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Bill Nelson to Florida Democrats: We have a ‘duty’ to clean up Trump’s mess

For Bill Nelson, it’s not enough for Democrats both in Florida and nationally to be critical and watch the Republican Party self-immolate in Washington.

It is their duty as Americans to take leadership.

“The Republican Party will have to answer to the path that they’ve chosen,” Nelson told hundreds of Democrats gathered Saturday at the Florida Democratic Party state conference at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando.

“Then it’s our responsibility, not just to criticize them, not just to criticize the president; it’s our responsibility not only as Democrats but as Americans to do what we can to right the ship.”

Nelson also hailed Sen. Jeff Flake, whose political retirement speech on the Senate floor calling on the governing wing of the GOP to escape Donald Trump‘s takeover of the party. Tuesday’s bombshell speech by the Arizona Republican was hailed by Democrats and some members of the media as a watershed moment.

The Florida senator called Flake a “whistleblower alerting the nation to the moral corruption that has gripped his party.”

If past is prologue, Nelson added, whistleblower complaints are just the beginning, and they “often lead to massive wrongdoing inside an organization.”

Those comments come after CNN reported Friday that a federal grand jury in Washington had approved the first charges in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

With just a year away from the general election, Nelson is expected to face his toughest opponent since his election to the Senate in 2000 — Gov. Rick Scott, likely to become the Republican nominee in 2018.

Although he eschewed any discussion about the governor, Nelson did say 2018 is “an inflection point” for the state, declaring it was incumbent on each and every Democrat on the ballot next year to make a compelling argument why Floridians should support them.

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was 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 and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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