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Nikki Fried brings tailored message to Florida TaxWatch, shares stage with GOP firebrands

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She was the only Democrat at an event devoted to fiscally conservative oversight.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried — a Democratic contender for Florida Governor — faced a decidedly skeptical (and mostly Republican) crowd on Wednesday night.

Supporters of Florida TaxWatch gathered in Tallahassee for the annual State of the Taxpayer Dinner, a raucous rally where cheers erupted each time a speaker praised incumbent Ron DeSantis as the “greatest Governor in America.”

Fried, who is challenging DeSantis’ re-election, appeared as the only elected Democrat on the program. She did her best to tout her achievements over a single term on the Florida Cabinet through terms of business success. She helped usher the birth of the Florida hemp industry, marketed local crops through Fresh From Florida, and elevated the citrus industry, an agricultural institution that gives Florida myriad flavorful identities: from the orange on state license plates to naming stadiums after citrus legends.

And whatever policy beef she mounts on the campaign trail, she promised to TaxWatch backers to welcome the input of the budget watchdogs.

“Making sure government is efficient and fiscally responsible is a sacred responsibility of every elected official,” Fried said.

Of course, during the meeting, her message served as an outlier in many ways. For the most part, elected officials taking the stage promised freedom above all; low taxes came a close second.

Palm Bay Republican Rep. Randy Fine delivered a familiar critique of “government-run schools,” praising DeSantis for gutting Common Core and slamming the federal government for sending pandemic-era education money to “to reopen schools that were already open.”

While Florida TaxWatch leaders promised oversight on the $8.8 billion infusion of federal money to the state budget this year, Fine suggested even the watchdogs underestimated how much had arrived. Going back to the pandemic’s start, including funding coming from the Republican Donald Trump administration and the Democratic Joe Biden administration, well over $15 billion had come for schools alone.

While Fried said the state needed to be grateful to Biden for continued leadership on funding, most lawmakers seemed to grimace at the money’s arrival. Fine said the government would send it back, except that would only mean the revenue went to blue states like New York and California.

Sen. Jason Brodeur, a Lake Mary Republican, said he has fought for years against the mindset of spending dollars primarily on areas with poor leadership.

“Who gets the most funding? The communities in the most need,” he said. “Why are they in need? They have been the most irresponsible with their funding.”

But he also expressed optimism about the role of government in modernizing Florida if it can show leadership and look past the “parade of horribles” who predict only adverse outcomes.

Most lawmakers threw shout-outs to DeSantis, praising individual decisions and saying he had created a reputation in Florida as a state that places freedom first.

Rep. Stan McClain, an Ocala Republican, recounted a visit to Texas, where residents told him, “You have the greatest Governor; can you share him with us as President?” McLain recalled. “I said ‘Not yet.’”

But lawmakers also said there were challenges the state had to address.

Sen. Jeffrey Brandes, a Pinellas Republican, praised re-openings in Florida and a libertarian response to the pandemic, even as he devoted much of his time to criticizing the state prisons. His focus on government shortcomings was all presented through a conservative fiscal lens. He discussed how prison crowding left a backup of inmates in county jails, enough to fill two state prisons if there was room. He also lamented the litigious environment in Florida, which endured 8% of natural disasters in the U.S. but produced 80% of the insurance claim litigation.

“We have things we need to talk about and challenges we have to face,” he said.


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ABC’s Hostin: Republicans Are Treating Biden Like a Black President

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ABC legal analyst Sunny Hostin said Thursday on ABC’s “The View” that Republicans treated President Joe Biden like a black president.

Hostin said, “There are things that he has not gotten credit for, like he’s inherited this pandemic from the Trump administration. It was badly handled. He was able to pass a 1.9 trillion dollar relief package which a majority of Republicans voted against. That’s something that he gets credit for. I think he also gets credit for his incredibly diverse judicial nominations. I think there has been about 41 federal judges. Those are lifetime appointments.”

She continued, “I think where he hasn’t done well is basically delivering federal policy in favor of the people who put him in the White House, and that is communities of color. We didn’t see any movement on voting rights. We didn’t see any movement in police reform.”

Hostin added, “The infrastructure was a leaning-into white independence, and I think it was a leaning into white moderates, but the bottom line is, those aren’t the folks who really took him over the finish line. That is not the Democratic base. No Democratic president has made it into the White House without the support of the black community. The black community now, voters 50 and over that are registered, there’s been a 36-point drop in the net approval. What I took away was he said something like I had no idea that my Republican friends would do this. Well, he’s governing like it’s the 1990s. It’s 2022. He sat for eight years next to a black president yet didn’t think he would be treated like one, and that is what he is being treated like.”

Follow Pam Key On Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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Behar: ‘Dense’ Biden Thought Other White Privileged Senators Would Work with Him

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Joy Behar told her co-hosts Thursday on ABC’s “The View” that President Joe Biden was “dense” for thinking his fellow “white privileged” senators would work with him.

Whoopi Goldberg said, “Part of the problem for Joe is none of us, none of us ever anticipated we would be sitting in front of senators and congresspeople who are denying the fact that someone won an election. I never saw that before. I don’t think it occurred to him that would ever be Republicans who would go that far to say this was a lie. I think a lot of this, he thought, you know, we’ll beat each other up as we have in the past. This is a whole new group.”

Behar said, “But, Whoopi n the ’90s Newt Gingrich, had a contract on America.”

Ana Navarro said, “With America.”

Behar shot back, “I like to say it was on America. Then you have Mitch McConnell say that his whole idea going forward with Obama was to make sure he was a one-term president. Then he said about Biden, we’re going to obstruct, and we’re not going to let him do anything he wants to do. So I mean, how dense was Biden really in these instances? You’re a white privilege senator in the United States Congress, so you believe other white privilege guys will work with you, but they won’t, and they don’t.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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Breitbart News Daily Podcast Ep. 55: The Hits Just Keep on Comin’: Filibuster Stays, Joe’s Press Conference Flop; Guests: Jack Posobiec, Rep. Kat Cammack

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Brandon met the media yesterday and whoa… not a joke! And not his best effort. That goes for the majority of the media in the East Room too. Joey tried for almost two hours to defend his first-year record, and then he officially lost his voting rights push in the Senate. What a day. Our guests Human Events Senior Editor Jack Posobiec and Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL) join Breitbart’s Jerome Hudson to break down President Biden’s press conference.

The Breitbart News Daily Podcast runs Monday through Friday as a “Director’s Cut” of the SXM Patriot radio show. Hosted by Breitbart Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow, you’ll hear Alex’s take on the big political stories, interviews with various newsmakers, and the Patriot “Caller of the Day.”

SUBSCRIBE for free by clicking your preferred podcast platform below.

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