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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. 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)
  2. 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."...

  3. Jeb Bush ad uses Santorum failure to name a Rubio accomplishment

    Blog

    Jeb Bush's campaign is out with a new TV ad in New Hampshire that seizez on Rick Santorum's failure to name a single accomplishment of Marco Rubio.

  4. George W. Bush appears in ad for Jeb

    Blog

    Here's the Jeb Bush super PAC ad featuring his brother, former President George W. Bush. It's airing in South Carolina.

    Jeb Bush last night on Fox News confirmed that his brother will campaign for him there, too.

  5. Jeb Bush: Marco Rubio, nice guy, has done nothing

    Blog

    Jeb Bush was on Morning Joe to continue to press his case against Marco Rubio as unaccomplished. Rubio has had a tough 24 hours after Rick Santorum failed to name something Rubio has achieved, putting a media spotlight on the Florida senator's record. 

  6. Rubio jumps into second in New Hampshire, new poll shows

    Blog

    Marco Rubio has moved into second place in New Hampshire, according to a poll released Friday morning.

    The Florida Republican trails only Donald Trump, though Trump retains a big lead, taking 30 percent of the likely Republican voters vs. Rubio's 17 percent.

    But Rubio edges Iowa caucus winner Ted Cruz, who has 15 percent of the vote, according to the NBC News/WSJ/Marist poll conducted after the Iowa results....

    Marco Rubio holds a town hall at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., on Feb. 4, 2015.
  7. Rubio super PAC hits Jeb Bush for relying on family

    Blog

    As former First Lady Barbara Bush campaigns in New Hampshire for her son, a radio ad from the super PAC supporting Marco Rubio knocks Jeb Bush's reliance on his family.

    "Jeb Bush keeps talking about the past, about his brother, his father, his mother. All good people, respected. But their time has passed. ... It's time for a new generation of leadership. It's time for Marco Rubio." (h/t to Bloomberg's Michael Bender, who first secured the ad)...

  8. Rubio: 'I'm proud of my service and public record'

    Blog

    MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Marco Rubio likened the avalanche of criticism coming his way from Govs. Bush and Christie to "desperation."

    "I'm not too worried about it," Rubio told a swarm of reporters Thursday afternoon after at town hall at Saint Anselm College.

    Asked about Rick Santorum failing to name an accomplishment of his, Rubio said, "Let's be fair to Rick. Rick has spent the better part of the last year and a half running for president. He just endorsed us last night. So I wouldn't expect him to be entirely familiar with my record....

     Marco Rubio meets the press at Saint Anselm College
  9. Rubio: No one running for president has presidential experience

    Blog

    MANCHESTER, N.H. - Marco Rubio has an answer for the governors saying he lacks experience to be president: "No one running for president has presidential experience. Being president is nothing like being governor. It's nothing like being a senator."

    Rubio continued: "Barack Obama is not a bad president because he lacks experience. He now has seven years of presidential experience and he's worse today than he was in his first year. He's a bad president becuase he has bad ideas and bad ideology ..."...

    Marco Rubio holds a town hall at Saint Anselm College
  10. Jeb Bush calls Marco Rubio a 'career politician'

    Blog

    Jeb Bush called Marco Rubio a "career politician" with little record to speak of and shot down Rubio's argument the GOP should rally behind him.

    Bush also pointed to a poll showing him in second place (note: another poll released Thursday showed Rubio in second)

    "The surge, if there is one, isn't that, isn't that strong," Bush told Kelly O'Donnell of NBC News. "Every candidate has to have their record examined, every candidate has to earn it, there should be no coronations here. And my case is I'm a conservative and I've proved it, by doing it, by being a governor of the state where I applied conservative principles. Marco Rubio is a gifted politician, but his whole life has been around his own ambitions. And he’s a gifted, he can turn a phrase really well but what has he done?, what has he done? And that's the question that I think people here in the granite state will start asking, and when they do I think they'll want to have someone with steady hand, with a proven record. We've had seven years with a guy who was gifted, who could give a great speech. But he's divided the country, he has no leadership skills and I think we need someone now to fix the mess in Washington than just perpetuate it....

  11. 'How did Jeb Bush ever get elected?'

    Blog

    GOFFSTOWN, N.H. - Marc Patrick lives in San Diego but Wednesday found himself in a jam-packed restaurant here to see Ted Cruz. "I wanted to see the political process," the 34-year-old explained as Cruz's bus rolled up.

    Patrick found out a reporter was from Florida and leaned in. "How did Jeb Bush ever get elected?" When asked what he meant, Patrick said he was going off Bush's uneven debate performances and overall lackluster showing in the presidential race....

    Ted Cruz in Goffstown, N.H., on Feb. 3, 2016
  12. Is Marco Rubio 'scripted' or just passionate?

    Blog

    Media narratives help shape campaigns and Marco Rubio is experiencing the upside and the down.

    His strong finish in Iowa was fueled in part by a perception that he had momentum, a line pushed repeatedly by his campaign that made its way into news reports. It wasn’t fiction. Rubio was gaining.

    But perceptions matter, and it helped him. Just look at the coverage he got for his Obama-like victory speech on caucus night....

  13. Rick Santorum fails to list an accomplishment of Marco Rubio

    Blog

    Maybe Rick Santorum should have read up on Marco Rubio before he hit the media circuit to support him. Asked several times on Morning Joe Thursday, Santorum could not list an accomplishment of Rubio's in the Senate. Santorum deflected the question by pointing out that Rubio and Republicans were a minority in the Senate for a number of years.

    "If you look at being in the minority in the United States Senate in a year when nothing got, four years where nothing got done, I guess it's hard to say there are accomplishments." Santorum endorsed Rubio on Wednesday....

  14. Rick Santorum endorses 'born leader' Marco Rubio

    Blog

    Rick Santorum officially suspended his presidential campaign and endorsed Marco Rubio, calling him a "born leader."

    Santorum, who won the 2008 Iowa caucuses but never caught on his election, announced the news moments ago on Fox News. "He is the new generation," he said of Rubio, 44.

    Rick Santorum officially suspended his presidential campaign and endorsed Marco Rubio, calling him a "born leader."
  15. Jeb Bush to New Hampshire crowd: 'Please clap'

    Blog

    Yikes.