Tuesday morning the voters in Florida 2nd Congressional District awoke to warnings about a “them” intent on pursing an “extreme agenda.” It’s part of a $600,000 ad buy by a PAC affiliated with House Speaker John Boehner in support of incumbent Congressman Steve Southerland, R-Panama City. The commercial asserts that a vote for Democratic challenger Gwen Graham is a vote to support an agenda put forth by President Barack Obama and Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
By the afternoon, the Southerland campaign defined more clearly what the “extreme agenda” is. It is to crush the American Dream.
“Gwen Graham is going to be a consistent vote on behalf of Nancy Pelosi’s agenda and Nancy Pelosi’s agenda is destructive to the American dream,” Sen. Marco Rubio told about 50 college Republicans at Southerland’s Tallahassee campaign office.
The event was to thank the group for working phone banks on Southerland’s behalf and performing other campaign duties in the tightly contested 2 –nd District race. Both Southerland and Rubio stressed the importance of get out the vote efforts and the early voting. Many of the volunteers easily joked with Southerland about previous campaign events.
The 43-year old Sen. told the crowd that it wasn’t that long ago he was doing the same kind of volunteer work that they were performing for Southerland. He then pivoted to a talk about American exceptionalism and the dangers posed by a Democratic victory in November.
Rubio explained that American exceptionalism is why as a child of immigrants he is able to live the American dream, rising from humble beginning to becoming a U.S. Senator and asserted that the dream of unlimited opportunity is threaten by big government policies of taxes and regulations promoted by Obama and Pelosi.
“Big government is crushing the American dream,” said Rubio, predicting that Graham would vote with Obama 99-percent of the time. “And it is the Democrats who have pursued it and that is what your opponent wants to be a part of if she is elected to the Congress; imposing an even greater burden on our people and crushing the American Dream.”
During the campaign’s debate Graham has pointed out that neither Barack Obama nor Nancy Pelosi are on the ballot in the 2 –nd District. She has also said that she would not be supporting a Pelosi candidacy to lead the U. S. House.
“Gwen looks forward to working in a bipartisan way with Senator Rubio to pass commonsense policies, which brings jobs and economic opportunity to North Florida’s middle class families,” said Graham spokesman Eric Conrad in an email-exchange.
“What’s really crushing the American Dream is Congress’ inability to get anything done, like when Congressman Southerland put his Washington politics first by shutting down government and then voting to keep it closed. That’s just not the North Florida Way,” the Graham statement concluded.
The final two weeks of the hotly contested 2nd District race appears set to be a barnburner. Both candidates and outside groups appear poised to spend a million dollars to capture/hold the seat.