Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Backed candidate's 'monkey' comment draws fire in Florida race

Mark Wilson  Getty Images FILE Mark Wilson Getty Images FILE
Steve Townsend | 30 August, 2018, 15:26

Gillum's aides had sought to convince voters that only the Tallahassee mayor could turn out the kind of support in November that Democrats will need to win the governor's mansion.

DeSantis appeared on Fox News the morning after Florida's primary election and called Gillum "much too liberal for Florida".

Democrats immediately decried DeSantis' comment as racist.

"This is an alarming and clear-cut case of obstruction of justice", Gillum said in a Facebook video in December. If elected, Gillum would be Florida's first black governor.

"He is an articulate spokesman for those far-left views". It's not even a dog whistle-more like a bullhorn.

It's a complete 180 from the man who helped propel Ron DeSantis to the Republican nomination: the president himself, whose policies DeSantis has fully embraced. The 39-year-old had been trailing in the polls for months behind former congresswoman Gwen Graham, whose father Bob Graham was a former governor and U.S. Senator of Florida, and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine.

While both parties saw record turnout, with more than 1.4 million Democrats voting and nearly 1.6 million Republicans, nearly 27 percent of registered voters in Florida are independent.

Putnam was elected to the state House in 1996, to the U.S. House in 2000 and to his current job in 2010. DeSantis said, "The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state".

Critics on Wednesday blasted DeSantis, a staunch Donald Trump supporter who won his party's nomination the previous day, for comments they said had racist undertones. None of that is my cup of tea, but he performed better than the other people there so we've got to work hard to make sure that we continue Florida going in a good direction. "Let's build on the success we've had on Governor Scott", he continued.

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Gillum supports Medicare for all, abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement and impeaching President Trump.

Trump on Twitter said that not only did DeSantis win but that "his opponent in November is his biggest dream".

"It's sort of the like the Florida guy versus the Fox guy, and we're going to see if that's sufficient anymore", Tallahassee-based Republican strategist Rick Wilson told the Chicago Tribune.

In congratulating McSally, Trump took a shot at Sen.

The video shows clips of DeSantis praising Trump, each followed by clips of Trump saying or doing something that mocks DeSantis's statement.

Says Trump: "She was a very talented fighter jet pilot and is now a highly respected member of Congress. Has my total and complete Endorsement!". Kelli Ward and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Arizona will have its first female U.S. senator, whether it is McSally, 52, or Democratic opponent U.S. Representative Kyrsten Sinema, 42. Yet, the "majority of Democratic primary voters rejected him", DeSantis noted.

On the Republican side, DeSantis, a USA congressman from the Jacksonville area, stomped Adam Putnam, a former congressman and current Commissioner of Agriculture in Florida, with more than 56 percent of the vote.

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