– Unfazed by the Democratic critics who regard her as Political Enemy No. 2 – right behind the governor – Attorney General Pam Bondi touted her record Thursday as a fighter and vowed to continue the course after the November election.
"We don't have to moderate our message. We don't have to change, come up with some fancy new marketing plan. All we have to do is just stick to what we say we're going to do and do it," she told a gathering of 75 to 100 Republicans at the Palm Beach County Republican Party's 2014 election Victory Office.
Bondi described her fight against politically safe enemies: human traffickers, producers of synthetic drugs aimed at children, Internet predators, and doctors who recklessly prescribe addictive painkillers.
She's also fighting more controversial battles against an alphabet soup of federal government agencies – she mentioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Ageny and the National Labor Relations Board – that she sees as overstepping their bounds. Example: "I will continue to fight the FDA as long as I have a living breath."
And she forcefully defended her office's fight against lawsuits seeking to overturn the Florida ban on same-sex marriage. She's lost in several Florida circuit courts and again Thursday in federal court in Tallahassee.
Both Democrats seeking their party's nomination in Tuesday's primary to challenge Bondi said they'd join the nine attorneys general in other states who aren't defending their states' bans on same-sex marriage.
Bondi said that wouldn't be appropriate. "This is me doing my job as attorney general. And I will continue to do that and if anybody wants me to moderate my message or stand for less I have a message for them: I am just getting started," she said. "I put my hand on a Bible and I raised my right hand and swore to uphold the Constitution of the state of Florida."
She also described Republican Mitt Romney's 2012 loss to President Barack Obama – "a failed presidency" – as "harder than most of us could handle." And she doesn't want to hear the Democrats' allegations that Republicans have been waging a "war on women."
The audience liked what it heard. "She's a tough cookie. She's no pushover," said Bonnie Re, of Boca Raton. Ginger Eisenrod, of Coral Springs, said ,"She's wonderful."
Besides the support of her party's base, she has a significant financial advantage. Bondi's campaign and a separate political committee supporting her had taken in $4.4 million in cash and in-kind contributions of goods and services as of Aug. 8. The cash she had in the bank, $3.3 million, was almost six times the totals of Democratic candidates George Sheldon and Perry Thurston combined.
Read all of Bondi's comments about same-sex marriage at SunSentinel.com/BrowardPolitics.
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