Two of Florida’s top elected officials who are supporters of President Donald Trump had some strong comments Wednesday about the violence that occurred in Charlottesville this past weekend, but they would not comment on how the president has characterized what happened.
Both Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi said they could only comment on their own views and beliefs–both expressed strong reaction to what happened Saturday.”
“A white supremacist murdered a young woman who is about the same age as my daughter,” said Scott. “I served in the Navy. My dad served in the Second World War. I didn’t serve to defend Neo-nazis.”
The attorney general was just as strong in her comments.
“Racism, violence, hate are still thriving and it’s horrible and it’s got to stop. Everyone needs to come out with the strongest statements possible against the hatred in this country right now,” said Bondi.
At a news conference on Tuesday, the president suggested that white nationalists and the demonstrators who were there to protest them were both equally to blame for the violence that occurred.
“I don’t believe in racism. I don’t believe in bigotry,” Scott responded when reporters pressed him for a comment on Trump’s characterization of the violence. “What happened in Charlottesville was evil. There is no moral equivalency between the two sides. A young lady was murdered. We lost two law enforcement officers. Every elected official needs to figure out how to bring our country together.”
“I urge all political leaders at the state, local and federal level, including the president, to focus on unity,” Scott added. “How do we come together? How do we create more love and less hate? We’ve got to eliminate this divisiveness in our country.”
On Saturday, Trump blamed “many sides” for the violence that occurred. Attorney General Bondi has her own definition for “many sides.”
“I believe the ‘many sides’ are the KKK, the white supremacists, the Neo-nazis, all of the hate-filled groups who are racist. They are horrible.”
“There are so many groups out there filled with hatred and violence and they will not be tolerated, nor should they be tolerated, in our state and our country,” Bondi added. “It’s horrible what’s going on in this world.”