Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

Nancy Argenziano's take on the presidential field

We caught up with former Republican Public Service Commissioner and state Sen. Nancy Argenziano, the Citrus County populist who was never shy about criticizing Florida's utility companies and her own party leaders if she thought they were hurting consumers. And ....well...let's just say she hasn't made much progress in mastering the art of soft-spoken diplomacy.

"If you don't agree with Jeb on something you're sh** out of luck. If you don't agree with him on something, there is no making it better. It's my way or hit the highway," said Argenziano when asked about Bush's constant talk on the campaign trail about his record of forging consensus and finding common ground with people who might disagree.

Argenziano quit the GOP in 2011, saying her lifelong party had been hijacked by extremists and special interests, and ran unsuccessfully for the state House in 2012 as an independent candidate. Her preferred presidential candidate? Bernie Sanders, because he's talking about tackling the influence of big money in politics. If Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, Argenziano will support her rather than any of the Republicans, even though Bush is the smartest of the bunch as "the cream of the crop."

But he's still part of a party that does not care about science, that does not care about the environment, that does not care about women's rights," Argenziano said. "And if any damn Republican tells me there's not a war on women, then come and talk and sit and debate with me because there certainly is, and I can tell you as a woman who was inside the Republican party, they are not very friendly to women. And the women that they do have probably are just puppet heads with two brain cells."

Once a shrinking violet, always a shrinking violet.