We’re six weeks from the general election and the candidates in Florida’s race for governor are stepping up their attacks against each other.
Monday, Republican Ron DeSantis accused his Democratic opponent, Andrew Gillum, of siding with extremist forces that are anti-Israel. DeSantis also faulted the media for never questioning Gillum’s relations with those groups, while reporters constantly question his ties to extreme conservative groups.
“It’s an attempt to create a narrative. You do not do that with Andrew Gillum,” said DeSantis. “Oh no. He gets a zone of protection. So, it’s a double standard. It’s an attempt to create a narrative. If I have a crowd of 500 people, how the hell am I supposed to know who’s in the crowd?”
On Tuesday, Gillum and the Democrats continued their attacks at what they say is “DeSantis’s record of taking healthcare away from Floridians by eliminating protections for those with pre-existing conditions.”
“Congressman Ron DeSantis cannot run from his extreme agenda and the six years he spent in Washington trying to take healthcare away from Floridians,” said Gillum campaign spokesman Joshua Karp. “He’s proven he’ll always put rich, corporate interests ahead of what’s best for Florida families.”
The Gillum campaign released a television spot Tuesday accusing DeSantis of denying coverage to Americans through his votes in Washington.
“They’re called pre-existing conditions, and everybody knows somebody who has one,” the announcer says in the ad. “But in Congress, Ron DeSantis demanded that any new health law eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions. He’d let insurance companies deny them coverage.
“And when he was asked what cancer patients should do without health insurance, DeSantis said ‘show up to the emergency room.’ How can DeSantis lead Florida when he leaves Floridians behind?” the announcer goes on to say making reference to a comment made by DeSantis in an interview with CNN.
The spot is called, “Everybody,” and is being paid for by the Florida Democratic Party, which did not release details about the size of media buy. The party would only say the spot will air in major media markets beginning Tuesday.
U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman were also a part of the Democrats’ attempt to focus attention on healthcare. The two were part of a news conference held outside a community health center in Pinellas County.
Gillum has said he will support providing more healthcare to Floridians by expanding Mediciad to 800,000 people and would protect patients with pre-existing conditions.