Senate Brief: 1 Week | Closing Arguments

Week of Monday, October 29

IN BRIEF: One week out from Election Day, Republican Senate candidates are en route to fall far short of expectations. Here’s why:

This cycle’s map was supposed to be a Republican juggernaut. After the 2016 election, onlookers predicted a Republican sweep of 10 Senate seats held by Democratic Senators in states that Trump won.
But multiple recruitment failures, a deeply unpopular president, and Republican ineffectiveness have evened the playing field. States once thought to be in play — Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin — are effectively off the map. And even in redder states like Montana and West Virginia, flawed Republican candidates have failed to overtake popular incumbents.
The GOP has failed to find any meaningful message on which to campaign. Democrats have displayed across-the-board message discipline on the cycle’s #1 issue — healthcare — forcing Republicans to play defense on policies […]

Read more after the jump.

American Bridge FOIAs Florida Governor’s Office For Documents Corresponding to Rick Scott’s Post-Hurricane Michael Ad

Today American Bridge submitted a public records request to the Florida Governor’s office requesting documentation corresponding to a Scott for Florida campaign ad that appears to use video footage of Hurricane Michael recovery efforts obtained using state resources.

Download the request here.

The request is three-fold: email correspondence between the Office of the Governor and the Scott for Florida campaign between October 10, 2018 and October 16, 2018; email correspondence between the Office of the Governor and the Scott for Florida campaign that mentions visual materials of Hurricane Michael recovery efforts; and a list of any expenses accrued by the Office of the Governor in filming Hurricane Michael recovery efforts.

“The Hurricane Michael death toll is still climbing, thousands are without power, and Rick Scott is already taking a victory lap on his recovery efforts,” said American Bridge spokesperson Amelia Penniman. “Scott’s campaign ad not only defies common decency; it […]

Read more after the jump.

QUICK CLIP: Rick Scott Said WHAT?

Fresh off a debate performance filled with falsehoods, Rick Scott took to Fox and Friends this morning to keep his lie streak going.

Asked about the red tide and blue-green algae plaguing Florida’s businesses, beaches, and wildlife, Scott falsely said Bill Nelson is “completely responsible for it.”

Watch Scott lying through his teeth:

Reminder: many Floridians blame Scott, not Nelson, for the environmental crisis, after Scott cut millions in environmental funding from the state budget.

Watch a highlight reel of Scott’s culpability here:

“Scott’s finger pointing is exactly the kind of desperate tactic used by someone afraid to defend his own record,” said American Bridge spokesperson Amelia Penniman. “Floridians know Scott is to blame for their environmental woes. Scott is scrambling to distract.”

Read more after the jump.

MEMO: Revisiting Rick Scott’s Record on 3 Key Debate Topics

A cheat sheet for #DebateFlorida on Scott’s real record

Rick Scott is whitewashing his record on immigration.

A long history of support for extremist measures speaks otherwise.

Scott opposed the DREAM Actvetoed legislation giving Dreamers driver’s licenses,supported building Trump’s wall, and campaigned in support of an Arizona-style immigration law widely considered to enshrine racial profiling.

Contrary to his campaign-trail rhetoric, Scott has been downright lukewarm in his opposition to Trump’s cruel family separation policy.

In June, Politico reported “Scott isn’t taking his opposition to Trump’s policy as far as a handful of other Republican and Democratic governors, who are either pulling out National Guard personnel or are refusing to commit them along the border.

And asked about visiting migrant detention centers, Scott said: “I’m, um, they, they’ll…” 

Rick Scott is […]

Read more after the jump.

Senate Brief: The GOP’s October Flop

Week of Monday, October 1.

IN BRIEF: Welcome to October. The start of this month typically signals a shift in campaign messaging towards closing arguments and GOTV. But after a string of major flops, GOP Senate candidates are having a tough time giving voters something to turn out for.

Republicans have lost major messaging battles with the unpopularity of the tax cuts and their neverending healthcare screw ups.
Now, Morning Consult reports that a third pillar in their anticipated platform — the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court — has collapsed, leaving devastating polling losses among Republican women after sexual assault allegations surfaced against Kavanaugh.

Republican Senate candidates apparently didn’t get this memo. While all eyes were on Washington last week, GOP Senate candidates across the country continued spouting insensitive, even offensive comments about Dr. Blasey Ford’s allegation and testimony. Some of their choice words? “ Read more after the jump.

QUICK CLIP: Rick Scott Embellishes His Success As Governor

Rick Scott’s campaign is largely built on his “success” as governor. But Scott’s talking points don’t line up with the facts: from a prolonged environmental disaster, to a history of obfuscation and lack of transparency, Scott isn’t what he claims to be in his campaign ads.

Now, Spectrum News’s Troy Kinsey is calling Scott out for some creative accounting he’s used to boost the state’s economic numbers:

“It is a prime selling point for Governor Rick Scott and Tallahassee’s majority Republicans as they campaign this fall, that over the past eight years Florida has paid down $10 billion of debt, earning the state top tier credit ratings.

“It all sounds very impressive, but a new non-profit government watchdog report out today finds all is not as it appears…the report argues that state leaders have been using an accounting gimmick to keep nearly $20 billion worth of pension debt off the […]

Read more after the jump.

Senate Brief: Kavanaugh Is Already Hurting Republican Candidates

Week of Monday, September 24, 2018

IN BRIEF: Kevin Cramer is under fire for suggesting an alleged rape attempt by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was “absurd” because it “never went anywhere,” and the parties involved were “drunk” “teenagers.”

This isn’t your average Cramer gaffe. While most Republican Senate candidates are staying safely in the “she should testify” lane, Cramer is professing disbelief. What’s more, his suggestion that the allegation shouldn’t be taken seriously because it “never went anywhere” is being compared to Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments.
This will be a liability for Republicans. Cramer has moved the ball down the court by being the first Senate candidate to flat-out deny the allegations. He’s also crossed a line in the midst of a national conversation about assault and consent. And his fellow Republican office-seekers will have to answer for that.
Republicans have lost a major talking point. As Kavanaugh’s […]

Read more after the jump.

Quick Clip: Rick Scott’s “Bus Tour” Is Going Terribly

Scott is cancelling events and running
from constituents as protests plague his tour

Rick Scott’s plane bus tour is off to a horrible start.

Here are a few of the ways Scott’s tour has stumbled in its first week:

Last week, Scott ditched his stop at one Florida donut shop for another one with fewer protestors.
Scott was called out for using his private plane between campaign stops.
Yesterday, Scott was “besieged” by protestors who blame him for the toxic algae blooms and Red Tide plaguing Florida waters.
And just this morning, Scott announced he’s cancelling a stop in red tide-affected Naples.


Tallahassee’s Spectrum News even highlighted the anti-Scott protests at yesterday’s stop, which were so loud they forced Scott to leave his event after just ten minutes.

Watch Tallahassee’s […]

Read more after the jump.

Quick Clip: Rick Scott’s Immigration Pander-monium

Rick Scott raised eyebrows across Florida this weekend after WBFS exposed the two very different ads his campaign is running on immigration.

In South Florida, Scott is portraying an “understanding and friendly tone” on immigration. Meanwhile, up north, Scott refers to an “immigration mess,” and blames Senator Nelson for “the catch and release policy that’s allowed 900,000 illegal immigrants caught here to stay here.”

“This is exactly the type of transparent political pandering that voters detest,” said American Bridge spokesperson Amelia Penniman. “And it’s further proof that Rick Scott will say and do anything to get elected — including making reductive assumptions about Floridians.”

Watch WBFS expose Scott’s contradictory ads:

Watch the full clip here.

Read more after the jump.

Senate Brief: Republicans On Kavanaugh Assault Allegation: Ignore, Dismiss, Distract

Week of Monday, September 17.

IN BRIEF: A sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is putting Republican Senate candidates in a pickle.

After months of blind support for Kavanaugh’s nomination, GOP candidates will face increased scrutiny on a nominee they thought was airtight. And if their reactions so far are any indication, don’t hold your breath for Republicans to do the honorable thing.

Josh Hawley was dogged by questions from reporters after the first Missouri Senate debate last Friday. Asked about the allegation, Hawley said the Senate should move forward and vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination. Asked “Do you believe the woman?,” he refused to answer and made a quick exit.
Dean Heller doubled down on his support for Kavanaugh in a local radio interview conducted hours after the allegation was made public, saying “America will be better off” […]

Read more after the jump.