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Adam C. Smith, Times Political Editor

Adam C. Smith

Political editor since 2001, Adam Smith was named the best political writer in Florida by washingtonpost.com and one of the country's Top 10 political reporters by the Columbia Journalism Review. He focuses on state and national politics.

Smith has been with the Times since 1992 and has covered local and state government, as well as general assignment and investigative beats. He appears most Sundays on Political Connections on Bay News 9, is a primary contributor to The Buzz political blog. Smith grew up in New York City, graduated Kenyon College in Ohio, and when he's not chasing politicians tries to keep up with his wife, three kids and basset hound.

Phone: (727) 893-8241

Email: asmith@tampabay.com

Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @AdamSmithTimes

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  1. Marco Rubio vs. Jeb Bush: A tale of two town halls

    State Roundup

    NASHUA, N.H. — Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are slugging it out on the presidential campaign trail, trading insults about experience and readiness.

    But turn down the volume and there's little difference on the issues. The Florida Republicans want to strengthen the military, turn back the nuclear accord with Iran, repeal Obamacare and end burdensome business regulation. Both promise a better tomorrow....

    Here's a side-by-side comparison of appearances by Sen. Marco Rubio, left, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Thursday in New Hampshire. [Rubio photo by New York Times; Bush photo by Associated Press]
  2. Donald Trump heading to Tampa

    Blog

    Donald Trump is planning a rally at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa next Friday, Feb. 12. That's three days after New Hampshire's primary, so we should have a better sense then of how much competition Trump will face in Florida's March 15 primary from homeboys Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.

    Details to come. The Trump campaign has not announced the event officially yet. The arena can seat over 10,000 people....

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally Thursday at Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth, N.H.
  3. Donald Trump still mocking Jeb Bush

    Blog

    EXETER, N.H. -- Jeb Bush doesn't seem like a serious threat to Donald Trump yet, but Bush's steady criticism of Trump and his super PACs TV ads against Trump seem to be getting under Trump's skin.

    At least twice in his 40-minute town hall event in Exeter today, Trump brought up Florida's governor. He was the only Republican Trump mentioned by name, and he did it repeaedly.

    "Look what's happened in Florida," Trump said when someone asked about "sanctuary cities" for undocumented immigrants. "I mean Jeb Bush was governor and you have sanctuary cities. Now he says, 'Oh I don't like sanctuary cities,'  Well, he was governor and you had sanctuary cites. Hey by the way ... Jeb is in favor of Common Core."...

  4. Chris Christie's goal: Pummeling Marco Rubio, Jersey-style

    Blog

    Chris Christie can't stop talking about Marco Rubio.

    In Concord on Wednesday, he accused Florida's senator of answering questions from as few voters and reporters as possible.

    "By the way," the New Jersey governor said, "anybody notice it's the same speech he gave when he announced for the United States Senate, it's the same speech he gave when he nominated Mitt Romney for president of the United States, it's the same speech he gave when he announced for president, it's the same speech he gave in Iowa the other night? Every day is Groundhog Day with the Rubio campaign."...

  5. Blunt Chris Christie makes Marco Rubio top target as he tries to break out

    National

    BOW, N.H. — Chris Christie can't stop talking about Marco Rubio.

    In Concord on Wednesday, he accused Florida's senator of answering questions from as few voters and reporters as possible.

    "By the way," the New Jersey governor said, "anybody notice it's the same speech he gave when he announced for the United States Senate, it's the same speech he gave when he nominated Mitt Romney for president of the United States, it's the same speech he gave when he announced for president, it's the same speech he gave in Iowa the other night? Every day is Groundhog Day with the Rubio campaign."...

    In this photo taken Jan. 19, 2016, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum meets with voters in Greenfield, Iowa. Santorum said Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, that he is suspending his second bid for the White House. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) WX108
  6. Now it's Marco Rubio vs. the governors in New Hampshire (w/video)

    Elections

    NASHUA, N.H.

    Now it's Marco Rubio versus the governors.

    The volatile Republican presidential primary has shifted to New Hampshire where Rubio faces three governors — Chris Christie of New Jersey, John Kasich of Ohio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — determined to take him down next week.

    New Hampshire is where the real culling of the presidential field takes place, and it was immediately clear Tuesday that the days of "Iowa nice" campaigning are over....

    
  7. 'I used to love Jeb Bush'

    Blog

    At a Jeb Bush town hall meeting in Manchester last night we ran into Marie Stevens, a payroll manager, who lived in Pinellas County from 2000 to 2002. She's a New Hampshire voter now, but like so many Floridians who remember him as governor she's struggling to figure out what happened to Jeb Bush's presidential prospects.

    "When I first heard he was running, I was so excited because he was such a great governor. He was just amazing," said Stevens. "But his numbers just aren't there. I don't know if it's his age or what."...

  8. Now it's Marco Rubio vs the governors in N.H.

    Blog

    This morning on tampabay.com: "The volatile Republican primary moved overnight from Des Moines to Manchester, and Rubio heads into the Granite State today facing three governors — Chris Christie of New Jersey, John Kasich of Ohio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — determined to take him down. New Hampshire has a track record for ignoring Iowa caucus results, and it's likely the final stand for the each of the governors aiming to finish stronger than Rubio and emerge as a viable alternative to Ted Cruz and Donald Trump."...

  9. New TV ad: 'If you're not with Marco, you're electing Democrats'

    Blog

    Conservative Solutions, the super PAC supporting Marco Rubio, is up with a new TV spot casting Florida's senator as the conservative who can actually win.

    "Marco Rubio is the conservative who can win – and the Clinton machine knows it. Rubio beat the establishment. He’ll unite Republicans and restore the American Dream. 
    If you’re not with Marco, you’re electing the Democrats."...

  10. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio trip up Donald Trump in Iowa

    State Roundup

    DES MOINES, Iowa — Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas won the Iowa caucuses Monday night, upsetting favorite Donald Trump and forcing his no-compromise brand of conservatism into the center of a Republican nominating contest bound to get only more unsettled and contentious.

    Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, was in a bitterly close fight with the more liberal Bernie Sanders, ensuring that no matter the final result, their fight for the Democratic nomination will endure. ...

    Bleachers fill up with Republican caucus-goers at Pella High School in Pella, Iowa, Feb. 1, 2016. (Eric Thayer/The New York Times) XNYT215
  11. Ron DeSantis scoffs at rivals' money-raising, David Jolly calls him a liar

    Blog

    Republican U.S. Senate David Jolly tried to bury his weak latest fundraising report, by releasing it on a Sunday. Ron DeSantis responded:

    The Ron DeSantis for Florida campaign released the following statement after news that the campaign had raised nearly twice as much ($772K) as the Senate campaigns of Republicans David Jolly ($112K) and Lopez-Cantera ($318K) in the 4th quarter of 2015. The DeSantis for Florida campaign finished 2015 with $2.6m cash on hand – far more than any of his opponents....

  12. Adam C. Smith: Iowa is nice, but caucuses are no way to pick a president

    National

    ADEL, Iowa — Iowans are quite simply the nicest humans on Earth. But their antiquated caucuses are a lousy way to kick off a presidential election.

    Candidates and media hordes descend on this state every four years, and voters cheerfully stoke the charade that their caucuses are some kind of shining example of democracy. I once accompanied a menacingly colossal New Jersey Teamster knocking on doors in zero-degree weather. We woke up a woman who, still in her bathrobe, insisted we come inside and let her make us bacon and eggs even though she didn't care for the Teamster's candidate....

    Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders visits volunteers at a garage in Charles City, Iowa, Jan. 30, 2016. (Todd Heisler/The New York Times)
  13. Oddsmakers favor Clinton, Trump

    State Roundup

    On Monday, we can finally look at votes instead of suspect polls to see who's leading and who's not in the presidential race. But before that, let's look at another, historically pretty reliable measurement of where the race stands: the oddsmakers.

    As of Saturday evening, Hillary Clinton had a 74 percent chance of winning Iowa's Democratic caucuses, and Donald Trump a 66 percent chance of winning the Republican side, with Ted Cruz at a 25 percent chance, according to electionbettingodds.com....

    Dr. John Armstrong, shown here in 2012 shortly before he was picked by Gov. Rick Scott as the state's Surgeon General, is facing an uncertain confirmation status with the Florida Senate. His confirmation hearing was postponed Tuesday. [KATHLEEN FLYNN | Times]
  14. Pundit attacks Jeb's son, an Afghanistan vet, for not serving in Iraq

    Blog

    Not a great week for Fox News. Last night Fox host Andrea Tantaros tweeted this at Jeb Bush

    Curious, will your son George P. be joining the fight embedded in Iraq, Jeb? Oh wait, that's right, he's also planning to run for President.

    George P. Bush is a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve who spent eight months serving in Afghanistan under a fake name.

    Bush campaign spokesman Kristy Campbell was not amused, calling Tantaros a "pundit hack."...

  15. Why you shouldn't panic over the thought of President Donald Trump

    Blog

    DES MOINES, Iowa — I've heard some of the most prominent Republicans in Florida say they would have to think long and hard if the choice in November is Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton. I've heard Democrats say, only half jokingly, that they're moving to Canada if Trump becomes America's 45th president.

    The billionaire reality TV star wins the Iowa caucuses Monday, he may well be on his way to steamrollering into the Republican nomination. He also is favored to win New Hampshire's primary the following week, and 40 years of primary history suggests that kind of momentum is likely impossible to halt....