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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


Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @LearyReports

  1. Bill Nelson 'concerned' with how Clinton campaign handling email controversy; says Biden won't run


    Sen. Bill Nelson added to criticism among Democrats of Hillary Clinton's handling of the email controversy, telling a crowd in West Palm Beach today that he is "concerned."

    But Nelson, who had encouraged Clinton to run, said she will "overcome" the storm. He also predicted Joe Biden will not run, and scoffed at Rick Scott challenging him in 2018.

    “I am concerned because I don’t think her campaign has handled it well,” Nelson said, according to George Bennett of the Palm Beach Post....

  2. Rubio: China 'a growing danger to our national security'


    Marco Rubio is giving a speech in North Charleston on China. Here are remarks as prepared for delivery:

    Today I’d like to discuss China’s rise in global affairs and what I’ll do as president to ensure it doesn’t undermine American interests. If there were any doubts about the importance of this topic, the financial events of the past week put them to rest.

    On Monday, due in large part to a crash in China’s stock market, our own markets suffered their worst day in four years. Insecurity and anxiety about the future – already high for America’s families – climbed even higher....

  3. Donald Trump keeps pounding 'low-energy' Jeb Bush


    Jeb Bush may be the hardest working candidate out there, a constant presence on the town hall and fundraising circuit. This week alone he was in Texas, Colorado, Utah, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.

    But Bush, the self-styled “joyful tortoise," keeps getting attacked by Donald Trump as “low-energy." Morning Joe Scarborough actually posed it as a serious question today....

    A joyful tortoise
  4. As presidential campaigns take on national flavor, Iowa's role in nominating process narrows


    DES MOINES, Iowa — Just another day at the Iowa State Fair.

    A presidential candidate — Florida's Marco Rubio, but pick any — breezes past food-on-a-stick stands, shakes the hands of startled fairgoers, gazes at farm animals and then grills one, devouring the pork sandwich before the hive of reporters that hovers like a dust cloud.

    But behind the familiar spectacle lies worry about Iowa's coveted role in the nominating process....

    Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, with the bulls at the Iowa State Fair last week.
Alex Leary  |  Times)
  5. Rubio says as president he'd be a lot tougher on China


    Ahead of a speech tomorrow on China, Marco Rubio lays out what his posture would be like as president, calling for a firmer hand with the growing world power.

    "The U.S. must continue to pursue cooperation with China when possible, but we can no longer succumb to the illusion that more rounds of cordial dialogue with its rulers will effect a change of heart," he writes in the Wall Street Journal. "That is why President Xi Jinping’s visit to Washington next week should not be canceled, but rather downgraded to a working visit from a state visit. This is an opportunity to speak bluntly to this authoritarian ruler and achieve meaningful progress, not to treat him to a state dinner. If elected U.S. president next fall, I will approach China on the basis of strength and example, not weakness and appeasement....

  6. Joe Biden to give speech in Miami on Wednesday as presidential buzz grows


    Vice President Joe Biden, who is considering a run for president, will give a speech next week at Miami-Dade College, the White House announced.

    "The Vice President will discuss the importance of helping more Americans go to college and the critical role that partnerships between community colleges and employers play in helping Americans obtain the skills they need to succeed in the workforce," according to a release....

  7. Pro-Clinton Super PAC to target Bush, GOP with immigration ad


    Priorites USA, a Super PAC backing Hillary Clinton, today announced a digital ad that attempts to cast Republicans as hostile to Hispanics.

    “Seventeen Republicans are running for president — with one message for immigrant families,” the ad begins before opening up with Donald Trump. There's a clip of Bush saying "anchor babies," and Scott Walker talking of ending birthright citizenship....

  8. Trump builds lead in national poll; Bush and Rubio tied for third


    Donald Trump has grown his lead over rival Republicans, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.

    Trump has 28 percent of the vote, up from 20 percent in a July 30 national survey. “This is the highest tally and widest margin for any Republican so far in this election,” reads a polling memo.

    Ben Carson is second with 12 percent and there’s a three-way tie for third with Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz each pulling 7 percent....

  9. Rubio: Trump won't be nominee


    ORFORD, N.H. (AP) — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio says Donald Trump will not be the Republican presidential nominee because his message is not an optimistic one.

    Rubio has largely shied away from taking on Trump, the billionaire businessman sitting atop polls of the Republican rivals.

    In recent weeks, candidates such as Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush have started to go head-to-head with Trump. Rubio's criticisms Wednesday were measured, even when asked about Trump's comment that Rubio is "disloyal" and "disrespectful" for running against Bush, who was Rubio's mentor in Florida politics....

  10. Jeb Bush in Pensacola: Frontrunner Donald Trump 'should be held to account'


    The following is from CNN in Pensacola:

    Jeb Bush, continuing to hit back against Donald Trump, took some not-so-subtle digs Wednesday at the GOP front-runner's spat with a Univision anchor.

    The former Florida governor, holding a town hall in Pensacola, Florida, argued that Trump "should be held to account" on his immigration proposals to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and deport millions of undocumented immigrants....

  11. Alan Grayson floats no Super PAC pledge with Patrick Murphy


    Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alan Grayson says he will not “unilaterally disarm” and reject Super PAC support but floated the idea of an agreement with rival Patrick Murphy to do so....

  12. Patrick Murphy bemoans Super PAC era while getting Super PAC help


    The endorsement of Patrick Murphy by a group trying to roll back Citizens United has yet again illustrated a disconnect between Murphy's public disdain for the Super PAC era and the way he has benefited from such groups.

    Murphy has been endorsed by End Citizens United and has sent out fundraising emails slamming the Supreme Court decision. Yet Murphy’s wealthy father has pumped money into a Super PAC supporting his House campaigns and Murphy was propped up by the House Majority PAC.

    Republican groups -- and Alan Grayson's campaign, which circulated a TC Palm story about the issue -- are delighting at the irony....

  13. Donald Trump: Jeb Bush should attack 'disloyal' Marco Rubio


    Donald Trump has found a way to knock Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, together.

    During a rally yesterday in Iowa, Trump said Bush should go after Rubio for having the gall to run against his mentor. “People thought it was very disrespectful to a person that brought him along — slowly,” Trump said.

    “If I were Bush and I brought somebody along … and all of a sudden the guy, the young guy that I brought along, said: ‘I’m running against you and it's not my turn but I don't care because I'm really anxious, I'm really driven’ … I would really go after that guy. I’d say ‘He’s the most disloyal guy. He’s a terrible person. He’s horrible and I hate him.’ ”...

  14. Rubio signals support for ban on fetal tissue research


    In an interview with CNBC, Marco Rubio says he is against fetal tissue research and signaled support for a ban on such research.

    Rubio cited his opposition to abortion. Rubio said such research "creates the industry that Planned Parenthood has now entered into."


  15. George W. Bush to headline fundraiser for Jeb in NYC on Sept. 10


    The following is from the Washington Post:

    Former President George W. Bush is set to headline a luncheon fundraiser for the Jeb Bush presidential campaign in New York on Sept. 10, according to several people familiar with the event, part of an expanding role he is playing to help raise money for his younger brother's White House bid.

    The 43rd president is scheduled to take part in a retreat for top donors in Houston in late October that will also feature their parents, former president George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush. Other finance events are in the works, including discussions about a fundraiser in Arkansas in early October, according to people familiar with the plans....