Monday, May 21, 2018
Politics

Florida Republican Party calls out Crist on tuition flip-flop

The Republican Party of Florida on Wednesday called out Charlie Crist's flip-flop on in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants.

It's true, he has. Crist once opposed the measure but is now saying Gov. Rick Scott has failed to push it hard enough with the 2014 session about to expire.

Less known is the shifting tone from the Florida GOP's star in Washington, Sen. Marco Rubio. As a legislator, the son of Cuban immigrants supported bills to grant the tuition break.

It was jarring, then, to hear Rubio in October 2011 say this: "As a general rule, people in the United States who are here without documents should not benefit from programs like in-state tuition." He said carve-outs, while a worthy objective, have become harder to justify.

Rubio made that remark during a forum in Washington. It came before he dove into the immigration debate, first pursuing a version of the Dream Act that would not lead to citizenship, then becoming an architect of the Senate's comprehensive bill in 2013. The moderate state legislator-turned-anti-"amnesty" Senate candidate had gone full circle. (In February of this year, Rubio was again supportive of in-state tuition, but put the focus on overall federal law changes toward immigrants.)

In 2006, Crist said legislators "did the right thing" by rejecting the tuition bill. Now a Democrat, he's using the issue before the Legislature as a tool against Scott.

"They've got less than two weeks to do the right thing," Crist said Tuesday at Capital Tiger Bay.

As for Scott, we can't find a past instance in which he was on record opposing in-state tuition. But he ran in 2010 as hard-liner in support of Arizona-style immigration enforcement laws.

Dole wary of youth

Bob Dole, 90, isn't sold on some young Republicans angling for president. "A number of the younger members, first-termers like Rand Paul, (Marco) Rubio and that extreme-right-wing guy — Ted Cruz? All running for president now. I don't think they've got enough experience yet," Dole told the Wichita Eagle.

That reminds us that Rubio got his first taste of politics working for Dole's 1996 presidential campaign. From a 2010 Tampa Bay Times profile:

In his final year of law school but looking like a teenager, Rubio sat down to interview with Bob Dole's presidential campaign. He buzzed about a ticket that included former star quarterback Jack Kemp.

Al Cardenas, overseeing the Florida effort and not very optimistic about the outcome, took a sip of café con leche and hired Rubio on the spot.

"I said to myself, 'This is what we need, someone so young that failure is not an option, who hasn't gone through everything to have a more practical outlook,' " Cardenas recalled.

Rubio plunged into the job, forming relationships that would propel him to the West Miami City Commission and a history-making term as the first Cuban-American speaker of the Florida House.

Rubio's backers point to that leadership post to say his experience is broader than the Senate.

Comments
‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump lashed out Sunday at "the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt," trashing a new report in the New York Times that said an emissary representing the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates offered help...
Published: 05/20/18
Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan pushed a radical idea on Twitter: Parents should pull their children out of school until elected officials pass stricter gun control laws.His tweet came hours after a shooting rampage at a Houston-area high scho...
Published: 05/20/18
China offers to buy more US products to reduce trade imbalance

China offers to buy more US products to reduce trade imbalance

WASHINGTON - China offered to boost its annual purchases of U.S. products by "at least $200 billion" Friday as two days of talks aimed at averting an open breach between the two countries ended in Washington, a top White House adviser said.Larry Kudl...
Published: 05/19/18
Hillsborough candidate falsified contract for fund-raising gospel concert, lawsuit says

Hillsborough candidate falsified contract for fund-raising gospel concert, lawsuit says

TAMPA — A concert organizer is accusing Hillsborough County Commission candidate Elvis Piggott of falsifying a contract and prompting the headline act to pull out of a gospel show.In a lawsuit filed in Hillsborough Circuit Court, Corey Curry claims h...
Published: 05/18/18
Gina Haspel confirmed as CIA chief despite scrutiny of her role in interrogation program

Gina Haspel confirmed as CIA chief despite scrutiny of her role in interrogation program

WASHINGTON - The Senate voted Thursday to confirm Gina Haspel as the next CIA director after several Democrats were persuaded to support her despite lingering concerns about her role in the brutal interrogation of suspected terrorists captured after ...
Published: 05/17/18
GOP pushes for speedy confirmation vote for CIA nominee

GOP pushes for speedy confirmation vote for CIA nominee

WASHINGTON — Republicans are pushing for a speedy confirmation vote as early as Thursday after the Senate intelligence committee endorsed President Donald Trump’s CIA nominee Gina Haspel to lead the spy agency. But opponents concerned about Haspel’s ...
Published: 05/16/18
Gina Haspel, Trump’s pick to lead CIA, wins support of Senate Intelligence Committee

Gina Haspel, Trump’s pick to lead CIA, wins support of Senate Intelligence Committee

WASHINGTON - The Senate Intelligence Committee moved Wednesday to recommend Gina Haspel for CIA director, setting up a floor vote that her opponents say will signal to the world whether the United States condemns or condones torture.The committee vot...
Published: 05/16/18
Carlton: Time for Hillsborough’s Uncle Tom Road to go — but artfully.

Carlton: Time for Hillsborough’s Uncle Tom Road to go — but artfully.

In Hillsborough County — where one of the world’s largest Confederate flags still flies near a busy interstate — you may not be surprised to learn there’s an Uncle Tom Road.The name is a flash point and a slur, shorthand for a black person who will d...
Published: 05/16/18
Clearwater Vice Mayor Doreen Caudell drops out of Pinellas Commission race

Clearwater Vice Mayor Doreen Caudell drops out of Pinellas Commission race

With six months to go before the Nov. 6 election, Clearwater Vice Mayor Doreen Caudell on Monday dropped her bid against Pinellas County Commissioner Pat Gerard for the at-large District 2 seat.Caudell said she decided she’d better be better suited f...
Published: 05/14/18
Romano: Hey Gov. Scott, could you hire me, too?

Romano: Hey Gov. Scott, could you hire me, too?

To: The Honorable Gov. Rick ScottDear Governor,It has come to my attention that your administration has recently made some, dare I say, innovative hires for important government positions in the months before you leave office.At the risk of sounding ...
Published: 05/14/18