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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. Rubio backers among leading TV ad spenders so far


    Marco Rubio's team is one of the biggest spenders far in the TV race, according to figures reported by NBC News' First Read.

    We presume most of the $2.6 million for Rubio has come from the nonprofit Conservative Solutions Project, which has run Iran deal ads featuring the Florida Republican.

    All told there has been $16 million in TV spending this cycle vs. $2 million at the same point in the 2012 election, according to NBC's ad tracker SMG Delta....

  2. Jeb Bush defends speaking Spanish, says Donald Trump doesn't share American values


    Jeb Bush this morning reacted to Donald Trump criticizing him for using Spanish, calling his rival a divisive, unserious person who "doesn't believe in tolerance."

    "I think Donald Trump is trying to insult his way to the presidency and it's not going to work," Bush said on Good Morning America. "People want an uplifting hopeful message. People come to this country to pursue their dreams, sometimes they start without speaking English but they learn English and they add vitality to our country."...

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a Republican presidential hopeful, speaks to students during a town-hall style meeting at La Progresiva Presbyterian School in Miami on Tuesday.
  3. Stephen Colbert wants in on Jeb Bush's fundraiser


    Jeb Bush has some explaining to do when he appears Tuesday on the first Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

    (After the video below was released, Bush replied. Watch that here.)

  4. At Miami fundraiser, Joe Biden praises Bernie Sanders' populist appeal


    Joe Biden praised Bernie Sanders at a DSCC fundraiser in Miami on Wednesday night but skipped mention of Hillary Clinton.

    "He did say that Bernie Sanders was doing a great job exciting his crowds," a Democrat told pool reporter Carol Lee of the Wall Street Journal. Biden, considering an entry in the Democratic primary, said specifically, "I’m not a populist like Bernie."

    He said it in the context of 2016 Senate races and how important it was to get engaged. Biden was not asked about running for president and therefore did not answer, the Democrat said, adding he focused on the Iran deal....

    Vice President Joe Biden at Miami-Dade College on Sept. 2, 2015
  5. Trump to Bush: Habla inglés, por favor


    “I like Jeb. He’s a nice man. But he should really set the example by speaking English while in the United States.”

    -- Donald Trump, as quoted today by Breitbart News.

    "Experience should be in a luxury hotel of 400 rooms or more. Effective supervisory skills. Bi-lingual English/Spanish desired. Should be detailed and highly organized. Must have flexible availability."...

  6. U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown supports Iran deal


    Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, said this afternoon she will support the Iran nuclear deal.

    That makes two Florida House Democrats for the deal (Brown and Patrick Murphy) and two against (Alcee Hastings and Ted Deutch). Six others have not yet stated their position.

    Here is Brown's statement:

    “Since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was announced, I have been closely scrutinizing the text of the agreement. I have sought the insight of experts and the judgement of trusted leaders. I’ve sat with and heard from passionate constituents on both sides of this issue....

  7. Rubio wants to end ban on crude oil exports, turn back energy industry regulation


    Marco Rubio in a speech in Oklahoma City will join calls for an end to the ban on crude oil exports and stop the EPA's Clean Power Plan. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery (2:30 p.m. eastern)

    As many of you know, I’ve based my campaign for president on the question of how we can make the 21st century a New American Century. And the topic we’re here to discuss today is a crucial component of my plan to achieve that goal....

  8. Marco Rubio talks tough on Iran while choosing words carefully about Donald Trump


    Marco Rubio was on Fox News this morning and talked tough on Iran. "If I'm the president of the United States, in my first day in office, we will lift what the president is doing, we will re-impose sanctions," Rubio said, adding he would increase sanctions and back them up with the threat of military force.

    Rubio, however, was less strident when talking about Donald Trump and did not directly answer if he thinks the New Yorker is a conservative (Jeb Bush of course has been launched a war on Trump’s bona fides)....

  9. Trump: Bush 'had no choice' but to attack me


    Bush v. Trump continues today.

    Trump was on Good Morning America saying Bush “had no choice” to attack him. And Jeb Bush was on Twitter pushing this survey that compares his record with Trump's. Neither has a great fav/unfav ratio. From today's Washington Post poll: Trump is at a 37–59; Bush is 38-55....

  10. Rubio in Nevada: Get rid of the federal Education Department


    CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio says the U.S. doesn't need a federal Education Department, arguing that its recommendations to state and local governments often turn into mandates tied to money.

    The Florida senator made the comments Tuesday during a town hall meeting in Carson City. About 200 people attended the gathering in a community center, part of a tour of northern Nevada....

  11. David Jolly adds to support in Tampa Bay


    David Jolly is moving to lock down support in vital Tampa Bay as he faces a tough GOP primary for U.S. Senate. Today, Jolly announced the endorsement of his third area lawmaker, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis of Palm Harbor.

    “As a Tampa Bay native, David is keenly aware of the issues facing Floridians at both the local and national levels," Bilirakis said. "His command of the legislative process and institutional knowledge will no doubt serve as a benefit to the people of Florida, especially our Veterans. I look forward to fostering an even stronger Tampa Bay leadership presence in Congress with a great partner and friend in the U.S. Senate.”...

  12. Marco Rubio's ice cream run with Chris Christie, Mitt Romney


    Chris Christie shares a lighter moment from his recent sleep-over at Mitt Romney's with Marco Rubio.

  13. Hope 3.0: Jeb Bush 'fired up' but not angry


    A Fox News host this morning asked Jeb Bush if he has fire in the belly:

    “I’m fired up about this and I’m excited about it. But I’m not going to run a campaign based on angst; I’m going to run a campaign based on hope. Because this still is the greatest country on the face on the earth. And we just need to start acting like it again.”

    More from the Fox interview:...

  14. Ron DeSantis seeks to inject Iran deal into U.S. Senate race


    Coming to a U.S. Senate debate stage: The Iran nuclear deal, good or bad?

    Yesterday, Democrat Patrick Murphy announced his support for the “flawed” deal and portrayed it as a way to stop war. Ron DeSantis, one of a handful of Republicans running for the nomination, went after Murphy today....

  15. Jeb Bush wants you to know 'the real Donald Trump'


    Jeb Bush continues to punch back at Donald Trump, and this morning released a video compilation of things Trump has said in the past about abortion and Hillary Clinton.

    So far, Bush's counter effort hasn't shown much results. But as Trump's No. 1 target, Bush has reasoned he has no other choice. His campaign called out rivals. "Jeb takes on Trump as the rest of the Unintimidated™ field cowers," a staffer wrote on Twitter....