Marco Rubio falls in Morning Consult Senate approval rankings

Marco Rubio’s presidential bid may have had an impact on his standings in the U.S. Senate.

On Thursday, Morning Consult, a media and survey technology company, released its latest senator approval rankings. The newest rankings grouped Rubio in the bottom 10 senators.

According to the report, Rubio’s approval rating dropped five points since November, down to 5 percent. His disapproval rating increased eight points in the same time span, to 41 percent.

The senator approval rankings were calculated from interviews with 62,288 registered voters across the country in Morning Consult’s weekly online national polling. The survey took place from Jan. 8 through April 17, and their ZIP codes identified voters. Each state’s sample, according to the report, was weighted on gender, age and race using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent population survey.

Rubio was ranked as one of the 10 senators with the highest disapproval ratings, joining Harry ReidOrrin HatchJohn McCain and Pat Roberts. Sen. Mitch McConnell was the least-popular senator, with a 49 percent disapproval rating.

The most popular senator, according to Morning Consult’s rankings, was Sen. Bernie Sanders. Sanders had an 80 percent approval rating. That’s down slightly from a similar ranking in November, where Sanders held the top spot with an 83 percent approval ranking.

Other senators who were among the most popular in the Morning Consult rankings were Susan CollinsJohn Hoeven, Angus KingPatrick Leahy and Thomas Carper.

The survey found that Sen. Bill Nelson had a 52 percent approval rating and a 24 percent disapproval rating.

Florida pols react to Gwen Graham’s 2018 plans announcement

U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham made waves on Thursday when she said she’s eyeing a 2018 run for Florida Governor.

Here’s an early look at what Sunshine State politicos are saying regarding the Panhandle’s first Congresswoman’s announcement.

“Gwen has been a great partner to work with in the House. From her work on the Apalachicola Bay to fighting oil drilling off our beaches, she always puts Florida first. She’s accomplished much, and I know we’re going to continue to see great things from her in the future,” said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

“From working to protect Florida’s natural treasures to defending women’s rights, Gwen has been a great addition to our state’s congressional delegation. I look forward to continue working with her in the House and as she moves forward,” said fellow U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel.

“In Congress Gwen has proven her deep commitment to the people of her district and the state of Florida,” said former Democratic CFO Alex Sink. “I am so pleased she wants to continue to be a leader and serve the people of our state.”

“As the Democratic leader in Florida’s House, I know what kind of leadership our state needs. We need a governor that respects and cares about the people of our state — Gwen Graham is that type of leader,” said House Minority Leader Mark Pafford.

“Representative Graham understands public servants must speak for all the communities they represent. She’s done that in Congress, and I believe in her next step of service, she’ll give a voice to all Floridians,” said Sen. Oscar Braynon, the Senate Democratic Leader-designate.

Former Broward senator Nan Rich – who also was a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 2014 – also offered kind words ahead of Graham’s potential run.

“Throughout my career in public service, I’ve fought to improve the lives of women, children and families across Florida. Gwen Graham fought for these same issues as a strong Democratic voice in Congress. I know she’ll continue to be an advocate for all of us in the years to come,” said Rich.

“Gwen has proven in a short amount of time in Congress that she is a tireless fighter for Florida women and families. Her leadership will be missed in Congress — but we’re incredibly excited about her future and the opportunity for Gwen to serve families across the state of Florida,” said Stephanie Schriock, President of the Democratic women’s PAC EMILY’s List.

Graham’s “North Florida Way” has notably featured reaching across the aisle. U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo tipped his hat in Graham’s direction on Thursday as well.

Gwen Graham understands that only by working across the aisle can we get things done for the American people. Many of us in the House will miss her thoughtfulness and willingness to build consensus and offer solutions. I wish her well,” said Curbelo, who is running a tough reelection campaign in a redrawn CD 26 in Miami.

“I’m excited to join Gwen in this history making moment for our state and look forward to assisting her in her future endeavors,” added former Sen. Tony Hill, who has also reportedly taken an interest in a run for Congress in 2016.

The announcement has also gotten substantial traction on social media.

According to spokesman Matt Harringer, her just-released video – in which she declares she’d like to help reform Florida’s “dysfunctional” state government – was shared more than 200 times and viewed 13,000 times on Thursday morning.

Bill Nelson files legislation to provide $1.9B to fight Zika

Sen. Bill Nelson is calling on lawmakers to fully fund President Barack Obama’s request to fight Zika virus.

Nelson announced he planned to file legislation to provide the $1.9 billion the president has said is needed to fight the spread of the virus. The Florida senator took to the Senate floor on Thursday to make the announcement, saying he made the request after hearing “rumors that the appropriations committee is looking at a figure of $1.1 billion.”

“This is truly an emergency. I’m calling on our colleagues to approve the president’s $1.9 billion in emergency funding request now in the immediate future. Not later,” said Nelson in a floor speech. “The cost of this inaction would be far greater, and the consequences way too devastating. And we don’t want to have to say in the future, I told you so.”

Nelson said the Zika virus had infected 800 Americans in 40 states and territories. There have been 91 cases spread across 15 counties in Florida. Three of the most recent cases were in the Miami area.

The call to fully fund the president’s request comes just days after Obama signed legislation to add the Zika virus to the Food and Drug Administration’s Tropical Priority Review Voucher Program.

That bill, which was backed by Nelson, incentivizes drugmakers to accelerate their search for a cure. The legislation offers companies that develop a treatment a voucher to expedite the FDA approval process of any other drug the company chooses.

Mitch Perry Report for 4.20.16 – Bernie’s chances may have just faded away, but how does Clinton handle him going forward?

It was on May 8, 2008, after the returns from Democratic primary results from North Carolina and Indiana had come in, when the late Tim Russert told viewers that the intense battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton was over.

“We now know who the Democratic nominee’s going to be, and no one’s going to dispute it,” he said on MSNBC shortly after midnight Eastern time. “Those closest to her will give her a hardheaded analysis, and if they lay it all out, they’ll say: ‘What is the rationale? What do we say to the undeclared superdelegates tomorrow? Why do we tell them you’re staying in the race?’ And tonight, there’s no good answer for that.”

I remember the moment well, having just come home from seeing Radiohead begin their 2008 tour at the 1-800-Gary or whatever it was called back then out on I-4.

Ladies and gentleman, that moment happened last night in the Democratic race for president between Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Clinton’s overwhelming victory in the Empire State is being explained away by Sanders folks, because, well, that’s what you do when you’re on the losing side of a major election. Her nearly 16-percentage point victory (15.8 percent, officially) translated into 284,605 more votes than Sanders.

Democratic strategist Steve Schale lays out the impossible path that Sanders would have to get the nomination now.

Somewhat incredulously, Jeff Weaver, Sanders campaign manager, told MSNBC last night that even if Clinton wins all the delegates required to secure the nomination and leads the popular vote, the Sanders’ campaign would fight to flip superdelegates all the way to the convention. “It’s going to be an election determined by the superdelegates,” he said, adding that Clinton “did very, very well in New York doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing in these other states.”

Sanders should continue. Some folks (like Schale) say that Sanders should “land the plane” and come together to begin working to take down Donald Trump in November.

Others, like the NY Times editorial board, insist Bernie should stay in.

Sanders isn’t going away, not yet. It will be interesting to see how the fight continues. The bottom line is this: Clinton needs Sanders supporters, and indeed their energy, to have a chance in November. The Clinton folks can’t get heavy handed in trying to push him to quit.

Forget the surveys about November — Trump is bringing a large number of Republicans to the polls while participation in the Democratic primaries is down (even with all the energy that Sanders is generating). Democrats (and Hillary fans) are delusional if they think they have this in the bag.

In other news …

Carlos Lopez-Cantera was in Brandon yesterday, visiting a Cuban bakery to press the flesh with the real Floridians.

Bill Nelson is very happy with the passage of the FAA reauthorization bill, which he says does a number of positive things for airline passengers.

Hillsborough County Democrats convened on Monday to take a vote on whether or not to support Go Hillsborough, the transportation tax that may or may not be on the November ballot.

And you remember Joshua Black, don’t you, Pinellas County Republicans? The man who tweeted that President Obama should be hung is running for office again — this time for Sheriff vs. Bob Gualtieri.

Carlos Lopez-Cantera begins his “Florida First Tour” in Hillsborough County

Fresh off his trip to Israel, GOP Senate candidate Carlos Lopez-Cantera was in campaign mode on Tuesday, speaking with voters at a Brandon Cuban bakery as part of his “Florida First Tour,” the first stop of his month long tour planned around the Sunshine State.

The Lieutenant Governor scoffs at the notion that his trip overseas was intended to shore up his foreign policy credentials vs. some of his Republican opponents, two of whom- Todd Wilcox and Ron DeSantis- served in the military.

“I think I match up just fine,” he told two reporters who greeted him before his meetup with voters on Tuesday afternoon.

He said his main intention if elected will be to represent Floridians, and he says he still can’t believe that he’s the only candidate to declare that he’d hold town hall meetings each month (though to be fair, neither do Bill Nelson nor Marco Rubio currently).

“That’s part of the problem with D.C., “ he said. “People go up to D.C. and get so caught up with everything that the echo chamber in D.C. wants to talk about and tend to forget about the issues back home, and this state is the third largest state in the country and it should be heard and its needs should be met.”

On the campaign trail, Lopez-Cantera emphasizes that he is a Florida Republican, not a Washington one, a dig at DeSantis and Pinellas County Congressman David Jolly. He says that people he meets do understand the difference – and he says he has a powerful story to tell.

“We’re proud of our state and we’re proud of what we’ve done. It hasn’t been easy, but the results speak for themselves. Over a million new jobs, unemployment at an eight-year low, we still have surpluses. There are states who still haven’t come out of the recession.”

How much credit should go to Lopez-Cantera for the state’s economic prowess will have to be decided by the voters, of course. He’s been in his job for the past two years, replacing Jennifer Carroll in 2014. The position had remained vacant for nearly a year as Governor Rick Scott took his time in choosing a replacement. It led to some critics to note the relatively lack of significance to the job, but Lopez-Cantera has never seemed to be concerned about that.

When asked about his opponents on both sides of the aisle, the LG isn’t afraid to speak straight.

When asked if Democratic Senate candidate Patrick Murphy was guilty of hypocrisy for saying he “hates Super PACS” on the same day it was reported that his own super PAC received $300,00 from a business headed by his father, Lopez-Canters says, “Sure sounds like he is.”

Lopez-Cantera has his own Super PAC, which he says, “in this environment, it doesn’t hurt to have an independent group who’s going to be engaged.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Jolly and Democrat Alan Grayson formally announced the first of two senate debates that only they will be engaging in. Lopez-Cantera says he remains surprised that the first person Jolly set up an agreement with is Grayson, the voluable liberal firebrand.

“I think it speaks volumes,” he says. When asked about the recent report that a campaign staffer erased sections of Jolly’s Wikipedia page referring to his being a lobbyist and proponent of same-sex marriage, Lopez-Cantera says, ”I think it speaks more to how he the level of respect he has for the voters and I’ll let his staff’s actions speak for themselves. I think it’s pretty clear.”

Lopez-Cantera’s eyes grew wide as he described his trip to Israel, a trip where he was part of a group of seven Republican Lieutenant Governors.

“We were in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and down to the border with Gaza, right up to the wall, literally.” He also said he did some economic development work, meeting with one company that is opening an office in Florida and an airline that may ultimately book direct flights to Miami.

Lopez-Cantera says he’s looking forward to debating his Republican rivals, but says nothing has been planned as of yet that he’s aware of.

Mitch Perry Report for 4.19.16 – Bernie Sanders goes after Hillary Clinton for violating campaign finance laws

Welcome to April 19, the 23rd anniversary of the Waco siege and the 21st anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.

And now today’s NY state primary, which, by the shape of things, could be pretty anti-climactic. Donald Trump‘s victory is a given, and right now most polls have Bernie Sanders down by double-digits to Hillary Clinton.

The Sanders campaign made news yesterday by going public with a complaint that has been big on the Internets over the past couple of weeks in BernieWorld — that being the charge that Clinton has violated campaign finance laws with the use of a joint fundraising committee set up with the Democratic National Committee.

An attorney for Sanders contacted the DNC and said that this joint committee appeared to be improperly subsidizing her campaign by paying Clinton staffers with funds from the committee and cited other alleged violations as well.

The deal is this: wealthy donors can give $356,100 annually to the Hillary Victory Fund, the largest joint fundraising committee of its kind, according to The Washington Post. The contributions are then distributed proportionally among the campaign, the DNC, and state parties.

But the Post reported that before distributing out its proceeds, “the victory fund has spent millions on direct mail and online ads seeking small donors to support Clinton’s campaign. The victory fund also sponsors Clinton’s online store, allowing donors who have already given the maximum to her campaign to purchase Hillary lapel pins, caps or car magnets, with their money benefiting the party.”

The questionable outlays “have grown to staggering magnitudes” and “can no longer be ignored,” writes Brad Deutsch, Sanders’ attorney.

The expenditures on advertising and fundraising are at best “an impermissible in-kind contribution from the DNC and the participating state party committees” to Clinton’s presidential campaign, the letter says. “At worst, using funds received from large-dollar donors who have already contributed the $2,700 maximum to HFA [Hillary for America] may represent an excessive contribution to HFA from these individuals.”

Robbie Mook, Hillary’s campaign manager, was furious in his response.

“This accusation is false,” he said in a statement. “They’re questioning our joint fundraising agreement with the DNC, which allows us to support Democrats running up and down the ticket — the same fundraising structure used by President Obama in 2008 and 2012.”

Look goes on to say that “this latest incident is part of a troubling pattern of behavior — occurring just as Bernie’s mathematical odds of winning the nomination dwindle toward zero — in which Sanders and his team are not just debating us on issues (which we all agree is perfectly fair), but rather attacking Hillary Clinton’s character, integrity, and motivations.”

At the risk of sounding trite, these two camps are really, really growing bitter. Some say this doesn’t reach the vitriol between the Clinton and Obama camps in ’08, but actually to me, it’s worse. I don’t remember up to 25 percent of Clinton supporters saying they wouldn’t vote for Obama (though I do remember many of those “Pumas” saying they would back John McCain).

And a programming note: I’ll be interviewing Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson on WMNF 88.5 FM radio at noon. Please listen!

In other news …

Congrats to Tampa Bay Times reporters Leonora LaPeter AntonCara Fitzpatrick, Lisa Garter and Michael La Forgia for their Pulitzer Prizes that were awarded Monday.

Activists opposing the Go Hillsborough half-cent sales tax are already gearing up to lobby against the proposal when Hillsborough County Commissioners vote on whether to put it on the ballot next week.

Want to celebrate tonight’s expected Donald Trump blowout in the Empire State with like-minded supporters? Go to Channelside, my friend.

Bill Nelson has some friendly advice for his Senate colleague Marco Rubio regarding his rant last week about an amendment failing to get passed in the Senate.

And Kathy Castor issued praise for President Obama’s executive actions on immigration that came before the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday.

 

Bill Nelson lifts Senate hold on energy bill after winning off-shore concession

Florida’s senior U.S. Sen Bill Nelson on Wednesday lifted a procedural hold he used to block the Senate energy bill after an amendment was withdrawn that would have rewarded states that have off-shore drilling.

Nelson, a staunch opponent of off-shore drilling, particularly in the Atlantic Ocean or anywhere off Florida, lifted his hold, freeing the energy bill to move, after U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana Republican, withdrew the amendment that offended him, Nelson’s office announced Wednesday.

The amendment would have steered more revenue to states that allow off-shore drilling. Another amendment that was anti off-shore drilling also was withdrawn as part of a deal, according to Nelson’s office.

Nelson placed his hold on Senate Bill 2012 in February.

“We had yet another small victory today in our ongoing fight to keep oil rigs away from Florida’s coast,” Nelson stated in a news release issued by his office. “I’ve spent four decades fighting to protect Florida’s coast from the threat of offshore drilling and I’ve made it clear to my colleagues in the Senate that I’m certainly not going to stop now.”

The same bill also had a hold placed on it by U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, because Republicans had blocked efforts to include infrastructure aid for Flint, Mich.,’s lead-plagued water system and for similar water systems across the country, according to Politico.

A deal was struck to include that money in another bill, and Stabenow lifted her hold as well, Politico reported.

Mitch Perry Report for 4.12.16 – Will anyone question the NY Yankees/Steinbrenner field $40 million upgrade?

The New York  Yankees are worth at least $3.4 billion, according to Forbes. Depending on what survey you look at, they are either the 2nd or 3rd most valuable sports property in the world (behind only Real Madrid and maybe the Dallas Cowboys).

Despite that vast wealth, the ball club and the Tampa Sports Authority are comfortable with the fact that local and state taxes will pay for two-thirds of the $40 million upgrade for George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, the home of the New York Yankees spring training and the class A Yankees farm team.

The deal would extend their lease at the ballpark, built in 1996, for another 21 years.

Four local government agencies have to approve it after the Tampa Sports Authority’s board of directors undoubtedly give it the A-OK next week.

The Tampa City Council, Hillsborough County Commission, Hillsborough Aviation Authority and the HCC board of directors will also have a vote.

What’s the over/under on how many lawmakers question the provisions of the deal?

No doubt, the Yankees bring people from New York and other stations into the city and county in March, when spring training takes over in 15 different locales throughout the Sunshine State.

The Class A Yankees team? That’s debatable about how much economic activity they bring to the community (and the same can be said about the other Class A minor league teams in Florida).

When the TSA came to the County Commission with a deal for the taxpayers to supply $29 million in upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in December, Commissioner Stacy White voted no.

That was a very different deal, however. Officials said the county was obligated by the 1996 stadium lease agreement to pay half the costs of necessary upgrades to the stadium.

That’s not the case with Steinbrenner Field.

Will Americans for Prosperity Florida reach out to their members to tell lawmakers to resist the deal? They contacted a lot of folks before that Raymond James vote, and could only manage a paltry few people to come out in dissent.

Don’t expect much of a public debate.

In other news…

Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission executive director Kyle Cockream acknowledges he met with Palm Beach County Commissioners for two days last week at the request of a taxicab official, but says he was just there as a “resource.”

St. Petersburg House Democrat Dwight Dudley says he never though too hard about running for state senate, and is now digging into winning reelection to his HD 68 seat in Pinellas County.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman says she will also eschew a run for state senate to  focus on winning re-eleciton to her seat with the Board of County Commissioners.

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is proudly getting behind one of his former colleagues, Pinellas County Democratic candidate Eric Lynn, in his race for congress.

One of the local legislative house districts that Democrats in Tallahassee think they can flip is the HD 63 seat currently held by Republican Shawn Harrison. Maybe they can, but Harrison continues to lead impressively in total of his fundraising totals.

Consumers for Smart Solar spent nearly $268K last month as the campaign for that controversial solar power ballot initiative continues.

And the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce has more information on that poll on the Go Hillsborough transportation proposal. The upshot? Support wavers depending on the information voters are given.

And Bill Nelson calls on the House to support the $1.9 billion funding request from the president for Zika research.

Bill Nelson calls on House to pass bill for Zika funding

Public health officials said Monday they’ve learned a lot more about Zika since the White House asked Congress for $1.9 billion to combat the mosquito-borne virus and are increasingly concerned about its potential impact on the United States.

“Most of what we’ve learned is not reassuring,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Everything we look at with this virus seems to be a bit scarier than we initially thought.”

With the House of Representatives poised to support a bill that would provide that $1.9 billion in funding to combat the Zika virus, Florida Senator Bill Nelson went to the floor of the Senate on Monday to advocate they do exactly that.

“So when you look at where this virus is, unfortunately, there’s more of the people with the virus that we know of in my state of Florida than any other. Nationwide there are multiples of hundreds. In the state of Florida, just under a hundred that we’ve identified,” Nelson said.

“Thankfully, of those people infected in Florida, none of them have contracted it in Florida. It’s always been because they’ve been someplace else. And since we have a vast amount of travel back and forth between Florida and Puerto Rico, that is one source. Because this mosquito, when it bites you, transmits the virus. That mosquito is quite prevalent in Puerto Rico. And so the island is having its own trauma with the Zika virus being manifested there. But it’s also a source, as is other countries throughout Central America, the Caribbean, and Latin America. So what do we need to do?”

“Well, one little bit of good news that I can give you is that the bill that we passed in the Senate before the Easter recess is now in the House, and it will be taken up by the House tomorrow. They should pass it and send it on to the president’s desk for signature.”

Watch Nelson speak:

In op-ed, Rick Scott says he wants a “peaceful revolution”

Bernie Sanders isn’t the only political figure talking about a revolution in 2016.

In an opinion piece penned for the conservative website Newsmax that posted Friday night, Rick Scott writes that it’s time for a “peaceful revolution” in our politics.

“With a majority of Americans unhappy about our current course, America’s next president will have to begin a revolution of multigenerational change,” the Florida Governor writes. “Our next president must be willing to take on the many promises big government has made to us over the years that we know they can’t afford to keep. Who actually believes Social Security will be there for them when they retire? Who has been helped by losing the doctors and insurance plans they liked because they were forced to take government-run insurance? Who is confident that ISIS is losing its battle against freedom?”

Scott begins his column by excoriating President Barack Obama for some of the optics of his trip to Latin America last month.

“Just weeks ago, we were ashamed to see our president doing the ‘Wave’ at a baseball game with Cuba’s communist dictator who has murdered and imprisoned innocent men and women,” he writes. “We were shocked to see our president doing the Tango in Argentina rather than grieving with us over the Belgium terror attacks. We were speechless to hear our president tell an audience of Argentinean youth that there is not a great difference between communism and capitalism.”

Obama was pounded with similar criticism for those appearances that took place right immediately after the terrorist attack hit Brussels. All three Republican presidential candidates said the president should have returned to the U.S. immediately.

Scott endorsed Donald Trump for president last month, the day after Florida Republicans gave him the state’s 99 delegates in the winner-take-all primary election. Scott writes, though, that the “monumental change needed in our country today is bigger than one political party or one election.”

The column is also an unapologetic argument for American exceptionalism, a theme that many Republicans have returned to in this campaign some seven years after the country elected Obama president.

Before his surprising victory in the 2010 Florida gubernatorial election, Scott worked in the heath care industry, and was a fierce critic of President Bill Clinton administration’s attempts to reform health care in the ’90s, and Obama’s efforts in 2009. But this column is one of his most full-throated advocacy pieces about where he wants then country to go since being in office.

Scott has a little more than 1 1/2 years in office before being term-limited out in 2018. Rumors continue to percolate that he is seriously considering a run against Bill Nelson for U.S. Senate.

Read the column in full:

It’s no wonder that nearly two-thirds of Americans believe our country is headed in the wrong direction.

Just weeks ago, we were ashamed to see our president doing the “Wave” at a baseball game with Cuba’s communist dictator who has murdered and imprisoned innocent men and women.

We were shocked to see our president doing the Tango in Argentina rather than grieving with us over the Belgium terror attacks. We were speechless to hear our president tell an audience of Argentinean youth that there is not a great difference between communism and capitalism.

We need to start a peaceful revolution in our country by electing a president who knows why our country was created, who believes that American freedom and beliefs are exceptional, and who understands WHY capitalism has done more to eliminate poverty than any government program. I have already announced my support for Donald Trump in this presidential election, but the monumental change needed in our country today is bigger than one political party or one election.

With a majority of Americans unhappy about our current course, America’s next president will have to begin a revolution of multigenerational change. Our next president must be willing to take on the many promises big government has made to us over the years that we know they cant afford to keep. Who actually believes Social Security will be there for them when they retire? Who has been helped by losing the doctors and insurance plans they liked because they were forced to take government-run insurance? Who is confident that ISIS is losing its battle against freedom?

The revolution our country needs will require unity — not squabbling about how to engineer secret backroom deals with delegates during a national convention. If we genuinely value the freedoms our country was founded on — freedom from government control and government regulation — freedom to work hard and succeed, then its time to join together and drastically change the path our country is on.

Abraham Lincoln said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” We have a major election in just eight months and that means we have a chance to begin a multigenerational revolution in our country to SAVE our country. We can choose to end government-takeovers orchestrated by leaders who believe there is little difference between communism and capitalism. We can choose a leader devoted to right-sizing government, defeating ISIS, and turning our economy around so businesses can grow more jobs in America.

I believe that if we join together in a peaceful revolution, American exceptionalism can triumph again. Let’s make the hard choices to have government live within its means. Let’s be honest with the American people about what programs government can afford and what it cannot. Let’s protect freedom — through economic strength at home and a strong national defense abroad. I have always believed our country is special, and with a major change in direction I know we cannot only regain the confidence of the American people, but give them something to be proud of again.