As VP Mike Pence heads to Florida for Rick Scott, spokesman blasts anonymous anti-Trump piece

Gov. Rick Scott and Vice President Mike Pence in Orlando last year. (From the @FLGovScott Twitter account)

As noted last week, Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to raise money today in Orlando for Florida Gov. Rick Scott‘s U.S. Senate bid.

Pence and Scott are also expected to campaign in The Villages, the enormous Central Florida retirement community that is a must-visit for Republicans running statewide.

Also coming later today: A new Inside Florida Politics Podcast! Catch up on the most recent podcast here:

Before Pence arrives in the Sunshine State, his director of communications took to Twitter this morning to quash speculation that Pence is behind the bombshell New York Times op-ed in which an anonymous “senior official” in the Trump administration says he or she and others “are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”

Jarrod Agen, communications director for the VP, this morning denied any Pence involvement and ripped the New York Times for running the piece.

“The Vice President puts his name on his Op-Eds. The @nytimes should be ashamed and so should the person who wrote the false, illogical, and gutless op-ed. Our office is above such amateur acts,” Agen tweeted.

 

Mike Pence to raise money for Rick Scott’s Senate bid in Orlando

Gov. Rick Scott and Vice President Mike Pence in Orlando last year. (From the @FLGovScott Twitter account)

Vice President Mike Pence will headline a fundraiser for Gov. Rick Scott‘s U.S. Senate bid in Orlando next week.

The Sept. 6 event is being hosted by Palm Beacher Darlene Jordan, a key Republican money-raiser, and by Texas investor and GOP moneyman Tom Hicks, according to invitations sent to GOP activists.

It’s a relative bargain as fundraisers go, with “suggested contribution levels” of $250 for individuals and $500 for sponsors.

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The specific location for the afternoon Pence-Scott reception hasn’t been disclosed.

Scott is challenging three-term Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in one of the nation’s most expensive and closely watched Senate races.

President Donald Trump publicly urged Scott twice in 2017 to challenge Nelson, and the president and the two-term Florida governor have been close. But since formally launching his campaign in April, Scott has kept his distance from Trump.

 

Vice President Mike Pence gives a shout-out to Adam Putnam

Former congressional colleagues: Vice President Mike Pence and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

Vice President Mike Pence headlined the Republican Party of Florida’s annual fundraising dinner in Lake Buena Vista on Thursday night and gave a brief shout-out to Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam that Putnam’s gubernatorial campaign is circulating today.

Putnam — who in 2016 sounded a lot more enthusiastic about running mate Pence than he was about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump — has been aggressively courting Trump supporters this year, even circulating a petition to “stand with President Trump” during the springtime Kathy Griffin-severed head controversy.

Said Pence: “I gotta tell you, your agricultural lead here in Florida is an old friend of mine. I served with him when he was about 10 years old in the House of Representatives. Adam Putnam, I am so honored to see you tonight.”

Fact check: The U.S. Constitution requires a Representative to be at least 25 years old. Putnam, while youthful in appearance, was 26 when he was elected to Congress in 2000.

Pence and Putnam were members of the same freshman U.S. House class when they took office in 2001. Putnam served five terms, leaving to run and win a 2010 race for Ag commissioner. Pence served six House terms from Indiana before being elected governor of the state in 2012.

 

Vice President Mike Pence in Florida today

Vice President Mike Pence attends a morning service at the Church By the Glades in Coral Springs in March. (Michael Ares / The Palm Beach Post)

Vice President Mike Pence will be in Florida today to pitch President Donald Trump‘s priority of tax reform at an Orlando business and to speak at a Republican Party of Florida fundraiser in Lake Buena Vista.

Pence, Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will “meet with local businesses, community leaders, and Florida families to discuss the need for tax reform” before Pence makes remarks at the headquarters of boatmaker Correct Craft.

Later, the vice president will keynote RPOF’s “Statesman’s Dinner” at Walt Disney World.

 

 

Tonight: Mike Pence joins Donald Trump in Arizona, heads to South Florida

Vice President Mike Pence attends a morning service at the Church By the Glades in Coral Springs in March. (Michael Ares / The Palm Beach Post)

Vice President Mike Pence is returning to South Florida.

The White House announced late Monday night that Pence will travel to Arizona today to join President Donald Trump at a rally in Phoenix. Afterward, Pence will fly on Air Force Two to Miami, arriving at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Pence will visit Doral, which has a large community of Venezuelan exiles and immigrants, to discuss unrest in Venezuela under left-wing President Nicolas Maduro.

Joining Pence will be Gov. Rick Scott, Sen. Marco Rubio and U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart, R-Miami. They will participate in a “listening session” with Venezuelan migrants and community leaders at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. Pence will then deliver a speech.

Trump recently said he’s not ruling out a “military option” for Venezuela, where the Maduro regime has drawn international criticism for his crackdown on dissidents.

Pence recently visited several Latin American nations.

 

Why Gov. Rick Scott isn’t meeting with Sen. Bill Nelson in Washington

Florida Gov. Rick Scott in Washington, D.C., today.

UPDATED with response from Nelson

WASHINGTON — Florida Gov. Rick Scott‘s schedule here today includes meetings with Vice President Mike Pence and at least five senators, including Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, to discuss the Senate health care bill.

But the governor hasn’t penciled in any time with his state’s senior senator, Democrat Bill Nelson.

Republican Scott is expected to challenge Nelson next year, with President Donald Trump among those encouraging Scott to run.

Nelson slammed the GOP-drafted Senate health care bill when it was unveiled last week, calling it “just as bad as the House bill, taking coverage away from millions of people and making huge cuts to Medicaid.”

Scott, who wants changes to the Senate bill so Florida gets a larger share of Medicaid payments, said talking to Nelson would be a waste of time.

“He’s not engaged in the health care debate,” Scott said of Nelson today in an interview with The Palm Beach Post. “What have you seen him come out and do other than oppose doing anything about this?”

Scott continued: “I’m going to focus on the people that are actually doing something with regard to the health care debate. The Republicans have a bill and I’m going to focus on the people that are actually trying to get something done. I appreciate that Donald Trump is focused on repealing and replacing Obamacare. I know Mike Pence is. I know the Senate Republicans are trying to get something done. I’m going to focus my time on trying to get something done.”

Nelson offered this response through his office this morning: “Rick Scott is supporting and urging Republican senators to vote for a bill that makes huge cuts to Medicaid, takes coverage away from 22 million of people and allows insurance companies to hike rates for older Americans. If he really cared about the people of Florida, he’d be doing the exact opposite of what he’s doing now.”

 

Vice President Pence at Coral Springs church this morning for service, ‘interview’

UPDATE: Vice President Mike Pence spoke at this morning’s service at the Church by the Glades in Coral Springs.

Pence, who on Saturday visited Jacksonville to discuss jobs with Gov. Rick Scott and then Palm Beach for a speech at The Breakers, held an informal conversation onstage for about 20 minutes during the church’s service with the Rev. David Hughes.

» RELATED: Trump, Pence visit Palm Beach as Democratic critic attends fundraiser

Vice President Mike Pence speaks onstage at the Church by the Glades in Coral Springs on Sunday morning. Pastor David Hughes, left, interviewed Pence on how the vice president balances his personal faith with his public calling. (Michael Ares / The Palm Beach Post)

Pence then joined other parishioners in the pews as Hughes delivered his sermon.

“Blessed to have the opportunity to worship with the friendly faces at @cbglades. Thank you for the warm welcome,” Pence tweeted after the service.

EARLIER STORY: Vice President Mike Pence will visit a South Florida church this morning, where he will attend the service and be interviewed by the church’s pastor about his faith, according to a post Saturday on the Church by the Glades’ Facebook page.

The church, which sits on the northeast corner of the intersection of the Sawgrass Expressway and West Atlantic Boulevard in Coral Springs, is cautioning guests to arrive more than an hour early for the 10 a.m. service.

Vice President Mike Pence will speak at a Coral Springs church on Sunday morning. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

» RELATED: VP Pence takes photo with actor Nick Loeb at Mar-a-Lago

“Our intent is for this NOT to be a political or partisan event, but rather an opportunity to hear how a sitting Vice President integrates his personal faith with his very public calling,” the church said in the post.

In a later post, the church’s pastor, the Rev. David Hughes, defended the decision to host Pence and have him speak at the service. That post — which is accompanied by a photo of Hughes standing on a stage with a donkey and an elephant while Hughes holds a sign that says “GOD is NOT a REPUBLICAN or DEMOCRAT” — begins with Hughes saying the church is open to all people, including “donkey people” and “elephant people,” and the church’s Sunday morning service “is NOT about political agendas but HONOR.”

“When the office of the sitting Vice President of the United States ASKED US if he would be welcome to worship with us, of course the honoring response is ‘yes,’ ” Hughes wrote.

He said he would have done the same for Vice President Joe Biden, President Barack Obama or first lady Michelle Obama.

» COMPLETE COVERAGE: President Donald Trump in Palm Beach

“And, VP Pence’s office communicated his willingness to share his testimony…my thought was, if the 2nd most powerful man if the free world, regardless of party, wants to come and share with my church how he fell in love with Jesus, I’m in,” Hughes continued. “Of course I respect your right to disagree with a choice I prayerfully made. Just do so with respect.”

After the service, Pence is scheduled to fly out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport for his return trip to Washington, D.C., aboard Air Force Two.

On Saturday night, Pence spoke at a Club for Growth gathering at The Breakers in Palm Beach. After his speech, he made his first visit to President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club since the pair took office in January. Trump invited Pence to come by for dessert after the president ate dinner with first lady Melania Trump, Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter, Laura Perlmutter and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

» RELATED: President Trump stops in at cancer charity event at Mar-a-Lago

Trump greets supporters in Palm Beach; Pence also coming today

President Donald Trump enters Mar-a-Lago on Friday evening. (Meghan McCarthy/Palm Beach Daily News)

President Donald Trump arrived at his tropical White House in Palm Beach Friday night for the fifth weekend since he took office, stopping his motorcade on the way to wave to supporters on Bingham Island.

 

President Donald Trump exits his limousine to acknowledge supporters on Bingham Island in this photo provided by Paula Prudente, who helps organize pro-Trump demonstrations when the president is in town.

Vice President Mike Pence, who is joining Florida Gov. Rick Scott in Jacksonville this afternoon to talk to business representatives about Trump’s proposed health care overhaul, is scheduled to fly in to PBIA later in the day and speak to the conservative Club For Growth at The Breakers tonight.

 

Pence is also scheduled to attend church on Sunday morning at Church By The Glades in Coral Springs.

 

Meanwhile, a leading Democratic critic of Trump on intelligence matters, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, will be in West Palm Beach today for a fundraiser for the Palm Beach County Democratic Party.

 

Follow MyPalmBeachPost.com, PostOnPolitics.com and @gbennettpost on Twitter throughout the weekend for coverage of Trump’s visit.

 

 

 

 

BREAKING: Pence coming to Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale this weekend

UPDATE: Vice President Mike Pence will come to Palm Beach this weekend before traveling to Fort Lauderdale Sunday morning to attend church.

The White House confirmed Friday evening that Pence will travel to South Florida on Saturday after holding a small business listening session earlier in the day in Jacksonville.

The vice president will speak at a Club for Growth gathering at The Breakers, the lavish Palm Beach hotel noted for its celebrity visitors, on Saturday night. On Sunday morning, the White House said Pence will attend church at Church by the Glades in Coral Springs.

The White House did not say where Pence will spend the night Saturday, but it can be expected he will stay at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club, where the president is spending the weekend.

The Palm Beach Post reported earlier Friday that Pence would visit, based on Federal Aviation Administration flight restrictions issued for Fort Lauderdale on Sunday.

EARLIER STORY: It looks like Vice President Mike Pence may make a trip to Fort Lauderdale this weekend, as President Donald Trump spends a few days at his Mar-a-Lago Club just an hour north.

After visiting Jacksonville on Saturday to hold a small business listening session with Gov. Rick Scott, it appears Pence then will go to Fort Lauderdale on Sunday morning, according to temporary flight restrictions issued Friday morning by the Federal Aviation Administration.

» COMPLETE COVERAGE: President Donald Trump in Palm Beach

President Donald Trump, accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, speaks during a meeting with the Republican Study Committee, Friday, March 17, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The restrictions cover Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, as well as an area out west near the Everglades, by the intersection of the Sawgrass Expressway and Atlantic Boulevard. Details on Pence’s plans once in Fort Lauderdale are not yet available.

In Jacksonville, Action News Jax TV station reports Pence will visit Mac Papers Envelope Converters with Scott to “discuss the President’s economic agenda, the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, and the American Health Care Act.”

This story will be updated when more information is available.

Pence may return to Jacksonville

Mike Pence talks to First Baptist Church of Jacksonville as Senior Pastor Mac Brunson looks on in this September 2016 image. (Cox Media Group)

Looks like President Donald Trump isn’t the only executive branch politician to be returning to Florida this weekend.

Vice President Mike Pence could be returning to Jacksonville on Saturday, a new Federal Aviation Administration notice suggests. Announced flight restrictions  — three nautical miles around, 3,000 feet up — match Pence’s travel restrictions. Trump is normally accompanied by 30 nautical mile restrictions up to 18,000 feet.

Pence has been to Jacksonville before, including a September visit to a church.

Trump’s frequent visits to Palm Beach County are causing problems. At least one local politician wants to enact a special tax on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate to recoup security costs.

Trump’s latest trip is expected to land sometime after 6 p.m. Friday and leave before 10:30 p.m. Sunday.