Florida Republicans Stand Up For Trump; Echo Trump’s White Supremacist Talking Points
As the world condemns President Donald Trump’s endorsement of white supremacists, Florida Republicans shockingly defend Trump’s wink and nod to terrorist hate groups.
Career politician Adam Putnam, who has been working overtime to pander to Trump supporters in an effort to erase his flip-flops on comprehensive immigration reform, his support bailing out Wall Street, and his lack of leadership in fighting for Florida, chose to echo Trump’s widely mocked conflation of Confederate Memorials with those honoring former Presidents of the United States:
Adam Putnam: “We ought to be focused more on eradicating hate today than eradicating yesteryear’s history … Are we going to have to rename Jefferson County? Are we going to have to rename Washington County? Rename Jackson County? Where does it end?” [Tampa Bay Times, 8/16/17]
Donald Trump: “So this week it’s Robert E. Lee,” Trump told reporters. “I notice that Stonewall Jackson’s coming down,” he added, referring to another famous Confederate commander. I wonder: Is it George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after?” Trump said. “You know, you really do have to ask yourself — where does it stop?” [Business Insider, 8/16/17]
Rather than joining the growing number of Republicans including Sen. Marco Rubio in denouncing Trump’s statements, likely candidate and House Speaker Richard Corcoran chose instead to defended Trump:
Richard Corcoran: “Speaking with reporters, Corcoran said it was wrong to criticize President Donald J. Trump’s choice of words in his initial reaction to the events, when he criticized violence “on many sides.” Said Corcoran: “I think the scrutiny on that is wholly unnecessary…” [Tampa Bay Times, 8/16/17]
And Sen. Jack Latvala tried to claim he knew nothing of Trump’s words:
Jack Latvala: “I was traveling yesterday,” Latvala told reporters, after launching his campaign in the Miami-area city of Hialeah. “If I didn’t listen to it, how do I know if he sufficiently did it? All of us who look at this responsibly denounced it. Specifically, what he said yesterday I can’t comment on unless I saw it.”
Asked if the neo Nazis were 100 percent to blame, Latvala said “I wasn’t there. I condemn all violence of people that are protesting. If people are peacefully exercising their rights — whether they be white supremacists or whether they be Black Lives Matter folks — they have a right to demonstrate without having a mob attack them.”
“I wasn’t there,” Latvala reiterated. “I’ve heard a lot of different stories about what may or may not have gone down. I’m sure the president and people that are closer to it have a lot more information than I do. I’m involved in what goes on in Florida. I’m sad about what happened. I think the three people who lost their lives were innocent people. Both the cops were just doing their jobs. … Obviously, the young lady, she wasn’t doing anything wrong. That’s who we should be thinking about, not thugs.” [Politico, 8/16/17]
This from three men who seek to lead Florida, but don’t have the courage to stand up for what is right.
“If Adam Putnam, Richard Corcoran, and Jack Latvala can’t stand up to white supremacists, how can Floridians trust them to lead our state. If they don’t have the moral courage to stand up to Donald Trump, how can they ask Floridians to vote for them. It is sad that all three Republicans running for Governor are standing with hate groups against the Sunshine State.” said Florida Democratic Party spokesperson Johanna Cervone.