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Rick Kriseman campaign blasts Rick Baker for being ‘silent’ on Trump administration

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

From the day he entered the race, former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker said that he expected to be attacked by the Rick Kriseman campaign for his conservative political philosophy.

“You’re going to hear a lot about Republicans and Democrats over the next few months,” Baker said as he formally announced his bid for mayor on the steps of St. Pete City Hall on May 9. “Because that’s that’s the only thing they have.”

While that might have been hyperbole, there is no doubt that the Kriseman campaign is hammering Baker for being one of the many Republicans who have yet to speak out against Donald Trump, whose popularity has now sunk to just 33 percent in a new Quinnipiac national survey.

The Kriseman campaign on Friday blasted Baker for continuing to remain “silent” on a number of controversial statements or public policy positions that Trump has taken since becoming president.

“Not once during the two years of Donald Trump’s campaign and administration has Rick Baker done anything or said anything to indicate that he disagrees with or rejects the Trump agenda of hate, fear, racism and intolerance,” the Kriseman campaign charged in a press release, titled, “Day 778 of Baker’s Cowardly Silence.”

Baker has refused to say who he voted for for president, whereas Kriseman has proudly discussed his support for Hillary Clinton.

“The voters of St. Petersburg are smarter than Rick Kriseman thinks they are. They will reject his efforts to import poisonous partisan Washington politics into our city,” said Nick Hansen, Baker’s Campaign Director. “Residents want a leader in city hall that is focused on solving problems like fixing the sewer system Rick Kriseman broke, championing our local schools, getting our spending under control, and providing jobs and opportunity for all.”

In the campaign’s one and only televised debate, Kriseman went hard at Baker for his support of Republicans like Mitt Romney, Herman Cain and Sarah Palin.

The statement was released on the same day that a Florida Democratic Party memo acknowledged that the party’s own pollster shows Kriseman trailing Baker by 11 percentage points, 44 percent to 33 percent. The memo said that “moving forward, the campaign will continue discussing Kriseman’s accomplishments during his term as mayor, increase volunteer recruitment, and inform voters that Rick Baker is a Republican.”

Here are the 13 different actions that Trump has done that the Kriseman camp is condemning Baker for remaining silent on:

  • Trump announced his ban on immigrants and refugees from Muslim countries.

Baker: SILENT

  1. Trump repeatedly made derogatory and inappropriate comments about women.

Baker: SILENT

  1. Trump’s administration removes all LGBT content from White House website on first day in office.

Baker: SILENT

  1. Trump pulled out of the Paris climate accord.

Baker: SILENT

  1. Trump declared that the military will no longer accept transgender servicemembers.

Baker: SILENT

  1. Trump’s DOJ reversed discrimination protection on LGBT American’s in the workplace.

Baker: SILENT

  1. Trump Signs executive order expanding offshore drilling.

Baker: SILENT

  1. Trump said he will build a wall on the Mexican border.

Baker: SILENT

  1. Trump scraps President Obama’s clean power plan, putting our environment at risk.

Baker: SILENT

  1. Trump pushed to repeal Obamacare, potentially stripping thousands of people in St. Pete of their healthcare.

Baker: SILENT

  1. Trump called the media the “enemy of the American people.”

Baker: SILENT

  1. TUESDAY: Trump jokes about police brutality.

Baker: SILENT

  1. YESTERDAY: Trump supports a plan to cut legal immigration in half.

Baker: SILENT

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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