Democrats buy TV, radio spots targeting Rep. Brian Mast on health care

A new Democratic ad targets U.S. Rep. Brian Mast and 10 other House Republicans on health care.

Democrats failed to recruit Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg to challenge U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, but they are still investing in efforts to unseat Mast in Palm Beach-Treasure Coast District 18 next year.

Mast is one of 11 House Republicans across the nation targeted in a wave of radio and cable TV ads being released today by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The ads take aim at votes by Mast and his GOP colleagues to replace President Barack Obama‘s signature Affordable Care Act.

The DCCC says it is spending at least $100,000 nationally on the three-week campaign.

The TV spots say House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and “Washington’s establishment Republicans” will never stop “coming after your health care…They’ll never change their ways. So the rest of us have to change our Congress.”

The radio spots specifically mention Mast.

“Your Congressman, Brian Mast, hasn’t stopped trying to repeal your health care. No more waiting.  Let’s change Washington.

Aronberg recently ruled out running for the District 18 seat. Democrats Pam Keith and  Lauren Baer have opened campaigns, with Baer saying she’s already raised $250,000 after launching an exploratory committee in August and a formal campaign Sept. 12.



Today: House Speaker Paul Ryan, donors huddle at The Breakers in Palm Beach

House Speaker Paul Ryan, shown at right arriving at Palm Beach International Airport for a 2012 fundraiser, is returning to The Breakers in Palm Beach today and tomorrow.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., and donors to his “Team Ryan” fundraising committee will be at The Breakers in Palm Beach today and tomorrow for a closed-door retreat.


A “Healthcare Panel and Discussion” is part of the agenda, but Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said Wednesday night that Ryan will not be laying out any new plan for reviving the health care overhaul that collapsed in the House last week and that President Donald Trump has predicted will be revived.


“We are not unveiling a new plan in Florida,” Strong said. “It’s a political event and we are not unveiling a plan there.”


In a call with donors this week, The Washington Post reported that Ryan said: “When we’re in Florida, I will lay out the path forward on health care and all the rest of the agenda. I will explain how it all still works, and how we’re still moving forward on health care with other ideas and plans. So please make sure that if you can come, you come — it will be good to look at what can feasibly get done and where things currently stand. But know this: We are not giving up.”


The failure of the Republican-controlled House to bring health care legislation to a vote was a stinging setback for the GOP Trump after years of pledging to repeal and replace Obamacare.


Trump this week voiced optimism on striking a health care deal.


“I know that we are all going to make a deal on health care,” Trump said Tuesday night at a White House gathering for senators and their spouses. “That’s such an easy one. I have no doubt that that’s going to happen very quickly. We have all been promising it — Democrat, Republican — to the public.”

Report: Paul Ryan in Palm Beach Thursday; Dem already attacking


U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan isn’t in the Sunshine State yet, but gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum is already throwing some shade his way.

“When Speaker Paul Ryan comes to Florida later this week, he’ll hear a rallying cry from every corner of our state: Governor Rick Scott should expand Medicaid now, and Obamacare is the law of the land,” Gillum, mayor of Tallahassee, said in a press release. “His continued refusal to expand coverage is a deeply damaging mark on our state’s healthcare system, and the governor should immediately take this long overdue step to save lives. Speaker Ryan should know that healthcare is a right, and any attempt to further hurt Florida’s families will backfire at the ballot box.”

The Miami Herald has reported that Ryan, fresh off the House’s high-profile failure to repeal and replace Obamacare, plans to spend Thursday and Friday at The Breakers on Palm Beach huddling with top financial donors.

GOP’s Tom Rooney: ‘Obamacare is the law of the land forever now…We blew it’

“Obamacare is the law of the land forever now,” a fuming U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Okeechobee, said today after House Republicans failed to enact — or even bring to a vote — a long-promised health care overhaul.

Rooney was elected in 2008 to a Palm Beach-Treasure Coast congressional district. He voted against the Affordable Care Act in 2010, then watched his party campaign in the next four election cycles on a pledge to repeal Obamacare.

U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Okeechobee, at a health care forum in 2009.

» COMPLETE COVERAGE: President Donald Trump in Palm Beach

Rooney, who since the 2012 redistricting has represented a central Florida district, was prepared to vote today for the bill backed by President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan. But a scheduled vote on the legislation was called off this afternoon because the GOP didn’t have enough votes to assure passage.

“It wasn’t a hard vote. We’ve been campaigning to repeal Obamacare for eight years…We wanted to put our marker down that the thing we’ve been campaigning on for eight years we were willing to do,” Rooney said.

» Rep. Brian Mast makes rousing unity call to GOP colleagues on health care bill

“The American people rank the congressional approval rating below Fidel Castro, who is dead. And today they’re right. We failed the American people. There’s no other way to say it. We failed. They put their trust in the Republican Party to lead and we didn’t,” Rooney said.

He continued: “Obamacare is the law of the land forever now. That was our one chance to repeal it, get rid of it, make it better. … Fifty years from now we’re going to look back at this day as the day we could have done something about it and we didn’t.”

» AARP: Florida slammed worst by Trumpcare; ‘scared’ at 60 in Lake Worth

Rooney predicted portions of the Affordable Care Act will “start failing” and Congress will have to take “emergency actions to fix those parts of it that are failing. But it will still be Obamacare.”

Rooney, on his way to the airport to return to his District 17, added: “I probably shouldn’t be so emotional, but this is a boiling point…I’ve been here too long. I’m no longer the new guy that can act like things are going to get better…We finally got our chance to govern and we blew it. We blew it.”





Today: President Donald Trump begins first White House work week

President Donald Trump at a swearing in ceremony of White House senior staff on Sunday. (Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump at a swearing in ceremony of White House senior staff on Sunday. (Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)

Today is President Donald Trump‘s first full workday as the nation’s 45th commander in chief after his inauguration on Friday.



The part-time Palm Beach resident’s schedule includes meetings with business and labor leaders, the signing of executive orders, an intelligence briefing, lunch with Vice President Mike Pence and a 6 p.m. meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.


White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July.

Also on today’s schedule is the first formal press briefing by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who was at the center of a weekend furor when he summoned the press to the White House briefing room Saturday afternoon to accuse the media of intentionally downplaying the size of Friday’s inauguration crowds.


Spicer cited Metro ridership numbers and made claims about ground coverings and metal detectors on the Mall that were shown to be inaccurate.


Here’s Trump’s schedule as released by the White House Sunday night:


9:00AM               THE PRESIDENT hosts breakfast and listening session with key business leaders


Roosevelt Room


10:30AM              THE PRESIDENT signs Executive Orders


Oval Office


11:00AM              THE PRESIDENT participates in the President’s Daily Briefing


Oval Office


12:00PM              THE PRESIDENT has lunch with the Vice President


Presidential Dining Room


3:00PM                THE PRESIDENT holds a listening session with Union Leaders and American Workers


Roosevelt Room


5:00PM                THE PRESIDENT hosts Bicameral Leadership Reception


Yellow Oval Room


6:00PM                THE PRESIDENT meets with House Speaker Paul Ryan


Speaker Paul Ryan raises money for Brian Mast in Palm Beach Gardens

Paul Ryan and his mother, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea resident Betty Douglas, campaigning for Mitt Romney in The Villages in 2012. Ryan this year is focusing on House candidates like Brian Mast and distancing himself from GOP nominee Donald Trump.
Paul Ryan and his mother, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea resident Betty Douglas, campaigning for Mitt Romney in The Villages in 2012. Ryan this year is focusing on House candidates like Brian Mast and distancing himself from GOP nominee Donald Trump.

House Speaker Paul Ryan slipped into Palm  Beach Gardens this morning to raise money for Republican Brian Mast‘s nationally watched congressional campaign against Democrat Randy Perkins for the open Palm Beach-Treasure Coast District 18 seat.


The fundraiser took place at Old Palm Golf Club, a person familiar with the event said. About 70 people attended, Mast spokeswoman Madison Anderson said.


Ryan is also expected to raise money today for U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Miami, whose swing district is a top target for Democrats.


Ryan has been focusing on House races and distancing himself from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.