The bizarre meta-narrative in the Democratic primary campaign in Florida’s 5th Congressional District continued Wednesday, with the incumbent’s campaign manager retweeting a singularly unpopular figure with Florida Democrats.
Rep. Al Lawson‘s campaign manager Phillip Singleton RT’d President Donald Trump‘s rumination on petroleum prices: “Oil prices are too high, OPEC is at it again. Not good!”
For the Lawson campaign, this is the second time in a month that RTs of Trump made news.
The first RT saw Lawson’s account support Trump’s allegations of Democratic corruption, cooperation with Russia, and bashing of the “fake news media.”
The second RT saw Lawson’s account support Trump’s imposition of tariffs against traditional U.S. allies in Mexico, Canada, and the EU, a tweet that condemned “stupid trade.”
Lawson has indicated a willingness to work with Trump, voicing it in May in Jacksonville among what some listeners took as criticisms of the Congressional Black Caucus.
When asked about a claim from 538.com regarding his voting with President Donald Trump more often than some might like: “If it’s good legislation, doesn’t make a difference if it comes from Trump or anybody. If it benefits this area, I support it.”
“The man is the president of the United States,” Lawson added, noting that he finds it perplexing when people castigate him for not voting with the Congressional Black Caucus on every roll call vote.
“Nobody in the Black Caucus voted for me. That’s why I don’t understand when people say [I] don’t vote with the Black Caucus,” Lawson said, noting that he votes for what his district wants.
The question of Lawson clapping for the President at the last State of the Union came up also.
“There were other African-Americans there who did clap, but the camera focused on me,” Lawson said, noting that “some people take a spin, opponents and stuff, say ‘he is the President’s new best friend.”
“I’m the friend of the people who are going to help my constituents,” Lawson said, to scattered applause. “You don’t have to like the President, but if the President is doing something for the people you serve, you embrace him.”
Democrats may believe, however, that there is a difference between working across the aisle and RTing the man who is Public Enemy #1 for most activist Democrats.
Lawson, a first-term Congressman from Tallahassee, is facing a primary challenge from former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown in the sprawling east/west district.
Meanwhile, Singleton offered a lengthy defense of the RT from his personal account, which we are posting in full below.
“This is the personal twitter account of my brand – Hip Hop Lobbyist. I’ve liked and retweeted posts from Pusha T, Drake, P. Diddy, Ferrari Simmons, Rick Ross, Shannon Sharpe, Netflix, Charlamagne The God, The Hill, BallerAlert, The Shade Room, Marc Caputo, Peter Schorsch, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Jeb Bush, Richard Corcoran, Jose Pepe Diaz, Karen Civil, Sportscenter, AG Gancarski and others over the age of my account. To be honest, I actually tweeted Peter Schorsch regarding a playlist for politicos on the campaign trail this summer that could keep people motivated. Maybe it could go under the Sachs Media Group daily informational in the Sunburn. I got no response. Could you comment on the non reply to my tweet? Also, to wrap this up, since launching my Hip Hop Lobbyist brand my mission has been to bridge the gap between the urban culture and political world. I’ve done this in the Florida Legislature by securing funding in the budget for at-risk youth in high crime communities, minority owned businesses, green and technology businesses, while also working with people in the entertainment industry to better understand politics. As the only black millennial lobbyist in solo practice in Florida, and fully understanding my mission, anything liked or retweeted to my account is for informational purposes to the culture of people who could care less about politics.”