* “What changed was his posture in a fairly dramatic way. It was a surprise to us that he was so forward-leaning.”–Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, on the Administration’s response to Kim Jong Un’s proposed summit-meeting with Donald Trump.
* “The Secretary did not speak to the President and is unaware of the reason, but he is grateful for the opportunity to serve and still believes strongly that public service is a noble calling.”–Steve Goldstein, under-secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, on the firing of Rex Tillerson. Goldstein was subsequently fired as well.
* “We are not going to have this meeting take place until we see concrete actions that match the words and the rhetoric of North Korea.”–White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
* “Our policy is pressure. … It’s impacted Kim Jong Un’s behavior. It’s impacted his conduct.”–Deputy White House spokesman Raj Shah.
* “I hate to see Gary go. I think he did a great job.”–Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, on the departure of White House economic adviser Gary Cohn.
* “Everybody wants to work in the White House. They all want a piece of the Oval Office.”–President Donald Trump.
* “Corporate America might complain, but the president is taking up the banner of Mr. and Mrs. America.”–Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, in defending President Trump’s tariffs plan.
* “Tariffs are taxes, and the American taxpayer will pay the cost of a trade war.”–Cody Lusk, president and CEO of the American International Automobile Dealers Association.
* “This is a fight for the soul of America. Really.”–Outtake from a millennials-targeting political ad paid for by billionaire, former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer, who has called for Trump’s impeachment.
* “Trump combines the hedonism of the 1970s with the bigotry and racism of the 1950s: the worst of both worlds.”–Max Boot, senior fellow for national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
* “The press is fixated on all these White House departures. But spare a thought for all those still in the executive branch who would serve the country by leaving.”–Margaret Carlson, Daily Beast.
* “Let them call you racist. Let them call you xenophobes. Let them call you nativists. Wear it as a badge of honor. History is on our side.”–Former White House strategist Steve Bannon, speaking to France’s far-right National Front party.
* “The February employment report was unambiguously strong, confirming that the U.S. labor market is on fire.”–Michelle Girard, chief U.S. economist at NatWest Markets, on Labor Department reports that the U.S. added more than 300,000 jobs last month.
* “He’s playing chess and the Senate is playing checkers.”–State Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, on House Speaker Richard Corcoran’s negotiating methodology.
* “We told (Florida school districts) to put a school resource officer in every school, and then we don’t give them money to pay for it.”–State Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee.
* “My firm works all over the country. It’s nice to see it coming together in our own community. It’s about time.”–Lou Plasencia, CEO of the Tampa-based Plasencia Group, a hotel sales and consulting firm. He was commenting on news that Hillsborough County–with more than $600 million in hotel revenue last year–had now become one of nine Florida counties designated as a “high-impact” tourism destination.
* “There’s definitely a lot of enthusiasm.”–John Dingfelder, realtor and former Tampa City Council member, on the level of interest in real estate near the proposed Rays stadium site in Ybor City.
* “For a company of our size with our demographic, we think we would be an attractive headquarters to many cities and many states, but, honestly, we’re so happy here that we did not go through an Amazon-like process of having people bid for us. When you have a good thing, you stay with it.”–Kenneth Burdick, CEO of WellCare Health Plans, which announced that it was committing to keep its headquarters–and thousands of employees–in Tampa through 2030.
* “You are a part of America, and we don’t forget that. There may be some in Washington who do.”–Mayor Bob Buckhorn, in his comments to Carlos Delgado Altieri, the mayor of Isabela, Puerto Rico. Mayor Altieri was in town to thank Tampa volunteers who helped his town recover from Hurricane Irma.
* “History has shown us that the more USF St. Pete is connected to Tampa, the less it thrives. I hope it’s different this time. I will certainly do all I can as mayor to ensure that.”–St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, on the new state education bill that eliminates USF St. Petersburg’s autonomy by merging all of USF’s campuses.