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Mitch Perry Report for 2.19.16 – Crunch time for Marco and Jeb in the Palmetto State

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The Jeb Bush campaign furiously pushed back on a report by blogger Eric Erickson yesterday that staffers will stop being paid after tomorrow.

Citing “sources close to the Bush campaign,” Erickson wrote that there was a phone call on Wednesday night in which the news leaked out that the Bush campaign was out of cash. That’s according to The Hill.

The Bush team says it’s B.S.. The bigger issue is that the Bush campaign is in such dire straights that it’s certainly plausible.

South Carolina was supposed to be “Bush country,” but bringing out W on the campaign trail, changing to contact lenses and flaunting his gun on social media don’t seem to be pulling voters to his case in South Carolina.

Listening to some of the Bush folks, and they’re not even talking about where he’ll end up tomorrow night – “better than Marco” seems to be the only thing driving them.

And what about Marco? He’s been feeling the love this week, getting laudatory reviews in the press, and the prize endorsement of Governor Nikki Haley earlier this week. Coupled with the endorsements of Congressman Trey Gowdy and Senator Tim Scott, and Rubio has “Marcomentum,” right?

We’ll see.

If you’ll recall, Rubio had a “3-2-1″strategy (never articulated  by the campaign, mind you) that called for him finishing third in Iowa, second in New Hampshire, and yes, first in the Palmetto State.

Well, Iowa went very well for the Florida Senator. New Hampshire was a disaster, so where does he finish tomorrow?

Some polls have him in second, others in fourth. If he truly is going to be the establishment alternative to Trump and Cruz, he’s got to have a solid finish.

Now we’re hearing that he just finishes above Bush, it will be a good night. Really? Talking about diminished expectations.

In other news..

The Tampa City Council began its first steps towards ultimately decriminalizing the possession of pot in the city.

Marco Rubio says the battle between Apple and the FBI over iPhone encryption is “complicated.”

Rubio and Carlos Lopez-Cantera are not happy about President Obama’s just announced trip to Cuba.

Patrick Murphy has snagged two more labor endorsements in his campaign for U.S. Senate.

Pat Kemp gets some major bold faced names in Tampa Democratic politics to back her run for Hillsborough County Commission.

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

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