Democrats prepare to hammer GOP on Tampa choice for convention

Democrats are preparing efforts to hammer the GOP over its reported selection of Tampa as the location of its 2012 convention, pointing to benefits the city and the state of Florida reaped from stimulus and healthcare reform legislation.

Democrats seized on an expected decision this afternoon by members of a Republican National Committee (RNC) steering committee that will recommend Tampa as the site of their nominating convention.

The selection would put the RNC in the middle of a key battleground state while they nominate their next presidential candidate, though this year's elections provide plenty of GOP drama in the state.

Democrats pointed to estimates that their healthcare bill would extend coverage to almost 600,000 in in the Tampa area, and improve prescription drug coverage for the state's numerous senior citizens, a highly-sought-after voting bloc in Florida elections.

Democrats also said that the stimulus act, another one of President Barack Obama's signature initiatives, had already funded $9 billion in projects in Florida, and created almost 40,000 jobs. 

Those stimulus funds and the healthcare bill have already been a major issue in Florida's elections this year, and Republican complaints about those pieces of legislation are expected to be at full display in their 2012 convention.

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, the Republican-turned-independent candidate for Senate, had proudly accepted those funds in the past. His former primary opponent and current GOP adversary in the general election, former state House Speaker Marco Rubio, has loudly criticized Crist for accepting those funds.

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