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Alex Leary, Times Washington Bureau Chief

Alex Leary

Alex Leary is the Washington bureau chief for the Tampa Bay Times. He previously worked in the Times' state capital bureau, and before that covered local politics, environmental issues and law enforcement.

Alex is a graduate of Ithaca College (journalism/anthropology) and began his career at the Valley News in New Hampshire. Alex was born in La Crosse, Wis., and raised in upstate New York along with six brothers and sisters. He lives in Washington.

Phone: (202) 306-4807

Email: leary@tampabay.com

Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @LearyReports

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  1. Rubio has another 'scripted' moment

    Blog

    Just as he was trying to move past his debate performance, Marco Rubio did this at a town hall in Nashua on Monday evening.

    The speech followed a taping of an interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly who pressed Rubio on whether he's too scripted.

  2. Jeb Bush shows signs of second wind ahead of New Hampshire primary

    State Roundup

    PLAISTOW, N.H. — Jeb Bush's stump speech started to take on a defensive, pleading tone in the days following his sixth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses last week.

    "I know I've been written off, I know the end is near, I know all that stuff," the onetime overwhelming favorite for the Republican presidential nomination told a couple of hundred people in a school cafeteria in Concord. "You know what gives me confidence? New Hampshire. … I trust you all. I've shown my heart. I've shown the depth of knowledge."...

    A street sign in Newmarket, N.H., reminds voters on Monday that the state’s presidential primary is today. A snowstorm that hit New Hampshire could last into early today, forecasters said. 
  3. Marco Rubio's run-in with a gay man

    Blog

    MANCHESTER, N.H. -- A gay man confronted Marco Rubio on Monday over his opposition to same-sex marriage, an unscripted moment in a day of stagecraft from the Florida presidential candidate.

    "So Marco, being a gay man, why do you want to put me back in the closet," Timothy Kierstead asked the candidate at The Puritan Backroom.

    "I don't," Rubio said. "You can live any way you want. I just believe marriage is between one man and one woman."...

    Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio visits with customers at the Puritan Backroom restaurant during a campaign stop Monday in Manchester, N.H.
  4. Jeb Bush calls for overturning 'Citizens United' decision that unleashed super PACs

    Blog

    NASHUA, N.H. – Jeb Bush advocated for an overturn of the Citizen United decision that unleashed the super PAC era.

    “I would turn that on its head if I could,” Bush said in response to a man’s question at the Rotary Club of Nashua. “I think campaigns ought to be personally accountable and responsible for the money they receive.

    But Bush did not call for limits on how much could be given – something watchdog groups say is needed....

  5. Jeb Bush warns 'something is going to happen' and makes case for 'steady leader'

    Blog

    NASHUA, N.H. - Jeb Bush began his final appeal to New Hampshire voters on Monday, urging them to go with a "steady leader" over some of his less experienced, more combative rivals.

    "I can promise you it will happen in the next presidency -- there will be a conflict, there will be an attack, there might be an outbreak of a disease. Something is going to happen. ...  9/11 is an example of that," Bush said before the Rotary Club of Nashua....

    Jeb Bush greets a woman after a speech before The Rotary Club of Nashua on Feb. 8, 2016.
  6. Marco Rubio's debate oops threatens to shift momentum of race

    National

    SALEM, N.H. — We've heard Donald Trump swear, insult and offend. We've winced as Jeb Bush flailed during debates. We've wondered on occasion whether Ben Carson was fully awake.

    But Marco Rubio gave us the first real oops moment of the 2016 race Saturday night.

    "Let's dispel once and for all with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing," Florida's junior senator said after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie accused him of constantly using the same scripted lines in the debate....

    Marco Rubio and his team dismissed the second-guessing.
  7. Rubio debate performance: 'Cringe-worthy' or no big deal

    Blog

    BEDFORD, N.H. – The Christie-Rubio showdown was the talk of a middle school cafeteria here before the candidate showed up to a crowd of hundreds.

    Steve Poschmann, Bedford, 50, intends to vote for Rubio

    “It was a little cringe-worthy how he repeated the same lines over and over again how Obama is deliberately destroying the country. He should have laid off those and gone after Christie. I’m not sure why he didn’t. He’s not even running against Obama. Will it hurt? It depends how much the video gets out there.”...

    Marco Rubio and family on stage in Bedford
  8. A 'crystalizing moment' puts Jeb Bush on the attack against Marco Rubio

    Blog

    MANCHESTER, N.H. - It was a "crystalizing moment" for Jeb Bush's campaign.

    A day after Rick Santorum endorsed Marco Rubio, the former presidential candidate was on live TV fumbling and stumbling over a straightforward question: What has Rubio accomplished?...

    Danny Diaz, Jeb Bush's campaign manager, in the spin room
  9. Marco Rubio's campaign spin: Chris Christie 'took his best shot and he failed'

    Blog

    While acknowledging a "tough exchange" with Chris Christie, Marco Rubio's senior strategist spun Saturday's debate performance as a win. 

    "What Gov. Christie was trying to do was to knock Marco out, to kill him dead. He took his best shot and he failed," Todd Harris told reporters....

    Todd Harris, center, speaks with the media after the debate
  10. Breaking down the Republican presidential debate

    State Roundup

    The final GOP presidential debate ahead of the New Hampshire primary was Saturday night at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H.

    It was moderated by ABC's David Muir and Martha Raddatz. Here's your watercooler recap.

    Jeb Bush, 62, former governor of Florida (1999-2007), son of former President George H.W. Bush and brother of former President George W. Bush.

    Quote: "What Donald Trump did was use eminent domain to try to take the property of an elderly woman on the strip in Atlantic City. That is not public purpose, that is downright wrong."...

    MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 06:  Republican presidential candidates Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (L) and Donald Trump participate in the Republican presidential debate at St. Anselm College February 6, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Sponsored by ABC News, the Independent Journal Review and Google, this is the final televised debate before voters go to the polls for the New Hampshire primary on February 9.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) 600718759
  11. Video: Christie takes it to Rubio

    Blog

    Chris Christie took it hard to Marco Rubio in the first hour of tonight's debate, and here's video (as circulated by a rival) of their exchange.

  12. Marco Rubio-Ted Cruz battle represents struggle over GOP's future

    Blog

    MANCHESTER, N.H. — Marco Rubio had just finished an event, impressing the room with his forward-looking message, and Steve Pena lingered among the crowd pressing the presidential candidate for a selfie.

    "If he wins the primary, he'd get my vote. But right now, he's my second choice," said Pena, 56, who grew up in Tampa and now lives in this first-in-the-nation primary state, which votes Tuesday. "I'm a Ted Cruz man."...

  13. Marco Rubio-Ted Cruz battle represents struggle over GOP's future

    State Roundup

    MANCHESTER, N.H. — Marco Rubio had just finished an event, impressing the room with his forward-looking message, and Steve Pena lingered among the crowd pressing the presidential candidate for a selfie.

    "If he wins the primary, he'd get my vote. But right now, he's my second choice," said Pena, 56, who grew up in Tampa and now lives in this first-in-the-nation primary state, which votes Tuesday. "I'm a Ted Cruz man."...

    Steve Pena, 60, of Walpole, N.H., attended a Marco Rubio town hall last week. “I’ve seen (Ted) Cruz stand by himself when the media was against him, when the Republican establishment was against him, when the Democrats were against him. And he didn’t falter on principle. That’s why I lean that way. Rubio, I’ve seen him change his ways.”
  14. 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....

    Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio holds a campaign town hall event at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College Feb. 4, 2016, in Manchester, New Hampshire. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
  15. Bobby Jindal endorses Marco Rubio

    Blog

    Bobby Jindal is the second former 2016 presidential candidate to endorse Marco Rubio this week.

    "He can unify the party," Jindal said on Fox News. "He can win this election in November."

    Jindal's endorsement follows Rick Santorum, who failed to name an accomplishment of Rubio's. The fomer Louisiana governor may have to explain this line from October 2015: "We've got a first-term senator in the White House. We need somebody with a proven track record."...