‘Nelson? … Nelson?’ Rick Scott calls out Bill Nelson’s absences in new ad

Rick Scott Bill Nelson empty chair ad

Gov. Rick Scott is out with a new ad, essentially accusing his Democratic opponent for U.S. Senate — incumbent Bill Nelson — of pulling a ‘Ferris Bueller‘ during his time in Washington.

The ad, titled “Empty Chair,” highlights Nelson’s numerous missed Senate Armed Services Committee meetings during his time in the U.S. Senate, and once again bashes Nelson for his lengthy political career.

“Bill Nelson’s been running for office in Florida since 1972,” the ad’s narrator begins.

“Can you name one thing he’s done? I’ll keep waiting.

“Bill Nelson votes his party line 89 percent of the time, and that’s when he bothers to show up at all. Nelson skipped 45 percent of the hearings on national security. National security!

“Bill Nelson doesn’t write laws; he doesn’t even show up. Bill Nelson’s chair is empty. Even when he’s in it.”

Ryan Brown, a spokesperson from the Nelson campaign, issued a statement bashing Scott over the ad’s claims.

“This is nothing more than another false attack by Rick Scott who is nothing more than a phony politician,” Brown said.

He added Nelson had “attended about 80 percent of the Armed Services meetings this year and 86 percent last year. This isn’t an ad, it’s propaganda — and it’s another reason why you just can’t trust Rick Scott.”

The ad’s release comes as Scott is embarking on a bus tour to push his “Make Washington Work” 10-point plan. That tour has seen some hiccups as Gov. Scott has faced criticism over his handling of the red tide issue.

The race between Scott and Nelson

RealClearPolitics currently gives Scott a lead of less than two percentage points, according to an aggregation of available polling. FiveThirtyEight sees Nelson as the slight favorite, projecting him to win by just over one percentage point.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


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