• “I am confident that the alliance (NATO) will be all the better and stronger for it. We can see some moves begin within weeks.”—Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, on the Pentagon’s decision to cut American troops in Germany from 36,000 to 24,000.
  • “Whether it’s China or Russia or Iran, we’re not going to put up with it.”—National security adviser Robert O’Brien, in vowing to protect the 2020 U.S. election from foreign interference.
  • “I think the last person Russia wants to see in office is Donald Trump, because nobody has been tougher on Russia than I have—ever.”—Donald Trump.
  • “Far from a strongman, Mr. Trump has lately become a heckler in his own government, promoting medical conspiracy theories on social media, playing no constructive role in either the management of the coronavirus pandemic or the negotiation of an economic rescue plan in Congress—and complaining endlessly about the unfairness of it all.”—CNN political analyst Alexander Burns.
  • “Trump is like the reverse Midas. Everybody who is in his orbit, if they’ve had any integrity, it gets leeched away from them like some parasite.”—Gregg Gonsalves, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health.
  • “The Trump administration’s deliberate decision to intervene in the protests in Portland, Ore., with a heavy hand, unconventional means and inflammatory political rhetoric has contributed to growing public distrust—particularly of the Department of Homeland Security.”—Michael Chertoff, former secretary of homeland security under President George W. Bush.
  • “Mr. Trump didn’t hijack the Republican Party. He is the logical conclusion of what the party became over the past 50 or so years, a natural product of the seeds of race-baiting, self-deception and anger that now dominate it. … What is most telling is that the Republican Party actively embraced, supported, defended and now enthusiastically identifies with a man who eagerly exploits the nation’s racial tensions.”—Stuart Stevens, Republican political consultant and author of “It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump.”
  • “(Trump’s core base) is just glued to Fox News and Breitbart and Limbaugh and just this conservative echo chamber—and so, they’re going to turn out to vote.”—Former President Barack Obama.
  • “Congress has largely become a dysfunctional institution unable to meet the critical needs of our country.”—The “Congress at a Crossroads” report, produced by the Association of Former Members of Congress—30 House members and a senator–who left after the 2018 elections.
  • “Anything that slows down the mail could have a negative impact on everything we do, including vote by mail.”—Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union.
  • “I have never seen such an effort to sow distrust in our elections. We are used to seeing this kind of behavior from authoritarians around the globe, but it is particularly disturbing coming from the president of the United States.”—Michael J. Abramowitz, president of Freedom House that promotes democracy around the world.
  • “In a dark season of pestilence, COVID has reduced to tatters the illusion of American exceptionalism.”—Wade Davis, Rolling Stone.
  • “Police work is not a perfect science. We’re there to clean up messes. And sometimes when you clean up messes, it’s not pretty.”—Florida Rep. Val Demings, the former police chief of Orlando.
  • “F.D.R. demonstrated that the most effective leaders in crisis are often at the center of their party, not at left or right vanguard. Abraham Lincoln took enormous heat from abolitionists. But he’s the one who defeated slavery.”—David Brooks, New York Times.
  • “They’ve got their Rice, and we’ve got ours.”—A saying among some Democrats referring to Susan and Condoleezza.
  • “The lightly regulated online economy we have today is a product of that (1990s) decade, when Silicon Valley leaders persuaded starry-eyed lawmakers that young, scrappy internet companies could regulate themselves.”—University of Washington History Professor Margaret O’Mara.
  • “It appears to me that social media is a nuance-destruction machine, and I don’t think that’s helpful for a democracy.”—Jeff Bezos.
  • “Deloitte should be barred from receiving any new state contracts until they pay back the taxpayer dollars ($40 million) they received to develop the broken unemployment system, and the existing bid system should be re-evaluated.”—State Sen. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg. Deloitte Consulting recently won the ($135 million) contract to centralize and manage Florida’s Medicaid data.
  • “School leaders should be working creatively and diligently to accommodate as many students as possible with in-person instruction.”—Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran.
  • “We will focus on investing, not divesting.”—Mayor Jane Castor on her plans for TPD.
  • “You’re running out of excuses to get tested.”—St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, in recommending all residents get a coronavirus test, regardless of symptoms because asymptomatic carriers can also spread the virus.
  • “Our schedule continues to remain intact.”—Nick Haines, president and CEO of the Bromley Companies, the developer of the mixed-use, 22-acre, $550 million Midtown Tampa project scheduled to open in February.
  • “We’re already prepared for this, and we’re moving forward and embracing it.”—Clearwater Police Chief Dan Slaughter, on City Council’s vote to adopt body cams for police officers.

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