Former federal prosecutor and Florida House Democratic Leader Dan Gelber is calling Gov. Rick Scot a liar when it comes to education. In a conference call with reporters, Gelber, who is advising Charlie Crist in his gubernatorial campaign, criticized Scott for using children as “political ornaments,” in his re-election campaign.
Thursday Scott promised to spend a record amount of money on education in next year’s state budget. Gelber said the announcement shows Scott is “running desperate” on education and that it was “meaningless” and a “craven gimmick.”
“Rick Scott will lie when it comes to public education,” said Gelber.
And then referencing a Crist commercial the campaign released after Scott’s announcement, Gelber hammered Scott on an exchange with a shopper who asked about his first budget as governor which cut the public schools by $1.3 billion.
“I think the guy called him out on it,” said Gelber. The commercial features an exchange in which when the shopper asked about a $1.3 billion cut Scott said it ‘didn’t happen.’”
“When he is forced to answer a question he either refuses to answer or he just lies, as he did in this ad,” said Gelber. “There is no other way to describe it.”
The Scott campaign though is calling out Gelber on remarks he made when Crist was governor 2007 – 2011.
“Charlie Crist and Dan Gelber are suffering from education amnesia,” said Matt Moon, spokesman for the Scott Campaign. “While it’s Rick Scott who has funded education record total levels – and is proposing record per pupil funding next year – Charlie Crist left schools in worse shape, with his last budget giving each student $550 less in state fund than his first budget. And when Crist was in office, it was Gelber who said his cuts to education were “harmful.” Charlie Crist gets an ‘F” for math and Dan Gelber gets an ‘F’ in history.”
In total dollars the current budget spends a record amount on public education. Gelber note though when using constant dollars — adjusted for inflation — the Crist education budget was higher every year.
Gelber accompanied Crist on part of his yellow school bus swing through the state last week contrasting the Crist and Scott education record.