One of the things I have enjoyed about being a part of my county GOP Executive Committee is the opportunity to hear various candidates. Over the past several months we have heard from three of the leading candidates running for the Senate seat held by Bill Nelson.
Each of the candidates were interesting to listen to, and all of them would be a vast improvement over Nelson. In addition to hearing from them at the PCREC meetings I have read about them, and what others have said about them.
Based on that research, I am proud to announce the I am endorsing Adam Hasner for Senate. Granted, the bRight & Early / Jim Lynch endorsement isn’t the most high profile one he will get, I am excited to support his Senate run. If you are a Florida voter I invite you to take a look as well.
With the ever present fear-mongering, name-calling, and all around bad news, it is easy to feel a sense of despair. As I talk to co-workers, read blogs, and view the news, it seems like we are heading over Niagara Falls in a cardboard box, and that there is nothing we can do to stop it. The prospect of any possibility of another four years under the current administration is literally (Not DW-S literally, but literally literally) frightening. I fear for me and my loved ones, for their futures, and for the future of our country. I am, at times, afraid that we are reaching the point where more of my fellow citizens are willing to surrender control of their lives to the illusory security of the government providing for every need.
It’s like going up a steep hill on a roller coaster. You know you are getting closer and closer to the peak and your heart is pounding in anticipation of reaching that tipping point. Except at the end of this ride there’s no pleasant worker in a polo shirt and name tag telling you to “exit to the left.” It is an awful feeling, and I don’t like it.
I am, by nature, an optimist. I always think things will turn out for the best. But lately I don’t feel a lot of that when I look at what we face as a nation. Not trying to be funny, but I haven’t felt this way since Jimmy Carter was elected.
And then I hear something like this:
Thank you, Senator Rubio. You’ve proven that there are people, including people in power, who “get it”. There are people who understand that even as we make tough choices we have the potential for a great future. I appreciate your honesty, integrity, and passion. It is an honor to have you as my Senator.
On Tuesday Florida Senator Marco Rubio delivered his maiden speech on the floor of the Senate. It is a moving, impressive, and most of all, inspiring speech that will remind you what is great about our great country. I am very proud to call him my Senator.
Here are the remarks, as sent by Senator Rubio.
THE AMERICAN CENTURY
Thank you, Mr. President. I have the honor of representing the great people of the state of Florida here in the Senate. And today I speak for the first time on this floor on their behalf.
The Senate is a long ways away from where I come from, both literally and figuratively.
I come from a hard-working and humble family. One that was neither wealthy nor connected. Yet I’ve always considered myself to be a child of privilege because growing up I was blessed with two very important things.
I was raised by a strong and stable family.
And I was blessed to be born here in the United States of America.
America began from a powerful truth – that our rights as individuals do not come from our government. They come from our God.
Government’s job is to protect those rights. And here this Republic has done that better than any government in the history of the world.
America is not perfect. It took a bloody civil war to free over 4 million African Americans who lived enslaved. It took another hundred years after that before they achieved full equality under the law.
But since her earliest days, America has inspired people from all over the world. Inspired them with the hope that one day their own countries would be one like this one.
Many others decided they could not wait. And so they came here from everywhere, to pursue their dreams and to work to leave their children better off than themselves. And the result was the American miracle.
A miracle where a 16-year-old boy from Sweden came here with no English in his vocabulary and five dollars in his pocket. But he saved enough money to open up a shoe store. Today, that store, Nordstrom, is a multi-billion dollar global retail giant.
A miracle that led to a young couple with no money and no business experience to open up a toy company out of the garage of their home. Today, that company, Mattel, is one of the world’s largest toy manufacturers.
A miracle where the French-born son of Iranian parents created a website called AuctionWeb in the living room of his home. Today, that company, known as eBay, stands as a testament to the familiar phrase, “Only in America.”
These are just three examples of Americans whose extraordinary success began with nothing more than an idea.
But it’s important to remember that the American dream was never just about how much money you made. It is also about something that typifies my home state of Florida: the desire of every parent to leave their children with a better life.
And it is a dream lived by countless people whose stories will never be told. Americans that never made a million dollars, never owned a yacht, a plane or a second home. And yet, they too lived the American dream – because through their hard work and sacrifice, they were able to open doors for their children that had been closed for them.
It is the story of the people who clean our offices here in this building, who work hard so that one day their children can go to college.
It is the story of the men and women who serve our meals in this building, who work hard so that one day their children can accomplish their own dreams.
It is the story of a bartender and a maid in Florida. Today their son serves here in the Senate, and stands as a proud witness of the greatness of this land.
Becoming a world power was never America’s plan. But that’s exactly what the American economic miracle made her.
Most great powers have used their strength to conquer. But America’s different.
For us, our power always has come with a sense that to those that much is given, much is expected. A sense that with the blessings that God bestowed upon this land, came the responsibility to make the world a better place.
And in the 20th century, that is precisely and exactly what America did.
America led in two world wars so that others could be free.
America led in a Cold War to stop the spread of, and ultimately defeat, communism.
While our military and foreign policy contributions helped save the world, it was our economic and cultural innovations that helped transform it.
The fruits of the American miracle can be found in the daily lives of people everywhere.
Anywhere in the world, when someone uses a mobile phone, email, the Internet or GPS, they are enjoying the benefits of the American miracle.
Anywhere in the world, when a bone marrow, lung or heart transplant saves a life, they are touched by the value of the American miracle.
And on one night in July of 1969, the whole world witnessed the American miracle firsthand.
For on that night an American walked on the surface of the moon, and it was clear to the whole world that these Americans… could do anything.
Clearly, America’s rise was not free of adversity.
We faced a civil rights struggle that saw Governors defy Presidents, that saw police dogs attack innocent, peaceful protesters, and that saw little children murdered in churches by bombs.
We faced two oil crises. America faced Watergate. America faced American hostages in Iran.
I grew up in the 1980s, a time when it was morning in America. Yet even then, we faced a war on drugs, we lost soldiers in Beirut and Astronauts on the Challenger. We faced a devastating oil spill in Alaska and a terrifying new disease called AIDS.
Through challenges and triumphs, the 20th century was the American century. A century where America’s political, economic and cultural exceptionalism made the world a more prosperous and peaceful place.
THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY
But now we find ourselves in a new century. And there’s this growing sense that for America, things will never be the same. That maybe this century will belong to someone else.
Indeed, we do now stand now at a turning point in our history. One where there are only two ways forward for us. We will either bring on another American century, or we are doomed to witness America’s decline.
Another American century is fully within our reach, because there is nothing wrong with our people.
The American people haven’t forgotten how to start a business. The American people haven’t run out of good ideas.
We Americans are as great as we have ever been. But our government is broken. And it is keeping us from doing what we have done better than any people in the history of the world: Create jobs and prosperity.
If we here in Washington could just find agreement on a plan to get control of our debt, if we could just make our tax code simpler and more predictable, and if we could just get the government to ease up on some of these onerous regulations, the American people will take care of the rest.
If this government will do its part, this generation of Americans will do theirs. They will give us a prosperous, upwardly mobile economy. One where our children will invent, build and sell things to a world where more people than ever can afford to buy them.
If we give America a government that could live within its means, the American economy will give us a government of considerable means. A government that can afford to pay for the things government should be doing, because it does not waste money on the things government should not be doing.
If we can deliver on a few simple but important things, we have the chance to do something that’s difficult to imagine is even possible. An America whose future will be greater than her past.
WE ARE HEADED IN WRONG DIRECTION
But sadly, that’s not where we’re headed.
We have made no progress on the issues of our time because, frankly, we have too many people, in both parties, who have decided that the next election is more important than the next generation.
And our lack of progress on these issues has led to something even more troubling – a growing fear that maybe these problems are too big for us to solve. Too big for even America.
NOW IS NO TIME FOR FEAR
Well, there is no reason to be afraid.
Our story, the story of America, it is not the story of a nation that never faced problems. It is the story of a nation that faced its challenges and solved them.
Our story, the story of the American people, is not the story of a people who always got it right. It is the story of a people who, in the end, got it right.
We should never forget who we Americans are.
Every single one of us is the descendant of a go-getter. Of dreamers and of believers. Of men and women who took risks and made sacrifices because they wanted their children to live better off than themselves.
And so whether they came here on the Mayflower, on a slave ship or on an airplane from Havana, we are all descendants of the men and women who built here the nation that saved the world.
We are still the great American people. And the only thing standing in the way of solving our problems is our willingness to do so.
AMERICA’S FATE MATTERS TO THE WORLD
And whether we do so or not is of great consequence. And not just to us, but to the whole world.
I know that now some say that times are so tough here at home that we can no longer afford to worry about what happens abroad. That maybe America needs to mind its own business.
Well, whether we like it or not, there is virtually no aspect of our daily lives that is not directly impacted by what happens in the world around us. We can choose to ignore global problems, but global problems will not ignore us.
You know, one of my favorite speeches is one that talks about our role in the world. It was the speech that President Kennedy was set to give had he lived just one more day. It closes with these words:
“We in this country, in this generation, are- by destiny rather than by choice- the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of ‘peace on earth, good will toward men.’ That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago “except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”
Almost half a century later, America is still the only watchman on the wall of world freedom. And there is still no one to take our place.
What will the world look like if America declines?
Well, today people all over the world are forced to accept the familiar lie that the price of security is our liberty.
If America declines, who will serve as living proof that liberty, security and prosperity can all exist together?
Today, radical Islam abuses and oppresses women. It has no tolerance for other faiths, and it seeks to impose its will on the whole world.
If America declines, who will stand up to them and defeat them?
Today, children are used as soldiers and trafficked as slaves.
Dissidents are routinely imprisoned without trial. They’re subjected to torture and forced into confessions and labor.
If America declines, what nation on the earth will take these causes as their own?
What will the world look like if America declines?
Who’s going to create the innovations of the 21 st century?
Who will stretch the limits of human potential and explore the new frontiers?
And if America declines, who will do all these things and ask for nothing in return?
Motivated solely by the desire to make the world a better place?
The answer is no one will. There is still no nation or institution on this planet that is willing or able to do what America has done.
THE WORLD STILL NEEDS AMERICA
Ronald Reagan famously described America as a shining city on a hill.
Now, some say that we can no longer afford the price we must pay to keep America’s light shining.
Others like to say that there are new shining cities that will soon replace us.
I say they’re both wrong.
Yes, the price we’re going to pay to keep America’s light shining is high. But the price we will pay if America’s light stops shining is even higher.
And yes, there are new nations emerging with prosperity and influence. And that is what we always wanted.
America never wanted to be the only shining city on the hill. We wanted our example to inspire the people of the earth to build one of their own.
You see, these nations, these new emerging nations, these new shining cities, we hope they will join us, but they can never replace us. Because their light is but a reflection of our own.
The light of an American century that now spreads throughout the earth.
A world that still needs America.
A world that still needs our light.
A world that needs a new American century.
And I pray with God’s help, that will be our legacy to our children and to the world.
I received this email from Florida’s newest Senator:
For nearly two years, I campaigned on the promise to go to Washington, stand up to a big government agenda that threatens to diminish our country and offer an alternative that will help secure the American Dream for future generations.
Over these past two years, you supported me and, in doing so, propelled our shared vision of limited government, fiscal discipline and free enterprise to victory.
Next Wednesday, January 5th, we begin the hard work of turning principles into policies, ideas into legislation and campaign promises into a new course for our state and America. On that day – and because of your support – I will be sworn in as Florida’s next United States Senator.
We’ve come a long way from the early days of our campaign when few believed we could win. But we did win, because you understood as I do that America is the greatest country in all of human history and that keeping it exceptional requires hard work, dedication and strong principles to guide us.
As I start working in the U.S. Senate on behalf of all Floridians, I invite you to share in this special moment next Wednesday at noon. You can watch the ceremony are on C-SPAN. We’ll post it on our YouTube page later as well.
I also invite you to keep track of our work and progress in the Senate. Although the campaign is behind us, it’s important that we not lose our focus nor abandon our grassroots efforts to spread our message and encourage our friends and relatives to support the legislation I will be fighting for to tackle the debt, repeal and replace ObamaCare, and turn our “Ideas to Reclaim America” into policies that make a difference in your lives.
To this end, we’ll keep updating our Facebook and campaign website with news on our efforts in Washington. I encourage you to help spread the word with your networks.
Thanks again for all your support. Rest assured that when I take the oath of office next Wednesday, I will be doing so with gratitude to you for entrusting me with the responsibility of steering our state and nation through this challenging period. And I promise that I will work tirelessly to ensure that my children and yours inherit what they deserve – the greatest country in all of human history.
WALLACE: But wait a minute, you said mainstream positions. I thought you were a conservative?
RUBIO: Conservative thought is the mainstream position in America. What is not mainstream in America is the belief that we should spend money that we don’t have. What’s not mainstream in America is the belief that we should take this crazy complicated tax code and make it crazier and more complicated. What is not mainstream in America is this belief that somehow if America weakens its position in the world, the world will become a safer place. These are the positions that quite frankly the policies coming out of Washington would create. That’s well outside the mainstream of American political thought. So I believe that what political pundits describe as conservatism and I embrace as conservatism is mainstream thought in America.
That is why I like Marco Rubio. “So I believe that what political pundits describe as conservatism and I embrace as conservatism is mainstream thought in America.”
Today Governor Charlie Crist gets to choose how to lose his bid for the U.S. Senate. At a news conference scheduled this afternoon Crist is expected to announce that he will run with No Party Affiliation.
A year after it seemed he was the man to beat for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate and a virtual shoo-in in the general election, Crist has seen his poll numbers nose-dive and speculation has run rampant about his chances of surviving a primary against tea-party favorite Marco Rubio, the state’s former House speaker. The 53-year-old governor has scheduled a Thursday evening event in his hometown where he will reveal his plans, though three confidants have said he’s already decided to abandon his long-shot GOP primary bid and run as an independent.
As much as Crist will try to spin this decision as a principled stand, it’s hard to see it as anything more than a desperate move by someone who knew they were about to lose big time.
Crist will have quite a few hurdles to jump by pulling out of the GOP Primary, not the least of which is his frequent and recent claims that he wouldn’t run as an Independent.
Crist has said that under no circumstance would he drop out of the race, saying he will do what is best for the voters of Florida. The governor says Republicans in Washington want him to stay in the Republican party but voters in Florida have told him they want him to run as an independent.
Noonan’s response is exactly right.
No, Charlies, what the voters of Florida have told you is that they don’t want you in the United States Senate. But, you are an opportunist and a political climber, so you can’t imagine yourself not being in high office…clearly losing your Senate bid, you seem to be settling on a desperate bid for even the slightest chance of staying in public office.
But let’s back up just a minute. There is a sentence in the Schwandt quote that really gets to the core of not only this race, but much of the grass root sentiment that is key to this year’s elections, “The governor says Republicans in Washington want him to stay in the Republican party but voters in Florida have told him they want him to run as an independent.”
He’s correct only in the first part, Washington Republicans want him to stay in the party, but the people in Florida and many, many other places around the country are making it clear that they don’t want wishy-washy hopey-changey Washington-knows-best politicians representing them.
I was going to finish this by saying that shortly after five o’clock we’ll know, but really, that’s only going to make it official.
Crist spent Thursday and Friday of last week meeting with key Republican strategists and donors that had come into his political orbit over the last decade, testing them on the idea of whether or not he should run as an independent, according to one senior Florida GOPer.
Most Republican sources in Florida and Washington seem to believe that a Crist switch is a foregone conclusion — there is even speculation about when this week he might choose to announce it — but, as almost always in these sorts of delicate political situations, there are very few people who know the real deal and they are not talking much.
Put me in the camp thinking he will pull out of the Republican primary. I’m leaning (about 70/30) to him running as an Independent rather than just sitting this one out. I think the key adviser he is listening closest to is Charlie Crist. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but I have a feeling that his major consideration is his personal political aspirations over a desire to serve the people who would elect him.
Should he run as an Independent expect Marco Rubio and Kendrick Meek (the likely Democrat nominee) to make the most of his political expediency. Framing his run as a principled decision will be an uphill battle.
Charlie Crist has until next Friday to decide if he is going to keep his word and stay in the Republican primary, pull out of the primary and support Marco Rubio, or to run as an independent while trying to spin like a ballerina on speed explaining it as a principled move. The Christian Science Monitor points out a fourth option, running for reelection as governor, but says that none of his option are very good.
Brad Coker, president of the Mason-Dixon polling firm, sees an independent run by Crist for Senate falling flat almost immediately. “The minute he announces, that’s the zenith of his campaign,” says Mr. Coker, who is based in Jacksonville, Fla.
But if the smart move is to wait for a more hospitable climate, it’s not clear that Crist has the patience for that. Part of what has hurt him is his ambition. Almost as soon as he was elected governor, he started floating vice presidential trial balloons.
As you can see, only one of the four options has Crist staying in the primary race. Frankly, I don’t see any way that happens, and if it does Rubio gets the nod in a walk.
It may be the worst-kept secret in American politics today, and it’s apparently about to become a reality. Reliable sources informed me today that embattled Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, whose early lead in his US Senate Republican primary race against former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio has essentially reversed itself in the polls, is preparing to announce sooner rather than later that he will leave the GOP and continue his run for Senate as an independent. Sources add that the speech Crist will use in his announcement is now being drafted.
Of course Crist is known from time to time for running political misdirections that surprise even political experts at the last minute. But the tea leaves Crist has left trailing behind him in recent weeks – particularly his about-face in vetoing an education reform bill dear to Florida Republicans – certainly seem to portend an abandonment of the party. Throw in, too, that he has recently been losing support from national and Florida GOP honchos – such as Mitt Romney and Crist’s now ex-campaign chair, former US Sen. Connie Mack, among other various Florida Republican luminaries.
The only thing that likely would stop a Crist independent run now is for the pressure from disillusioned Republicans and longtime Crist supporters to put so much pressure on him not to run at all that he relents. That pressure is mounting almost by the hour. Or that pressure could only speed up his party switch.
My feeling is that the choice will be Independent, with an outside shot at sitting out. Staying in the Republican Primary is least likely, with another run at the Governors office also a remote possibility. Whatever the choice he makes, we’ll know in the next few days. Leave your thoughts in the comments, and vote in the poll in the right sidebar.
Marco Rubio appeared on the Sean Hannity show last night. Here is the interview:
Rubio was scheduled to speak at the Lakeland TEA Party on Thursday. It looks as if that may change due to his father’s illness.
“Unfortunately, my father Mario Rubio has been diagnosed with a recurrence of lung cancer. This will require me to return to South Florida.
“We are in the process of rescheduling some of the coming days’ events and look forward to continuing our conversation with voters in these communities in the near future.”
Part of today’s events, as well as those on Thursday and Friday, will have to be rescheduled. I will keep you updated as more information becomes available. I’ll still be there and hope to meet some of you in Lakeland.