Thank you for your note. Most importantly, thank you for all you are doing for our party locally…the excitement about our message is tremendous and I thank you sincerely for your efforts. As I said last week, the Republicans you have sent to Tallahassee have given you a lot to brag about as it relates to reducing the size of government, balancing the state’s budget without raising taxes, eliminating wasteful government regulation, devolving growth management to the local level and the list goes on…you understand that elections have consequences and I thank you for your commitment to returning GOP majorities to Tallahassee.
As for the primary date selection, there is a lot of unfortunate bickering about something that has the potential to place Florida in it’s rightful role as the most important primary state in the union. I do not take that decision lightly. And while I appreciate the work that the RNC, the RPOF and all of our volunteers are doing to bring the convention to Florida, the convention will be in August. As you know modern conventions are about delivering our message to the nation. Again, we are going to have a lot to be proud of and we are going to win I believe at getting our message out that the principles of conservative government, fewer regulations, less taxes, more personal freedom and an outright rejection of the Obama regime are the right way to get our country back on track!
But the decision we are making today is not about the convention in August. Our party’s nominee will be long decided before the August convention. The decision we are making today is about making Florida the leader in deciding who that nominee will be. Florida is the largest swing state. We should be at the beginning of the decision, not behind smaller states. In fact, the National Journal said here (click here for a link to the article)–just last night– that based on our decision, Florida will be the national king maker. Here is just one quote “Move over, Iowa. Make room, New Hampshire. Florida could be the new presidential kingmaker.”
Florida has more electoral votes than any other swing state. Should Iowa, New Hampshire and Missouri trump Florida? I don’t think so. I feel my responsibility is to the citizens of Florida to give them the very best shot at having a REAL impact on deciding who the next President of the United States is. It is frankly embarrassing to think that by the time Florida, the largest electoral swing state, gets around to having our primary, candidates will have dropped out and the decision made for us by smaller, less diverse and less populous states.
For further proof that we’re headed in the right direction, just last night CNN and NBC announced (click here for the article) that because of our decision today plans are nearly finalized for TWO MORE presidential debates in Florida. Can you imagine the attention that two more nationally televised debates brings to our state, not to mention the economic boost gained for our state by that attention? I think we are clearly getting this right for the citizens of Florida.
I’d also like to respond to the issue of “violating rules.” The law is clear that the legislature is to choose a date for the primary by October 1st. We are obviously going to comply with the law and make that selection today. But should all of the voters in Florida, and my constituents, have their voices muted simply because one party has a policy that is intended to punish my constituents by protecting an antiquated system that amplifies smaller, less diverse and less electorally rich states? I say no. This argument that Republicans aren’t complying with rules is unfair. The legislature will follow the law but my constituents shouldn’t be punished by my party’s convention-floor admission policy.
I acknowledge that fewer people will be able to be on the floor of the convention hall if we move the primary and I am sorry for that. But keep in mind, in the days of 24 hour cable news where momentum means the world in a Presidential race, Florida cannot afford to go behind 9 other states. Momentum is gained by electoral count, not by delegate count. Delegate count at the convention matters when there is a brokered convention. The last time our party had one of those was 1948. Again, the decision will be made long before August, so electoral count is what generates momentum and Florida can and should be the bell weather state. As for the hotel room issue, I’m sorry about that too, but I can not control that. There is plenty that we can do in August to ensure that our volunteers, delegates, and party members are fairly treated, enjoy their time at the convention and, most importantly can fully participate in what will be a glorious opportunity for our party to amplify our conservative vision and contrast OUR ideas on a national stage with the lunacy of the Obama regime. That’s what the convention is all about, and, I promise, Floridians will do it better than ever before! I’ll be there with you to make sure we put our team’s best foot forward, and to make sure we have a good time doing it. We will celebrate our party, we’ll celebrate our ideas, and we’ll celebrate together that President Obama’s dismissal will, by then, be well within our sights!
Jimmy, thank you again for your note to me, but most importantly thank you for what you are doing for our county, our state, and God help us, our nation as a whole!