough exclamation points to say how I'd feel if she ran in 2016," said Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. "Her story (of being raised in the segregated South) is so inspiring. She could have just shrugged her shoulders and accepted mediocrity like others around her probably did."

At the breakfast, Rice touched on the same themes as her convention speech, keeping the discussion on issues rather than attacking Barack Obama.

"This is really an election of consequences because the country is at a crossroads," she said, adding that it's also "a time when the world is in considerable chaos after three great shocks.

"The shock of 9/11 that fundamentally shifted our concept of national security, the shock of the global, financial and economic crisis . . . and . . . the shock of the Arab Spring," she said. "The question is, is the United States of America going to be there to lead in a way that makes certain that when those tectonic plates reshuffle and settle again that they will be in favor of free peoples and free markets."

Since ending her tenure in government in 2009, Rice has been back at her academic perch at Stanford University.

Florida: More praise for Condi Rice

Rice was also the talk of the Florida breakfast, where Rep. Allen West gushed that it was awesome and state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam heaped praise on Rice, saying that she and former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton are "pillars of policy that are now missing from this administration."

On the last day of the convention, the Florida delegation also featured homegrown Rep. Connie Mack, who used the opportunity to rally support for his competitive Senate race this fall against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.

Mack, an early endorser of the Romney 2012 candidacy, made clear that if the Republicans wanted to reclaim the Senate in November, they would need to send him to D.C. with the "comeback team" of Romney-Ryan.

"If I win and beat Sen. Nelson — let me tell you why this is important — Harry Reid no longer will control the agenda of the United States Senate," Mack said.

Newt Gingrich was also a headliner and piled more on Reid, reports POLITICO's Jedd Rosche.

"You cannot govern in Washington as a conservative if Harry Reid is the majority leader and you must defeat Bill Nelson as a part of this process," Gingrich said. Gingrich referred to Nelson as "among the most pleasant left-wing Obama Democrats in the country."

Comments
Six candidates waltz into their seats as qualifying ends. The rest still have a fight

Six candidates waltz into their seats as qualifying ends. The rest still have a fight

Six local candidates across Tampa Bay — all county commissioners and city council members — effectively won their elections Friday by default: No one qualified to run against them.The rest still have a fight.Some will square off in an Aug. 28 primary...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Former Tampa police corporal qualifies as Democrat to run for Hillsborough sheriff

Former Tampa police corporal qualifies as Democrat to run for Hillsborough sheriff

TAMPA — A Democrat has officially joined the race for Hillsborough County sheriff.Gary Pruitt, a 50-year-old former Tampa police corporal who now works as director of security at a local mall, qualified Friday to challenge Republican Sheriff Chad Chr...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Carlton: Could anything be more partisan than going nonpartisan?

Carlton: Could anything be more partisan than going nonpartisan?

So Hillsborough County commissioners — most of them, anyway — want voters to consider dropping political parties from certain elections, making those races nonpartisan instead.This would mean when you go to vote in those elections, you won’t know if ...
Published: 06/22/18
Hotel renovator approved by council to restore New Port Richey’s Hacienda Hotel

Hotel renovator approved by council to restore New Port Richey’s Hacienda Hotel

NEW PORT RICHEY — A seasoned historic hotel renovator and operator is going to take a crack at getting New Port Richey’s city-owned Hacienda Hotel back into action. New Port Richey City Council members, acting as the Community Redevelopment Agency, u...
Published: 06/20/18
Pope Francis criticizes Trump’s family-separation policy on migrants, says ‘populism is not the solution’

Pope Francis criticizes Trump’s family-separation policy on migrants, says ‘populism is not the solution’

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis stepped into a growing controversy over President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, criticizing the separation of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexican border and saying that "populism" and "creating psychosis" are not t...
Published: 06/20/18
Raburn out in State House 57 race. Now who’s in?

Raburn out in State House 57 race. Now who’s in?

Well, that didn’t last long.U.S. Army veteran Michael Sean McCoy filed to run as the Republican candidate in the State House, District 57 race just hours after incumbent State Rep. Jake Raburn, R-Lithia, announced he was stepping down.McCoy, who live...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

At this moment, she is Tampa Bay’s most influential export. A smart, accomplished and powerful attorney making life-altering decisions on an international stage.But what of tomorrow? And the day after?When the story of President Donald Trump’s border...
Published: 06/19/18
‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

SEATTLE — The call came at mealtime — an anonymous threat demanding $5,000 or her son’s life. So Blanca Orantes-Lopez, her 8-year-old boy and his father packed up and left the Pacific surfing town of Puerto La Libertad in El Salvador and headed for t...
Published: 06/19/18
Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

WASHINGTON - As he prepared to visit Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump on Tuesday continued to insist that Congress produce comprehensive immigration legislation, while anxious Republicans explored a narrower fix to the administration policy of se...
Published: 06/19/18
Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill for the Trump administration to end the separation of families at the southern border ahead of a visit from President Donald Trump to discuss legislation.Trump’s meeting late Tuesday afternoon with...
Published: 06/19/18