Republicans face tough competition in Florida

June 3, 2015

Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, addresses an economic summit hosted by Florida Gov. Rick Scott in Orlando, Florida, June 2, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Nesius

Differences emerged among Republican rivals for the 2016 presidential nomination at a forum where it was clear that Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio will face some competition in Florida despite their home-state edge.

The fact that seven Republican candidates or potential candidates spoke at Florida Governor Rick Scott’s “Economic Growth Summit” was proof of the wide-open nature of the search by Florida Republicans for a candidate in the November 2016 election.

With polls showing no clear front-runner in the race, the Republicans are starting to stake out positions in order to separate themselves from the tightly bunched pack.

Rubio, 44, opened the forum by declaring “the time has come for a new generation of leaders,” a sign that he sees himself rather than the 62-year-old Bush and others in the crowded Republican field as the key to the party’s future.

Bush touted his job-creating record as Florida governor from 1999-2007 as better than most, including former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who promoted his own jobs record.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who has struck a populist tone in his campaign, said it would be “political suicide” to reform Social Security in a way that would take away benefits from Americans.

This was a response to both Bush and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who have both said Social Security must be reformed because of soaring entitlement costs.

Florida’s Republican primary next March 15 will be a significant milestone, coming after the first contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada and after 12 states stage events on March 1.

Read the full story

One comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

Isn’t Rubio also jibing that we don’t need another Bush?

If another Clinton is too much so is a repeat of any other family….

Posted by Dehumanist | Report as abusive