Entries in Miami (4)


Obama Heads to Miami to Talk Up Energy Policy

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(MIAMI) -- President Obama will head to Florida on Thursday where he will tout what he sees as the successes of his energy policy.

Speaking at the University of Miami, the president, "will highlight his administration’s strong record of developing new domestic energy sources, expanding oil and gas production, and reducing our reliance on foreign oil," according to a White House official.

The official notes that although domestic oil and gas production has risen to its highest level since 2003, Obama will make clear that more is needed than just increased drilling.

"[The solution] requires an all of the above approach that leverages technologies and American ingenuity to protect Americans from the ups and downs of global oil prices," the official says.

The official adds: "That’s why this president worked with automakers to establish historic fuel efficiency standards that will nearly double the mileage of the vehicles we drive and save American families $1.7 trillion at the pump, and its why the president continues to urge the repeal of $4 billion in annual subsides to oil and gas companies, while continuing to invest in homegrown alternative fuels and other advanced technologies that will help reduce our reliance on foreign oil.”

Obama has been forced on the defensive on the issue, as gas prices rise nationwide, and in light of his decision to decline development of the Keystone oil pipeline, which supporters say would have employed thousands of U.S. workers, and tremedously boost the amount of domestic oil.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


‘How Do You Say Delicious In Cuban?’ Cain's Latest Foreign Policy Blunder

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- “We need a leader, not a reader!” Herman Cain exclaimed Thursday at a campaign stop in New Hampshire, stating that there are plenty of foreign policy experts out there -- in other words, he doesn’t need to be one himself.

And while that comment bore an amusing resemblance to the fictional President Schwarzenegger’s declaration that “I was elected to lead, not to read” in the 2007 Simpsons Movie, the past month has seen Cain hurt his cause with a series of foreign policy blunders.

Exhibit one was a stumbling reply last week to a straightforward question about the Obama administration’s response to the Libyan uprising.  Earlier, Cain made light of his lack of foreign policy knowledge when he pointed out that he didn’t know the name of the president of “Uzbeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan.”

But his visit to the Cuban hotbed of Miami this week could pose real problems in the important conservative Latino community in Florida.  On Wednesday morning, at the Claude & Mildred Pepper Center in Sweetwater, the crowd implored him to talk about Cuba.

“What about Cuba?” Cain replied.  “One of my principles is go to the source closest to the problem, you will find the solution… I want to get from Cuban leaders a solution of what we should do.”

“I don’t want to take the pressure off.  I want to put more pressure on,” he said.  “Viva Cuba libre!”

According to Miami Herald reporter Marc Caputo, Cain “seemed to know little about Cuba” and “seemed stumped” about a U.S. policy that allows Cuban immigrants to remain in this country once they set foot on land here.

During a stop at the famous Versailles restaurant in Little Havana, Cain drank a coffee and ate some croquetas.

“How do you say ‘delicious’ in Cuban?” he asked.  In Cuba, the language is Spanish.

The Cuban vote could prove crucial in Florida, a key state both in the GOP primary and the general election.  Around 540,000 of Florida’s 1.5 million Latino voters are of Cuban origin, a group mostly based near Miami.  Florida is set to vote fourth in the primary, starting in late January after Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina have all had their turn.

The Sunshine State has already hosted two GOP debates this fall.  It also will be the site of the party’s 2012 convention in Tampa and the final presidential debate next year, set for Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Effort to Court Florida Voters Underwhelms

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(MIAMI) -- As the Republican 2012 presidential candidates faced off in their first debate, the president spent Monday night in Miami trying to recapture some of the excitement, and fundraising power, of his 2008 campaign. However, it was hard not to notice a lack of the infamous enthusiasm that propelled Obama into office.

“I know the conversation you guys are having. ‘I’m not feeling as hopeful as I was.’ And I understand that. There have been frustrations, and I’ve got some dings to show for it over the last two and a half years,” Obama told supporters in the second of three DNC fundraisers Monday night in Miami. “But I never said this was going to be easy… But what I hope all of you still feel is that for all the frustrations, for all the setbacks, for all the occasional stumbles, that what motivates us, what we most deeply cherish, that that’s still within reach. That it’s still possible to bring about extraordinary change.”

While Obama attempted to excite the crowd, there were rows of empty seats staring back at him and an underwhelming response from the crowd. Roughly 900 people were expected to attend the low-dollar fundraiser at the 2,200 seat Adrienne Arsht Center, with tickets starting at $44.

The other two events, held off-camera at private residences, were significantly more expensive. The first event, at the home of former Samsonite CEO and Ambassador to Singapore Steve Green, cost $10,000 to attend, with the first $5,000 going directly to the campaign. The final DNC event for 40 people giving the maximum amount of $35,800 was held at the home of JP and Maggie Austin. This marks the third time this year that the president has visited the critical swing state.

Roughly halfway through his speech two protesters interrupted the president, repeatedly yelling "Keep your promise, stop AIDS now." The protesters were quickly silenced by the audience chanting "Obama, Obama, Obama."

"The reason we’re here today is because our work’s not done," Obama said once they quieted down. “Our work is not complete. We're not at the summit. We’re just part way up the mountain. There is more to do."

The president spent a large portion of his speech looking back and running through a checklist of his accomplishments over the last two and a half years, including healthcare reform, advances in education and appointing the first Latina to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Looking ahead Obama said his 2012 campaign will be about the same thing it was in 2008: values. “When I think about why our campaign drew so much excitement, it was because it tapped into those essential things that bind us together,” he said.

“We’ve got more work to do,” Obama admitted. “If they tell you, I don’t know, I’m not sure, I’m not convinced -- you just remind them of those three words that captured this campaign, captured the last campaign and will capture the 2012 campaign:  Yes, we can.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Miami Mayor Gets the Boot

Miamidade[dot]gov/Mayor(MIAMI) -- Miami Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez was booted from office in the largest recall of a local politician in US history. The result was never in question: in results out Wednesday morning, 88% of those who turned out voted for his ouster.

Voters gave the once-popular mayor increased authority four to clean up the graft-infested county government. But pay hikes to staffers, property tax hikes during a real estate bust, and the controversial stadium for the Florida Marlins outraged his constituents.

"The voters have spoken and a time of healing and reconciliation must now begin," Alvarez said in a statement Tuesday night.

More than 200,000 voted. Noel Sanz, of Kendall, echoed what many others  told reporters Tuesday: he wants new blood at County Hall.

"I think it's time to get some of these guys out of power and get someone else to do the job," Sanz said.

Over the past couple of years Alvarez, first elected in 2004, and reelected in 2008, has been skewered for showering favors and pay hikes to his staff, including an 11 percent pay raise to his chief of staff, who moonlit in Panama as a private consultant on taxpayer time. Another controversy involved one of his county police division chiefs who allegedly used a $5 million fund meant to crack down on polluters to buy flat screen TVs, SUVs, and assault rifles. The police official stepped down last year.

The largest recall of any politician in US history occurred in 2003, when Governor Gray Davis of California was ousted. The "Dump Davis" campaign was spearheaded by Rep. Darrel Issa (R-Calif.) who even used part of his personal fortune to topple the governor. In this case, Alvarez’ bête noir was billionaire Norman Braman, who began targeting Alvarez after the latter successfully pushed for a property tax-rate increase to balance the county budget.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio