First Lady Michelle Obama will make a campaign stop at the University of Central Florida on Tuesday. She plans to speak to supporters of President Barack Obama at The Venue, at UCF Arena, the building behind the new arena.
Doors open at 3 p.m., and the "grassroots supporter event" begins at 5:30 p.m.
Does Romney Have a Florida Problem?
If the Romney campaign’s internal numbers are similar to the public polls, then the campaign's decision to invest more heavily in Florida is unsurprising.
After a wave of favorable polls following Romney’s triumph in the GOP primary, Obama appears to hold a modest lead in most surveys over the last 45 days. Representatively, two Quinnipiac polls conducted in June show Obama leading by 4 points, after the same firm showed Romney leading by an average of 3 or 4 percentage points in May.
Much of the change appears to be driven by a collapse in Romney’s favorability ratings among white working class voters—precisely the effect predicted by advocates of attacks on Romney’s time at Bain Capital.
Romney’s favorability rating among white voters without a college degree dropped by a net 15 points between the May and June Quinnipiac polls, and Romney’s standing in the horse race declined by a net 10 points.
Romney's Swiss Holdings a Campaign Target
"Americans need to ask themselves: Why does an American businessman need a Swiss bank account and secretive investments like that?" -- DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, quoted by Politico, turning up the heat on Mitt Romney's investment disclosure.
$6.5 Million 'Excuses' Florida Ad Campaign Targets National Debt
Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies announced a new $6.5 million television advocacy effort in Florida to urge the President to address the nation’s out-of-control debt and adopt policies that will rescue the flat-lined economy, according to a press release.
The new ad, called “Excuses,” will air on network television stations in Florida, as well as in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia next week, and can be viewed here.
The ad is the first wave of a national $25 million advocacy effort starting July 10 and running through early August.
More PAC Ad Buys in Florida
American Commitment, a conservative non-profit specializing in the growth of free markets, has placed an ad buy in Florida, according to sources familiar with the buy. American Commitment is a fairly new group being run by Phil Kerpen, who spent more than five years as a top strategist with the conservative group Americans for Prosperity.
Last week, the group placed a $1.2 million buy in Ohio, targeting Sen. Sherrod Brown. That ad hit Brown for his out of control spending and his association with many of Obama’s policies. It also targeted Brown for not voting to overturn EPA rules that require cuts in toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants.
Like Brown, Bill Nelson voted not to overturn the EPA coal rules, which the conservative group claims kills jobs and raises power costs. American Commitment is also likely to take Nelson to task for siding with President Obama on the Keystone pipeline.
In April, GOP Senate candidate Connie Mack’s campaign launched a statewide radio spot hitting Nelson on the pipeline project. Mack, who has pushed for the construction of the pipeline for over a year, also launched a petition drive calling for the pipeline to be built.
Also coming soon a TV near you:
- Restore Our Future, a top super PAC backing Mitt Romney’s presidential candidacy, plans to spend $7.2 million on advertisements during the upcoming London Olympics. The ads will run between July 31 and August 9 in Florida and nine other swing states.
- Crossroads GPS, a pro-Republican group set up by former Bush advisor Karl Rove, has placed a significant ad buy in Florida for next week. While the content of the ad is still unknown, look for the group to follow in the shoes of Americans for Prosperity, which zeroed in the Supreme Court’s healthcare ruling. On Friday, Americans for Prosperity launched a $9-million ad campaign in Florida and other swing stares calling the mandate “one of the largest tax increases in American history.”
- Moveon.org has launched a Spanish-language TV ad criticizing Gov. Rick Scott for his effort to remove non-citizens from the voting rolls. The progressive group has been putting pressure on Romney to condemn Scott’s actions.
Poll: Presidential Campaign 'Dull,' 'Negative'
A new Pew Research survey finds most Americans say the presidential campaign already has been too long and dull, and 53% say it has been too negative. At the same time, an overwhelming majority - 79% - views the presidential campaign as important."Republicans and Democrats differ about whether the campaign is dull or interesting: 60% of Republicans describe the campaign as dull, compared with 46% of Democrats. There has been a sharp rise in the percentage of Republicans saying the campaign is dull since late March, before Mitt Romney effectively wrapped up the GOP nomination."
Marco Rubio Rakes in the Cash
“Rubio showed himself to be a bona fide fundraiser during his first federal-level campaign in 2010, raking in over $21.7 million in campaign contributions from a variety of sources. By far, his top donor was the conservative Club for Growth, which gave nearly $354,000 to his campaign, according to Center for Responsive Politics research.
"That figure nearly triples the amount his second-largest donor, Elliot Management, contributed. Employees at Elliot provided over $121,000 in campaign donations. Rubio also received a six-figure sum from Sen. Jim DeMint’s influential leadership PAC, Senate Conservatives Fund, which helped boost a number of conservative candidates during the 2010 midterms.
“Meanwhile, retirees accounted for $1.8 million of Rubio’s total 2010 fundraising haul, while Republican/conservative ideological groups, and their employees, contributed nearly $980,000. The all-important securities and investment and real estate industries chipped in another $703,000 and $528,000 respectively.”
Jon Hutsman Will Skip GOP Convention in Tampa
Jon Huntsman says he won't attend the Republican national convention "or future gatherings until the party starts to tackle the bigger issues," the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Said Huntsman: "I will not be attending this year's convention, nor any Republican convention in the future, until the party focuses on a bigger, bolder, more confident future for the United States -- a future based on problem solving, inclusiveness, and a willingness to address the trust deficit, which is every bit as corrosive as our fiscal and economic deficits."
He added: "I encourage a return to the party we have been in the past, from Lincoln right on through to Reagan, that was always willing to put our country before politics."
Sarasota to Honor Donald Trump
It looks like it's another big-get for the Sarasota GOP and its chairman, Joe Gruters.
On the eve of the Republican National Convention this August, real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump will accept an accolade of his own as he receives the 2012 "Statesman of the Year" award from the Sarasota Republican Party.
An invitation to the event, which serves as a fundraiser for the Sarasota GOP, shows ticket prices ranging from $150 for general admission to $1,000 for a private meeting with the outspoken Trump at the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota.
Trump spokesman Michael Cohen says Trump is "honored to be the recipient of this prestigious award," which was bestowed in 2011 on former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. Then-presidential candidate Herman Cain delivered the keynote address at that ceremony.
Will Feds Control Florida Health Care?
Gov. Rick Scott’s insistence that he will not implement the state health insurance exchanges mandated under the federal health care law doesn’t mean Florida won’t have one, reports the Palm Beach Post. Instead, it most likely means the federal government will have control over Florida’s exchanges, including how they will operate, what benefits insurers will have to offer and who gets to sell the policies.
RICK SCOTT VISITING GREAT BRITAIN
Gov. Rick Scott heads this week to England, where he will attend the Farnborough International air show, one of the major aerospace and aviation industry gatherings, hoping to lure business to Florida. It's Scott's sixth overseas trade mission.
Just What Constitutes a Political Committee?
A libertarian legal group said that it would appeal a ruling that let stand many of the state's regulations on groups of individuals who campaign for or against ballot initiatives, reports Brandon Larrabee of the News Service of Florida.
The Institute for Justice said the ruling, against three friends from Sarasota who ran radio ads against a proposed land-management constitutional amendment in 2010, would apply more difficult regulations on normal citizens than on major corporations under the U.S. Supreme Court's controversial ruling in the Citizens United case.
Under state law, any group of two or more people who raise or spend more than $500 on an election count as a "political committee." ... Hinkle did strike down a portion of the law that bars political committees from spending money raised in the last five days before an election.
Rep. Trudi Williams Is a Real Life-Saver
State Rep. Trudi Williams was out to eat Thursday at a Bonefish Grill when a friend started choking on a piece of steak.
Williams, who is leaving the Legislature this year, quickly performed the Heimlich maneuver and, as the friend told the News-Press, might have saved a life. Williams has some history with saving lives: The News-Press reported that Williams was the first female emergency-medical technician in Lee County in the 1970s.