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Mitch Perry Report for 12.5.16 – David Petraeus, another disaffected voter?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Among the nuggets of information procured by watching the Sunday morning public affairs shows was that David Petraeus was one of the 93 million Americans who didn’t vote for president last month.

“I don’t vote,” the retired four-star Army general told George Stephanopolous in ABC’s This Week when asked who he backed for president. “So that’s an easy answer. And I also did not support him nor did I oppose him, nor did I support or oppose any other candidate.”

There were reports that the ABC interview was in a sense a job interview for Secretary of State, as he is one of a growing list of people on President-elect Donald Trump’s short-list for that key position.

What Trump wanted to see was how Petraeus handled that whole unfortunate experience that led to having pled pleaded guilty last year to mishandling classified information he gave to Paula Broadwell, his mistress and biographer.

“Five years ago, I made a serious mistake,” Petraeus said on ABC as he made the case for himself. “I acknowledged it. I apologized for it. I paid a very heavy price for it and I’ve learned from it. And, again, they’ll have to factor that in and also obviously 38-and-a-half years of otherwise fairly, in some cases, unique service to our country in uniform and then at the CIA and then some four years or so in the business community during which I’ve continued to travel the world.”

Whether it was convincing enough for Trump is unknown. At least there wasn’t any uncomfortable moments, as was definitely the case seeing Vice President-elect Mike Pence once again be put on the spot to try to interpret some of his bosses’s tweets. Yesterday it was painful to watch him try to defend Trump’s false claim from last week that millions of people voted illegally in the general election. Although Pence gave a genial smile to preface his remarks, his answers were nonsensical, as was Reince Preibus’ when John Dickerson asked him the same question on CBS Face The Nation an hour later.

Here’s the exchange between Pence and Stephanopoulos:

PENCE: Well, it’s his right to express his opinion as president-elect of the United States.

I think one of the things that’s refreshing about our president-elect and one of the reasons why I think he made such an incredible connection with people all across this country is because he tells you what’s on his mind.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But why is it refreshing to make false statements?

PENCE: Look, I don’t know that that is a false statement, George, and neither do you. The simple fact is that…

STEPHANOPOULOS: I know there’s no evidence for it.

PENCE: There is evidence, historic evidence from the Pew Research Center of voter fraud that’s taken place. We’re in the process of investigating irregularities in the state of Indiana that were leading up to this election. The fact that voter fraud exists is…

STEPHANPOULOS: But can you provide any evidence — can you provide any evidence to back up that statement?

PENCE; Well, look, I think he’s expressed his opinion on that. And he’s entitled to express his opinion on that. And I think the American people — I think the American people find it very refreshing that they have a president who will tell them what’s on his mind. And I think the connection that he made in the course…

STEPHANOPOULOS: Whether it’s true or not?

In other news…

Early voting has concluded in the Tampa City Council District 7 race between Jim Davison and Luis Viera, with election day in the run-off slated for tomorrow. A poll released on Sunday shows the two in a dead-tie.

The Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee convenes tonight at their re-organizlational meeting, and a by-laws change has some a bit unhappy.

What happens with the growing Tampa-Cuba relationship in the age of Donald Trump? Two advocates discussed last Friday.

And Jeff Clemens is preparing more voter registration legislation for the upcoming session in Tallahassee.

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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