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Gov Crist is a talented guy. He's about the nicest person I ever met in politics. But there's one thing he's done that I just find unforgivable. That I'm aware of he is the only statewide political leader that embraced the stimulus package when Republicans were fighting to suggest an alternative. ... He did it the day before the vote, it was a mistake, and then he denies that he would have supported the bill. I know I'm supposed to be politically correct and I said I was neutral and all that (but) I got a problem with that.
WASHINGTON — Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio has risen from obscurity to become a darling of conservative Republicans nationally, exciting a crowd Thursday during his most important speech yet in his effort to defeat Gov. Charlie Crist.Learn more about CPAC here.
Rubio received several standing ovations from more than 3,000 people gathered for the American Conservative Union Foundation's Conservative Political Action Conference as he criticized the country's Democratic leadership and called for more policies that benefit free enterprise.
His warm reception is the culmination of his rise since last summer — when he had little money and drove himself to small Republican gatherings around Florida amid pressure from the party establishment to give up on his Senate hopes. By contrast, Crist was raising nearly $13 for every $1 Rubio raised, had an enormous lead in the polls and was quickly endorsed by top Washington Republicans.
It's a different story now. On Thursday, Rubio was the keynote speaker at the what's considered the most important gathering of conservative activists in the country. People booed when Crist's name was mentioned. Crist was not at the conference.
The 2010 elections will be a referendum on "the very identity of our nation," and the politics of old won't work, Rubio said.
"A long list of early establishment endorsements will not spare you a primary, clever one-line slogans are not going to spare you the need to discuss policy issues in detail, and old, tired political attacks that worked once in the past aren't going to get you elected," Rubio said.
The month before they entered the race, a Quinnipiac poll showed 54 percent of Republican voters supported Crist compared with 8 percent for Rubio. Last month, a Quinnipiac poll showed 47 percent supported Rubio, while 44 percent supported Crist.
Rubio eliminated the lead with a message based on sticking to core Republican principles. He has also criticized Crist's support of the $787 billion federal stimulus package before Congress passed it. The image of Crist hugging Obama at a rally to promote the plan nearly every Washington Republican fought has been used repeatedly in the campaign.
While he didn't mention Crist by name, he distinguished himself from the governor who is known for working with Democrats.
"What people want are leaders who come here to Washington, D.C., and stand up to the big government agenda and not be coopted by it," Rubio said. "If the goal is not to fix America, but to change America, then they want leaders who are going to come up here and fight it every step of the way."
"I don't really like to think of it as a murder. It was terminating Tiller in the 203rd trimester. ... I am personally opposed to shooting abortionists, but I don't want to impose my moral values on others." --on the murder of Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller, FOX News interview, June 22, 2009
"We just want Jews to be perfected, as they say." --arguing that it would be better if we were all Christian
"If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democrat president. It's kind of a pipe dream, it's a personal fantasy of mine, but I don't think it's going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women. It also makes the point, it is kind of embarrassing, the Democratic Party ought to be hanging its head in shame, that it has so much difficulty getting men to vote for it. I mean, you do see it's the party of women and 'We'll pay for health care and tuition and day care -- and here, what else can we give you, soccer moms?'"
"If I'm going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I'll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot."
"I'm more of a man than any liberal."
"These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by griefparrazies. I have never seen people enjoying their husband's deaths so much." -on 9/11 widows who have been critical of the Bush administration
"We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee. That's just a joke, for you in the media."
"Liberals love America like O.J. loved Nicole."
"There are a lot of bad republicans; there are no good democrats."
"We need to execute people like (John Walker Lindh) in order to physically intimidate liberals."
"Whether they are defending the Soviet Union or bleating for Saddam Hussein, liberals are always against America. They are either traitors or idiots."
"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity."
"Liberals are stalwart defenders of civil liberties -- provided we're only talking about criminals."
"The New York Times editorial page is like a Ouija board that has only three answers, no matter what the question. The answers are: higher taxes, more restrictions on political speech and stricter gun control."
"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."
"Usually the nonsense liberals spout is kind of cute, but in wartime their instinctive idiocy is life-threatening."
"God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees. God said, 'Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours.'"
"Liberals hate America, they hate flag-wavers, they hate abortion opponents, they hate all religions except Islam, post 9/11. Even Islamic terrorists don't hate America like liberals do. They don't have the energy. If they had that much energy, they'd have indoor plumbing by now."
"I think the government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised spectator sport, dropping daisy cutters wantonly throughout the Middle East and sending liberals to Guantanamo."
"We've finally given liberals a war against fundamentalism, and they don't want to fight it. They would, except it would put them on the same side as the United States."
"If John Kerry had a dollar for every time he bragged about serving in Vietnam -- oh wait, he does."
"Press passes can't be that hard to come by if the White House allows that old Arab Helen Thomas to sit within yards of the President."
"The swing voters -- I like to refer to them as the idiot voters because they don't have set philosophical principles. You're either a liberal or you're a conservative if you have an IQ above a toaster."
Targeted for everything from road projects to teachers' salaries, green-energy programs to cancer research, the money was sent with orders to spend it as quickly as possible to put people to work and help lift the economy out of the recession.Accompanying the story is a link to a database where you can search where exactly in the Sunshine State the money. There are enough disclaimers to make you wonder how complete the database is, but a quick search found that much of the money targeted, for example, forManatee County government had not been spent as of Dec. 31.
But by the end of 2009, only 15 cents of every dollar sent to Florida had been spent, one of the lowest rates in the country, according to an Orlando Sentinel analysis of federal-stimulus-grant progress reports.
What's more, the money created or saved just 34,966 jobs. The bulk of them -- 30,647 full-time jobs -- were credited to the $5.5 billion of stimulus dollars administered by state government. But all but about 5,000 of them were teachers, counselors and other public-school employees targeted for layoffs.
Meanwhile, Florida's work force lost nearly 1.1 million jobs in 2009 -- and the unemployment rate increased from 9.4 percent to 11.8 percent.
Callahan, whose duties as city clerk and treasurer remain the same, will now be responsible for overseeing all other city departments as chief of staff.Councilwoman Marianne Barnebey said she wanted to make it clear to the public that these extra duties do not come with an increase in pay or extra staff for Callahan, as some of her constituents had questioned.