Inside the Beltway

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“From his humble beginnings as the son of working-class Cuban exiles, Marco Rubio’s meteoric rise - first to Florida Speaker of the House, and now to a candidate for the U.S. Senate — is the embodiment of the American Dream,” says Mr. Romney.

“While I respect Governor Crist, Marco Rubio’s proven record of conservative, principled, and idea-driven leadership is what Florida needs now. Marco Rubio will be a reliable spokesman against the Washington culture of higher spending, higher taxes and higher debt.”

Mr. Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC is making a maximum $5,000 primary election contribution to Mr. Rubio’s campaign. The pair will hold a press conference in late morning; stay tuned.

LOWER THE BOOM

Like arming airline pilots in the cockpit? Maybe. A top Navy commander suggests commercial vessels arm themselves to ward off pirates while traveling the seas off the Somali coast. Americans simply can’t police it all.

“We could put a World War II fleet of ships out there and we still wouldn’t be able to cover the whole ocean,” says Navy Adm. Mark P. Fitzgerald, commander of U.S. naval forces in Europe and Africa and of NATO’s Allied Joint Task Force Command Naples.

Another problem — this one probably centuries old — has surfaced. What to do with a gang of captured pirates?

“Catch and release is not a very good option. How do we deal with this? We’ve got to come to some kind of solution,” Adm. Fitzgerald adds.

POLL DU JOUR

• 69 percent of Americans say they are “absolutely certain” they will vote in 2010 midterm elections.

• 56 percent are “frustrated” with the federal government, 21 percent are “angry” with it.

• 52 percent say the U.S. political system is “fine” but the lawmakers “are the problem.”

• 50 percent say the government runs its programs inefficiently.

• 50 percent want smaller government with fewer services, 39 percent favor bigger government with more services.

• 43 percent say the federal government has a negative effect on their daily life, 38 percent say the effect is positive.

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About the Author
Jennifer Harper INSIDE THE BELTWAY

Jennifer Harper INSIDE THE BELTWAY

A graduate of Syracuse University, Jennifer Harper writes the daily Inside the Beltway column and provides additional coverage of breaking national news, plus long-term trends in politics, media issues, public opinion, popular culture, Hollywood foibles and “eureka” moments in health and science.

She has been a frequent broadcast commentator on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, C-SPAN, Voice of America, Citadel Broadcasting, ...

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