Frank Torres, Orlando Freelance Reporter

Posts Tagged ‘state of the union’

Rubio pushes Immigration deal on every Sunday Morning Talker, Scott signs Internet Cafe Ban, Orange Commission greenlights Universal Bridge – WIR

In Uncategorized on April 14, 2013 at 11:04 pm

It’s your Week in Review and the big news was Florida Senator Marco Rubio‘s media blitz this morning on all of the Sunday talk Shows. He was on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, This Week, State of the Union, Fox News Sunday, and Al Punto.

His main message was aimed at fellow Conservatives. That message? This is not amenesty and will be the toughest immigration laws we’ve seen.

He also talked gun control and plans for 2016. An effective slew of appearances for Rubio, who many believe is the future of the party.

We’ve also got Rick Scott and Tim Tebow and the Orange County Commission gives Universal Studios their pedestrian bridge.

This is your Week in Review

Video Transcript:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres. This is your Week in Review. Now normally, we start from the beginning of the week and move forward to Sunday but this week we’re doing it in reverse. That is because the big new took place this morning. I’m talking about Florida Senator Marco Rubio making his big immigration media blitz, hitting every Sunday morning talker discussing the agreement on sweeping immigration reform from the bi-partisan “Gang of Eight”. Rubio appeared on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, This Week, State of the Union,…Am I missing any? Fox News Sunday and Al Punto on Univision. Rubio’s big message was that this was not amnesty. This talking point was to try to calm some of the more Conservative opinion leaders that any path to citizenship that did not require the undocument or illegal immigrant to return to his country was amnesty.

Immigration wasn’t the only issue Rubio discussed. He was asked several times about Gun Control and the push behind the legislature for mandatory background checks. This was complicated, several of the moderators stretched back to Rubio’s time in the Florida House when he supported background checks. Rubio had to differentiate the two circumstances before moving on. He stressed that Violence was the problem, not the procedure so many Americans go through to purchase firearms.

He was also asked several times about 2016. Rubio deflected by saying that he was in Washinton to solve problems and that’s where his head was. This was similar to what he did last year when he was getting the same kind of questions.

All in all a good round of appearances for the junior Senator from Florida. Not as strong as former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who did the same a few weeks back but, Rubio was talking about gun control and specific immigration points. Bush was promoting a book and the only obstacle he had was his changing mindsets on the path to citizenship.

One problem Rubio had was the lighting at his location. His people need to learn how to handle the lighting. It looked at times like Rubio was melting and was about 3 shades redder than he had to be. He literally was in the hot seat. For a second, I thought we were going to get a repeat of the State of the Union Republican response.

We move on to Florida Governor Rick Scott. Scott quietly signed the bill banning internet cafes this week. Those are illegal, although some are being defiant and staying open until being asked to close. This could have been a bright photo op for the Governor. He could has sent a message by saying he wasn’t going to tolerate companies like this one stealing millions from veterans. He could have had the department of law enforcement, maybe AG Pam Bondi, but instead he chose to sign the bill without any cameras present. This could be because of the connections of former Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeniffer Carroll had with one of the companies that forced her to resign.

Also earlier this week. The Orange County Commission approved the Universal Studios pedestrian bridge that would link the park to one of it’s resorts. This bridge will be payed for entirely with tax payer dollars. The “Yes” votes were Scott Boyd, Fred Brummer, Tiffany Moore-Russell, and Jennifer Thompson. All of those commissioners except Thompson are termed out. The “No’s” were Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Ted Edwards, and Pete Clarke. Those commissioners questioned why they couldn’t split the tab of 9 million dollars with the park that will seen increased profits. Advocates for the bridge will argue that, the more successful the park is, the stronger the profits will be for the surrounding smaller businesses.

Finally, we return to Governor Scott. Scott appeared with Tim Tebow this weekend. It benefits Scott greatly to stand next to a guy like Tebow. As popular as Tebow is, that’s how unpopular Rick Scott is. It certainly doesn’t hurt. Right now Scott at odds with the legislature, this delay additional dents his reputation might have to endure.

That’s your Week in Review, I’ll see you next time.

Rubio hits all the Sunday Talkers, Geraldine Thompson slammed for siding with GOP on Anti-Shariah Law vote

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2013 at 3:03 pm

If you’re a fan of Senator Marco Rubio (and if you’re Republican in Florida, you probably are) then you’re going to go into GOP/Rap dialogue overload.

Rubio will hit Meet the Press, Face the Nation, This Week, Fox News Sunday, State of the Union, Al Punto on Univision, and the program on Telemundo, to talk of a possible deal in Immigration with the Bi-partisan gang of 8 next week.

Earlier this week, Rubio had dinner at the White House with President Obama, and other GOP Senators, while it was a mostly cordial affair with very little negotiating involved, it could be a sign of progress in one of the biggest issues of the year.

You can expect a lot of what you’ve already heard from Rubio tomorrow with a slightly more optimistic tone concerning a sweeping plan for reform involving one of the biggest issues of the year.

You can also expect Rubio to be fielding questions about his Presidential aspirations for 2016 on every program. The big topic last Sunday was Hilary Clinton slowly wading into campaigning for a possible run.

Earlier this week, in a story that broke just after I taped the FPFT, it was discovered that State Senator Geraldine Thompson might have been involved in some shady deal making in Tallahassee. Thompson voted “Yes” for a law that prevents international law, like Shariah law from invading the state’s court system.

The bill was sponsored by fellow State Senator Alan Hays. Hays made some nasty comments about Hispanic voters a while back, that got him in trouble with everyone including his fellow Republicans. This legislation is continuing that bizarre behavior against international interests.

In committee, Thompson was the tie-breaker and kept the bill alive. It was discovered a short time later that a $150,000 earmark was inserted into the budget for her district. You can read details in the Orlando Sentinel blog post.

The whole political scenario feels like a set-up but there is one “out” for Thompson.

This isn’t the first time she’s voted against a bill like this one.

On the campaign trail and during an interview with the Sentinel Op-Ed board, Thompson mentioned that she filed legislation to prevent mutilation of young women, like the brutal behavior you see in certain regions of Africa. It’s even on her website.

So, there is history between her and this kind of legislation and she should have brought that up.

Still, very odd behavior from a Senator who is normally one of the more sensible lawmakers in the area.

Rubio will be on every Sunday political talk show tomorrow

Rubio will be on every Sunday political talk show tomorrow

Jeb Leaves Door Open for 2016 Prez Run During Sunday Talker Gauntlet

In Uncategorized on March 11, 2013 at 1:44 pm

The former Governor of Florida was everywhere yesterday morning.

Jeb Bush accomplished a rare “Full Ginsburg” by appearing on all five major Sunday Political Talk Shows. He did hits with “Meet the Press” (where he compared the media to Crack/Heroine addicts), Face the Nation, This Week, Fox News Sunday, and State of the Union. He was in the “B Block” for most of them promoting his new book “Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution”.

Here’s what we learned from that sprint of interviews.

He’s softer on Immigration than what’s written in the book: He’s hearing a lot of static on his changing views, from what he believes now and what’s actually on paper in his book. The book says the undocumented should return home to apply for citizenship, now he says he’s more in favor of what is being thrown around Washington these days. That would be a pathway to citizenship that allows them to remain in the country during the application process.

He’s not backing down or apologizing for Big Brother or the “Bush Brand”: Jeb had to field a lot of questions over his brother’s legacy, throughout the morning. In every interview he was asked about former President George W. and the answer was the same all of the time. “History will be kind to my brother”.

He doesn’t want to hear about disagreements or conflict with Marco Rubio: The bait was thrown out there a few times that would have opened up a discussion over Bush’s disagreements or a even a potential showdown with the GOP rising star. We knew that “Friendly Fire” was going to be a possibility when both of these two are in the spotlight, but Bush didn’t fall for it.

He’s still thinking about a run in 2016: True, this was a book promotion blitz but this is really about staying in front of the voters, while all the other Presidential hopefuls are slugging it out over economic policy, in this perpetual political stalemate. He said this wasn’t a “political re-entry” but the buzz is that he’s still weighing his options. It’s too early to really decide but this kind of tactic keeps his options open, and the pundits speculating.

All in all, a successful Sunday morning for the former Governor.

Jeb hit all of the Sunday talkers to promote his book yesterday morning

Jeb hit all of the Sunday talkers to promote his book yesterday morning

Rubio Republican Response for SOTU is First Audition for 2016.

In Uncategorized on February 7, 2013 at 12:09 am

Earlier this afternoon, it was announced that Florida Senator Marco Rubio will be giving the Republican response for President Barack Obama‘s State of the Union address on Tuesday night. He’ll be the ambassador for the GOP on a night when President Obama sets the table for his 2nd term political agenda.

For Rubio it will be his first real introduction to a primetime, bi-partisan, national audience, and it allow him the last word, in what will be a comparison challenge between the GOP’s vision for Immigration reform and the Presidents.

We’ve talked about the tough assignment Rubio had selling the Bi-Partisan Senate plan to the most Conservative opinion leaders, now he’ll get to do it to a moderate electorate, where Independents rule and he’ll get the last word of the evening. There he can push for the enforcement triggers on the deal that the President hasn’t committed on, and is considered a deal breaker for the elected officials with Tea Party support.

Last fall at NALEO, Rubio pushed for similar reform that’s in the conversation now, only to have the President come in and take the points from Rubio’s plan and integrate them into his own.

Let’s not forget the implications for 2016. This is the first audition for Rubio as far as his Presidential plans go.

The Republican response has long been a launching pad for Presidential hopefuls. In 2011, it was Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan who eventually was selected by Mitt Romney to be his running mate last year. In 2012, it was Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, who many hoped would throw his hat into the Presidential race.

Now it will be Rubio, and he’s got a clear objective. Make your argument for Immigration and the other issues bigger and better than the Presidents, and with all of America watching it might be the most important night of his political career.

Rubio will be following with Republican response at the State of Union

Rubio will be following with Republican response at the State of Union

Your State of the Union Recap

In Uncategorized on January 26, 2011 at 4:35 pm

It was a solid speech that had a lot for both sides to like but, the question is if the President is really serious about pursuing the goals pointed out in last night’s State of the Union address.

– Fixing healthcare (although not starting over)

– A spending freeze.

– Increasing energy indepenence.

– Improving and making American education more competitive.

– Bringing our soldiers home.

It all sounds great and it was nice seeing our lawmakers playing nice and sitting together but one analyst said it best last night on one of the national telecasts “It’s not if we sit together tonight, but if we stand together tomorrow”, that’s a fine thought but we all know better.

I think we all know that the President’s re-election campaign basically started last night. This pledge of bi-partisanship and riding this wave of leadership momentum following a national tragedy was absolutely necessary if he is serious about getting elected. He did that last night. The competitors were watching last night, oh yes they were and if he can’t deliver, your Gingrich’s, Romey’s, and Palin’s will let the voters know. It was a moderate speech catered to the moderate voters that determine Presidential elections.

Ok, now some random thoughts from last night’s State of the Union Address:

“In Fantasy world President Obama would pull a Mark Sanchez on one of these Lawmakers” Video Here

Obama shakes Hilary Clinton’s hand “Hey are you coming after me again?

Hey Shinseki! Where is my check! – Me to the television last night while VA Secretary Eric Shinseki was onscreen.

John Boehner almost pulled the President over the podium trying to establish dominance on that handshake.

Standing ovation for Gabrielle Giffords, there is a buzz on the net that she is watching the speech.

“Hey its Stuart Smalley”- After I spotted Minnesota Senator Al Franken in the audience.

Senator Al Franken will always be Stuart Smalley to me.

“Hey John McCain and John Kerry are sitting together” How do they not talk about losing Presidential races.

“That pat down joke was pretty funny, a lot funnier than actually receiving one I suppose”

“Fame is not a function of PR?! I suppose. Fame is the result of PR!”

Tweet of the night by the ESPN’s Adam Schefter “The Lions haven’t won a science fair either” in response to President Obama’s “We should be cheering science fair winners, not just Superbowl winners’ Comment.

It does make more sense to cheer science fair winners, instead of these Lions

“I can’t access my medical records with the click of a mouse, Mr. President”- in response to the President touting VA records.

Joe Lieberman is not clapping for the Veterans.

10:09- John Boehner starts crying…again, and all was right with the world.

The Republican Response: You guys know how I felt about Paul Ryan giving this speech instead of Marco Rubio. I mentioned it, in yesterday’s post. Ryan actually did a pretty fine job. He hit all of his talking points well and his position on the budget committee gave him the cred that voters would be looking for after an “economic heavy” SOTU. I thought the speech could have ended stronger. He was here one second and gone the next.

Michelle Bachmann’s Tea Party Response: Bachmann’s response wasn’t as brutal as I thought it would be. She led off with the statement that she wasn’t competing with the Republican response and did something I’ve been suggesting the Tea Party has had to do for months.

She responded with numbers and facts, not just anger.

There was some number stretching and the time lines might have been off a bit, but I think there was a lot more substance than most expected. This is the lady that the Tea Party needs to look to for leadership, not Sarah Palin.

Selling books and celebrity impersonations shouldn’t decide leadership, pushing ideas and policy should.

Just next time Michelle darling, look at the right camera! This is what people are talking about this morning, not what you had to say.

In conclusion it was a very long night. This speech paired with tornadoes gave Central Floridians a lot to keep up with. I’ll see you tomorrow.

Your State of the Union Address Preview

In Uncategorized on January 25, 2011 at 5:31 pm

This is shaping up to be quite the State of the Union Address…

As the country continues to heal from a national tragedy, it appears that both political parties are prepared to listen and that there might actually be a precious and rare couple of minutes where the political defense instincts for both parties will be down, before they leap forward to offer a rebuttal and start attacking each other again.

Which is why it is so, important for the President to get it right tonight. Technically, he is already running for re-election.

Unity, Greatness, and Growth were previewed as the theme for tonight’s speech. It sounds good, I mean who wouldn’t be behind those things for the benefit of the greatest country in the world.

Unity- For Republicans and Democrats to work together and get America out of this recession. To put aside partisan rhetoric and work on policy that will move things forward and create a better future for our children.

Greatness- Because, we’re the shining light of freedom and prosperity for the rest of the world and we have to keep it that way. America….Mom, apple pie, riding the bull. We lead the way.

Let's see China stay on for 8 seconds.

Growth- To well grow…by putting new projects in place that will require…taxes? Spending? Hold the phone!….no, no. In tackling the one subject that could damage this delicate alliance, the President has mentioned that he wants to re-allocate funds, and not increase spending or raise taxes. I would hope that he handles this issue with the utmost care.

Paul Ryan, not Marco Rubio delivering Republican response: Well, this is a political blog in Florida.  I can’t say I’m happy about this decision, Ryan is a good choice but not a great one. Rubio is coming off of one of the biggest success stories from last year’s election, he’s was just on the cover of Time magazine a couple of weeks back and he carries Florida…not Wisconsin. If not Rubio, then how about another rising star that could potentially be a major player in 2012? Instead we get Ryan and let’s hope he doesn’t blow it.

I’m also pretty sure that being from Wisconsin, he’s a Packers fan and don’t even get me started on that.

The Packers beat the Bears last weekend, but they did it against our 3rd string guy..

Michelle Bachmann will also be airing a Tea Party response and let’s hope that she will not take this opportunity to criticize these efforts at bi-partisanship.

Florida lawmakers sitting together:

In a demonstration of unity, there will be Republicans and Democrats sitting together during the SOTU. This means there won’t be the typical one side up, one side down…reaction to key talking points. It’s a great idea here are some of the pairings from Florida’s lawmakers.

Senators Marco Rubio (R) and Bill Nelson (D)- These two have already been talking about collaboration for the benefit of Floridians.

Congressman Tom Rooney (R) and Ted Deutch- from Tequesta and Boca respectively.

Congresswomen Fredrica Wilson (D) and Sandy Adams (R)- Good to see my representative,.. well representin’

Congresswoman Debbie Wassermann-Schultz (D) and Congressman Dan Webster (R) – First Alan Grayson and now Wassermann-Schultz? Webster has an understanding and tolerance that many politicians can’t begin to comprehend.

I applaud all of these lawmakers (Yes, even you Wassermann-Schultz). I sincerely hope that this is the beginning and not a “One Night Only Show”. Let’s come together and do some good for this country

I’ll be back tomorrow with a wrap-up