Bill Nelson ducks two debates, bolstering accusation he’s an “empty chair”

by | Sep 20, 2018

With his opponent pounding him for being a career politician who doesn’t do his job, incumbent Senator Bill Nelson is now pouring fuel on that same fire by refusing two debate invitations: one from WJXT in Jacksonville, the other extended by respected Fox News host Chris Wallace.

Underscoring the point, Governor Rick Scott yesterday launched a perfectly timed television ad skewering Nelson with the observation that Nelson’s “an empty chair, even when he’s in it.” The ad rips Nelson for missing forty-five percent of committee hearings on national security matters, showing a full committee chamber and one empty seat bearing a “Sen. Nelson” nameplate.

“Bill Nelson doesn’t write laws. He doesn’t even show up,” the announcer says, while bold text proclaims “Bill Nelson doesn’t do his job.” The ad also mocks the fact that Nelson first ran for office in 1972.

“Can you name one thing he’s done?” the announcer mocks, while on screen, a photo of Nelson’s face taken 46 years ago morphs into a more recent image. “I’ll keep waiting,” says the announcer, while a clock tick-tocks in the background.

It’s a salient message for voters at a time when Nelson is once again promising to “take action” on issues like algae and red tide…the same issues he’s been promising to take action on for years…including during a failed bid to become governor of Florida back in 1990.

The Scott ad hits home when paired with the news that Nelson won’t agree to debate Scott except on outlets Nelson considers to be “friendly.” With only six weeks before election day, he’s confirmed that out of four total planned debates, he will only participate in a Telemundo debate on October 2nd in Miami, and one by the left-leaning CNN slated for some time in mid-October.

Recent public polls show the race within the margin of error.



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