Eluding Editorial Boards, Dodging Debates

By: Whitney Ray Email
By: Whitney Ray Email

Tallahassee, FL - Since Rick Scott burst onto Florida’s political scene, his strategy has been clear, spend millions of his own dollars telling voters what to think about him. Journalists have had little access to the Republican nominee for governor. A political ad from the Republican primary shows him dodging reporters.

Thursday a debate sponsored by the League of Women voters had to be cancelled because Scott wouldn’t show up.

“Neither PBS nor the League can have open chair debates where one of the candidates doesn’t show up so we had no choice but to cancel,” said Marilynn Wills a league spokeswoman.

And he’s also snubbing the centuries old tradition of meeting with newspaper editorial boards. An offer to sit with the editors of the Tallahassee Democrat and other Florida newspapers still stands, instead Scott is buying up TV time across the state to control his message.

Scott has spent more than 50 million of his own money buying TV. Democrat National Committeeman Jon Ausman says Scott’s strategy keeps voters in the dark.

“It’s a very common strategy for Republican to avoid talking to the press because they don’t want their ideas fully explored because once you do that you start to see the illogic behind them,” said Ausman.

We called Scott’s campaign for a comment on this story, were told to email our questions. Scott’s campaign responded by highlighting his participation in a Univision debate last week and pointing to the more than a hundred reporters who have asked him question over the last four months on the campaign trail as proof he’s not avoiding the media.

Scott’s campaign adds this statement:

“The governor’s race attracts a lot of attention across the state. To date, the campaign has received far more invitations to participate in events, debates and forums than we could possibly ever attend.”

Bettina Inclan,
Press Office
Rick Scott for Governor

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