Florida Political Attacks: Rick Scott and Bill Nelson Continue to Exchange Fire

Inboxes across Florida are getting filled with political attacks from the left and the right. Here’s some of the latest mud being thrown on the campaign trail.

What do you do when the biggest controversy in politics is ending and it was your best line of attack against your opponent? Keep attacking on the same issue, of course!

The detention of children at the border and separating them from their parents remains an issue despite recent events. Does it matter that President Donald Trump announced an end to the controversial policy of separating those children from their parents? Not if you have a campaign to win.

Here is what Florida Democratic Party Spokesman Kevin Donohoe had to say, even after Gov. Rick Scott, now challenging U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., opposed Trump’s policies.

“At every turn, Rick Scott refused to stand up to Donald Trump as his administration separated children from their families,” Donohoe said. “And now, Rick Scott can’t even articulate any concrete steps he’d take to help these children, showing all his empty rhetoric was just that, empty. It is clear that Scott is much more interested in looking out for himself and his own political future than taking actual steps to help reunite the children with their families.”

The Democrats are not only targeting Scott over the immigration policy. They are trying to bring the issues into the gubernatorial contest as well.

Donohoe has been a busy man this week, saying this about Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam who is leading in the polls in the GOP gubernatorial primary.

“At a time of bipartisan outrage against Trump’s cruel immigration policies, Adam Putnam consistently praised and defended the President — only to be rebuked by Trump on Twitter,” said Donohoe. “Adam Putnam spends all his time praising a president who never has and never will support him in his primary. Floridians deserve a governor who will stand up to Donald Trump — not live in fear of his tweets.”

So what are the Republicans talking about? The environment of course. While there may or may not have been a directive from Scott ensuring the Department of Environmental Protection did not mention “climate change,” the governor feel Nelson is vulnerable on the environment.

The GOP is talking up discharges from Lake Okeechobee this week. Scott campaign Press Secretary Lauren Schenone had this to say about green ooze making its way to South Florida from Lake O discharges.

“For years, Governor Scott called on the federal government, which Nelson has been a part of for decades, to live up to their commitment to repair the federal Herbert Hoover Dike at Lake Okeechobee,” Schenone said. “And when Nelson turned his back, it was Governor Scott who stepped in to secure state funding for Lake Okeechobee and pass legislation to accelerate the EAA reservoir. If Bill Nelson had done his job in Washington, the water releases and the algae blooms they cause would no longer be an issue, but Governor Scott will make sure everything possible is being done to protect our waterways despite federal inaction.”

The  Scott campaign isn’t the only GOP operation talking about Lake Okeechobee. Let’s go to the Washington DC and Camille Gallo from the National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC).

“Bill Nelson has talked a big game about critical issues affecting Floridians yet has done next to nothing to solve them, and Lake Okeechobee is no exception,” said Gallo. “After nearly thirty years in the federal government, Bill Nelson has only been part of the problem not the solution, and it’s time for Floridians to vote him out of office.”

Besides throwing jabs, the Scott and Nelson campaigns exchanged blows with new attack ads.

When it comes down to politics, you can always count on mud being thrown across the Sunshine State. We’ll have more for you soon.


Reach Mike Synan at Mike.Synan@floridadaily.com.

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