Under the attacks and insults flying in the 2nd Congressional District race is an economic debate. Congressman Steve Southerland and Democratic Challenger Gwen Graham of Leon County both say they have the interest of working and middle class voters in mind and the other doesn’t.
The candidates agree on the importance of jobs, education and a balance budget and differ on ways to create jobs, improve education and achieve a balanced budget. In education for example, Graham talks about “investing” in schools and Southerland about “empowering” parents.
On the campaign trail, the candidates are intensely contesting how best to achieve policy goals concerning the economy and how the government spends money. The discussion is a bit more subdued on the Internet.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio turned up the heat Tuesday in the hotly-contested race when he asserted Graham supports policies that are “destructive to the American Dream.” He explained to a group of College Republicans the promise of unlimited opportunity, like his rise from humble beginnings to GOP leader, is threatened by big government policies of taxes and regulations promoted by Democratic leaders who he said Graham supported “99 percent of the time.”
While discussing the comment and following the discussion from Graham to President Barack Obama and Rep. Nancy Pelosi to “crushing the American Dream,” Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee, began to smile.
“They’ve got nothing,” said Williams, chair of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus and Graham supporter.
“They are three different people and this is about Gwen Graham. When they try to point out Barrack Obama and Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Reid, what they are really saying is that they have no real talking points for their candidate,” said Williams. “They have nothing positive to say about Steve Southerland. “
Florida House Speaker Pro Tempore Marti Coley though said linking Graham to Washington Democrats is appropriate.