Monday, June 18, 2018
Politics

VP Joe Biden raises money in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Vice President Joe Biden slipped into the bay area for a fundraiser Wednesday, where he cheered for the spirited Republican presidential primary to continue for as long as possible.

"God love them, as my mother would say. I hope they have another 20 debates," Biden told more than 200 people gathered at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort in downtown St. Petersburg.

"I've been doing this awhile, and some of you have," the vice president said. "I have never seen a time in my lifetime when Republicans haven't tried to hide the ball, to use a sports metaphor — when they said they were 'compassionate conservatives. We care about health care. We must preserve Medicare,' etc. They're not hiding the ball any more at all, guys. God bless them, they're saying exactly what they believe. This is going to be the starkest choice the American public is going to make in a long, long time."

With 29 electoral votes, Florida is the biggest battleground in the election, and Biden will likely be a regular visitor in the coming months.

Biden, who can connect with working class voters and has strong ties to Jewish activists, has been assigned Florida as one of the states to target in 2012. The others are Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa, New Hampshire and Virginia.

"Parachuting into St. Petersburg to use Florida as a campaign ATM is not a jobs plan nor will it lower the price of gas," Republican National Committee spokesman Matt Connelly said.

It may be one of the few times where a candidate walked into a fundraiser wearing one tie and left wearing another. In the $1,000 photo line, one man admired Biden's red tie. The VP returned the compliment about the man's purple tie and suggested they trade. They did

Tickets for the fundraiser event ranged from $100 to $2,500, and Biden told the crowd how grim the economy looked when Obama took office. The country had shed 740,000 jobs the month before, he said, major banks were on the brink of closing and automobile companies talked about liquidating.

"We've come a long way since then. Don't get me wrong, we've got a long way to go, but we're getting there,'' he said, suggesting Republicans are trying to win by talking down the economy. "I've been there for eight presidents. ... I give you my word, I'm more optimistic about America's chances today than when I was a kid."

Democrats have long complained they can't distill their campaign theme to a simple bumper sticker phrase. Biden offered one for 2012: "Osama Bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive."

Comments
FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says heís willing to testify before Congress

FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says heís willing to testify before Congress

The FBI agent who was removed from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election for sending anti-Trump texts intends to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and any other congressional committee that asks, his attorney sai...
Published: 06/17/18
Erosion of immigrant protections began with Trump inaugural

Erosion of immigrant protections began with Trump inaugural

The Trump administrationís move to separate immigrant parents from their children on the U.S.-Mexico border has grabbed attention around the world, drawn scorn from human-rights organizations and overtaken the immigration debate in Congress.Itís also...
Published: 06/17/18

Pasco Political Notebook

Perenich to ĎWalk the DistrictíStephen Perenich, Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, Florida District 12, will be "Walking the District" June 25-29. Perenich will be walking 55 miles in five days, starting in Dade City and heading...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18
GOP lawmakers decry family separations as WH defends policy

GOP lawmakers decry family separations as WH defends policy

WASHINGTON ó Congressional Republicans distanced themselves Thursday from the Trump administrationís aggressive policy of separating children from their parents at the southern border even as the White House cited the Bible in defending its "zero tol...
Published: 06/14/18
Sarah Sanders and  Raj Shah are planning to step down, per CBS report

Sarah Sanders and Raj Shah are planning to step down, per CBS report

Press secretary Sarah Sanders and principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah are considering stepping down, according to a CBS report. Sanders promptly responded in a Tweet saying, "I love my job and am honored to work for @POTUS." Does @CBSNews k...
Published: 06/13/18
Updated: 06/14/18
Fed raises key rate and sees possible acceleration in hikes

Fed raises key rate and sees possible acceleration in hikes

WASHINGTON ó The Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate for the second time this year and signaled that it may step up its pace of rate increases because of solid economic growth and rising inflation. The Fed now foresees four rate hi...
Published: 06/13/18
Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister hits $1 million mark in first bid for election

Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister hits $1 million mark in first bid for election

TAMPA ó Law enforcement officers never want to be outgunned. Neither do political candidates.Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister need not worry.The Republican candidate has amassed what appears to be a record-sized war chest of just more than $1 mil...
Published: 06/12/18
Romano: It ainít voter suppression if you bother to show up

Romano: It ainít voter suppression if you bother to show up

So the Supreme Court is in favor of voter suppression.Or is it election integrity?I suppose your interpretation depends on your party affiliation.Liberals seem convinced that an Ohio voting law upheld by the Supreme Court on Monday is a devious plot ...
Published: 06/12/18
Romano: It ainít voter suppression if you bother to show up

Romano: It ainít voter suppression if you bother to show up

So the Supreme Court is in favor of voter suppression.Or is it election integrity?I suppose your interpretation depends on your party affiliation.Liberals seem convinced that an Ohio voting law upheld by the Supreme Court on Monday is a devious plot ...
Published: 06/12/18
Trumpís tougher Cuba policy having little impact on Tampa area

Trumpís tougher Cuba policy having little impact on Tampa area

TAMPA ó June 16 will mark a year since President Trump announced a tougher Cuba travel policy, but unlike in much of the nation, the changes donít seem to have hurt local bookings to the island.The number of people traveling between Tampa and Havana ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18