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Mitch Perry Report for 10.22.15 — Freedom Caucus hearts Paul Ryan?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Today could be an interesting day locally and nationally, or it could just be another day of unfulfilled hype: The St. Pete City Council gets together once again to decide on proposals that would allow the Tampa Bay Rays to talk to officials in Hillsborough County, a subject we’ve visited more than a few times over the past five years or so.

And in Washington, Hillary Clinton goes before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. It’s supposed to last for at least eight hours.

Meanwhile, John Boehner may just be able to become a civilian by Halloween, as was his goal when he announced last month that he’d had enough Sturm and Drang as Speaker of the House and was calling it a political career.

Paul Ryan met with the House Freedom Caucus last night. Those are the Tea Party folks in the House who continue to back Daniel Webster, and are considered to be the biggest “disrupters” in the GOP conference, the folks who David Jolly would say aren’t into governing.

After three different votes last night, Politico reports that Ryan did not reach the 80 percent of members needed from the Freedom Caucus to deliver the endorsement that he said he needed to run. An official statement said “a supermajority of the House Freedom Caucus has voted to support” Ryan.

While the former GOP vice-presidential nominee seems to be the consensus pick of the entire Republican conference, it’s fascinating to hear the criticism that’s been floating his way over the past week or so. Conservatives are focusing on Ryan’s stances on immigration and trade, which they say aren’t in the mainstream of conservative Republicans today.

He’s also being bashed for receiving praise from Democrats, heaven forbid. Yesterday New York U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley said he’s worked with Ryan and could do so if he was House Speaker, but “Whether or not he will actually work with the Democrats to move an agenda … has more to do with whatever deal he makes or will make with the House Freedom Caucus.”

“The Freedom Caucus will totally marginalize themselves, isolate themselves and show they’re out of touch with reality and it will be disastrous for the Republican Party and the country,” New York U.S. Rep. Peter King told reporters yesterday. “If it’s not Paul Ryan, I think it’s a disaster.”

It does look like it’s going to be Ryan. Expect more think pieces about how he’s a different type of Speaker and politician, because he’s got young kids whom he admits he wants to be around on weekends.

In other news…

Mike Murphy, Jeb Bush’s man over at his super PAC Right to Rise, talks incredibly confidently about his man’s prospects for the GOP nomination in an interview published by Bloomberg Politics. Murphy also takes more than a few shots at Marco Rubio in the process.

President Obama says he’ll remain neutral, thanks very much, in the Democratic primary in Pinellas County’s congressional race between Charlie Crist and Eric Lynn.  

Meanwhile, Alex Sink comes out in support of Crist.

The Hillsborough County Commission becomes the latest local government/business entity to endorse a Cuban consulate in Tampa.

Apparently, it’s personal for David Jolly regarding Charlie Crist’s candidacy. The current CD 13 congressman blasted Crist once again on Wednesday, this time referring to an incident that he says took place between Crist and the late Bill Young some 18 years ago.

More Republicans think Donald Trump will be their presidential nominee next year.

Joe Biden dropped out of the Democratic presidential race yesterday, even before he actually entered it. A poll released yesterday by the University of North Florida indicates that was a good call by the vice president.

Is long-time Central Florida Republican U.S. Rep. John Mica vulnerable due to redistricting next year? The DCCC believes so, and lays out the reasons why in a memo.

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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