National Review: Connie Mack aims for George LeMieux, hits Marco Rubio

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National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru: “George LeMieux, who’s running for the Republican nomination to face Senator Bill Nelson (D., Fla.), recently got the endorsement of Herman Cain. LeMieux in turn praised Cain’s “9-9-9 plan” as “one kind of reform that would be a definite improvement over our current existing tax system.” Rep. Connie Mack IV (R., Fla.), a primary rival of LeMieux, says that LeMieux has thereby “endorsed raising Florida’s sales tax to a nation-leading 16 percent…. There are many reasons why George LeMieux is wrong for Florida, but today’s support for a 16 percent sales tax must stun even the Lockstep Liberals, Senator Bill Nelson and President Barack Obama.”
I don’t have time to list all the ways Mack’s attack is ridiculous, so let me just mention one. If we had a national sales tax of 9 percent, sales taxes would rise by 9 percent nationally. Florida wouldn’t suddenly have a “nation-leading” rate. Anyway, guess who else has spoken positively about a national sales tax? Marco Rubio, the state’s Republican senator. In fact, Rubio has spoken positively about a national sales tax higher than 9 percent. Rubio endorsed Mike Huckabee for president in 2007 in part because Huckabee supports the “Fair Tax,” a national sales tax set at 30 percent. (Some people say it would be 23 percent, since the tax would be 23 percent of the price including the tax.) Last year Rubio reiterated his support for the goals of the Fair Tax.”
“I’m not a fan of 9-9-9 or the Fair Tax. But I’d enjoy seeing Mack try to attack Rubio as a filthy liberal.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.