Eric Kleefeld has a good piece on the disarray Florida Republicans are in right now. Obviously, this has been building for some time, what with the former party chairman under indictment for basically looting party coffers, allegedly, and the Republican governor having abandoned the party before it abandoned him in the U.S. Senate race.
But what really stands out in the piece is the level of animosity between Rick Scott, who just won the party nomination for governor, and Bill McCollum, the state’s Republican attorney general whom he defeated. As you’ll remember, McCollum declined to concede the race on the night of the election Tuesday. Yesterday, he went ahead and conceded, but now he’s declining to endorse Scott. That in and of itself isn’t terribly unusual. Oftentimes, the losing candidate needs a little time to lick the wounds.
McCollum, however, has absolutely no regard for or confidence in Scott, and he’s not afraid to say so publicly, telling a local TV station last week: “I’ve got more questions about him and his character, and whether he’s suitable to be governor than anyone I’ve ever had participate in any election in the years I’ve been running for public office.”
That’s a message Dems will take all the way to the bank. With Scott’s troubled past as CEO at Columbia/HCA, there’s tangible evidence to point to of his lack of suitability for the office. But it’s worth watching very closely to see how much that message seeps into the minds of Republican and indy voters, too. McCollum can’t be the only Republican in Florida wondering what just happened there.
David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.