Six days before Election Day, President Donald Trump stepped-up his criticism of Andrew Gillum, Florida’s gubernatorial candidate, in what some are describing as a racially incendiary attack.
Trump called Gillum a “thief” without any evidence whatsoever to support his accusations. Trump also claims Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, Florida, is in charge of one of America’s “most corrupt cities.”
Gillum is trying to become Florida’s first African-American governor and leads his opponent former Rep. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, by five points, according to The New York Times.
Trump, who is backing DeSantis, appears desperate to make sure Gillum is defeated in the Nov. 6 mid-term elections, which includes tweeting that Gillum “a thief” for no legitimate reason.
Trump has a penchant for lying, concocting bizarre theories, and making up scenarios that completely misrepresent the facts. Trump is playing racial politics — again. He’s clearly trying to scare Florida voters by claiming, without proof, that Gillum, a black man, is unsavory.
To Gillum’s credit, he wasted no time responding to Trump and he mocked Trump for using social media to attack him.
“On Twitter there is a choice between having the courage to @ the person you are trash talking, or not,” Gillum wrote. “@realDonaldTrump is howling because he’s weak. Florida, go vote today,” Gillum tweeted.
Meanwhile, DeSantis, has blasted Gillum’s decision to accept a ticket to see the Broadway show “Hamilton” in 2016 from a group that included an undercover FBI agent. DeSantis has also questioned whether a trip Gillum took that year to Costa Rica with his wife, along with lobbyist and longtime friend Adam Corey and his associates, was appropriate. Gillum has said he paid his own way.
Gillum, nor anyone connected with him, has been charged with a crime and Gillum said the FBI has told him he is not a focus of the probe. And there is no evidence that Gillum is a “thief” as Trump suggests, which borders on slander.
On Monday, during an appearance on Fox News, Trump doubled down on his attack on Gillum.
“The FBI offered him tickets at $1,800 apiece and he took them — he took a trip with the same FBI agent— I guess he was posing as a developer or something — the man stone cold took this stuff,” Trump said.
Here is Gillum’s response: : “I heard @realDonaldTrump ran home to @FoxNews to lie about me. But as my grandmother told me — never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, but the pig likes it. So ignore him and vote, Florida!”
With early voting already underway, Florida voters will hopefully see through Trump’s thinly-veiled charade – and perhaps Democrats will turn out in record numbers.