With just 11 days left in the St. Petersburg mayoral contest, the Florida Democratic Party is airing a new ad bashing Rick Baker.
The 30-second ad begins with footage of an angry Baker speaking after receiving Aug. 29 primary results. His face then morphs into Donald Trump‘s visage, while the narrator criticizes him for failing to call out Trump after he made remarks in August that neo-Nazi’s and KKK members in Charlottesville “very fine people.”
Then, the ad cites local media organizations who called out Baker last week for his radio ad that criticized Kriseman for failing to appear at an NAACP event, which was not true.
“The new Rick Baker: angry, deceptive and backwards,” the narrator intones.
Florida Democratic Party Deputy Communications Director Amir Avin says: “Rick Baker is taking a page from Donald Trump’s playbook. He’s willing to say or do anything to win an election — anything besides challenge Donald Trump. Even when Trump embraced white supremacists, Baker was silent.”
“Now that his campaign is flailing,” Avin continues, “he’s willing to lie if it means getting his old job back. Baker seems to have traded his dignity for $25,000 from the RNC.”
Nevertheless, as Florida Politics reported in August, Baker did say something about Charlottesville.
On Twitter, Baker wrote: “Every American, including every public official at every level, has the moral obligation to reject and condemn the White Supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazis and all others who promote racism. These groups trade in hatred and are responsible for the violence in Charlottesville, period.”
“Rick Kriseman is trying to hide from the voters because he doesn’t want to talk about the fact that he hired and empowered a man over education police who was arrested and charged in 2001 with “lewd and lascivious” behavior toward two students while he was a substitute teacher,” said Nick Hansen, campaign director for Rick Baker.
On Thursday, former Vice President Joe Biden cut a robocall for Kriseman; former President Barack Obama endorsed Kriseman just days before the late August primary.