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Better Florida Alliance rates U.S. Senate candidates on national security

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The Better Florida Alliance, a conservative group dedicated to economic freedom, tough national security and strict Constitutional government has issued report cards rating Florida’s major U.S. Senate candidates on “National Security” issues.

The group gave all A grades to the Republicans, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and his challenger Carlos Beruff, and low and failing grades, Cs, Ds and Fs, to the Democrats, U.S. Reps. Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson.

“The United States faces growing threats around the world, made worse by enhanced military and technological advances of nations and rogue terrorist groups that do not share our views on freedom and personal liberty,” Brian Burgess, spokesman for Better Florida Alliance, stated in a news release from the group. “That’s why we believe national security must be an extremely high priority for the person we elect to send to the United States Senate.”

Rubio, of Miami, got A+s in everything, as the group hailed his “comprehensive plan to defeat ISIS” in the “Defeat ISIS category; his “call for a strong national defense,” in the “Strong Military” category; and his staunch opposition to the Iran deal in the “Protecting Israel” category.

Rubio’s overall National Security grade was A+.

Beruff, the Bradenton homebuilder, got an A+ for Protecting Israel, as the group noted his “solid understanding of the treacherous loopholes in the Iran deal,” and A grades in positions for a Strong Military and Defeating ISIS.

Beruff’s overall National Security grade was A.

Murphy, of Jupiter, got a C+ for Strong Military, a grade that might have been better had it not been for his “discussion on climate change being as much of a threat as ISIS,” according to the group. He got a D for Protecting Israel and an F for Defeating ISIS.

Murphy’s overall National Security grade was D+.

Grayson, of Orlando, got a D for Protecting Israel, a grade that might have been better, but the group noted that “Grayson, who is Jewish, makes no mention of Israel sovereignty on his website.” He got a D+ for Strong Military, with his support for veterans being cited as a strength; and an F for Defeating ISIS.

Grayson’s overall National Security grade was a D-.

Earlier this year the Better Florida Alliance issued report cards on “Taxpayer Accountability,” but only two of the current candidates were rated, Murphy and Grayson, because Beruff had no record yet, and Rubio had not yet entered the race. Murphy got a D- and Grayson an F.

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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