New Republican PAC offers retrospective of Bill Nelson’s ’empty suits’

Bill Nelson in New Republican Ad

A new ad from the political action committee set up by Republican Gov. Rick Scott to provide outside support to his U.S. Senate campaign is painting Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson as a “do-nothing” featuring a retrospective of empty suits starting with a 1970s wide-lapel three-piece.

The 30-second spot, “Empty Suit,” pivots off a 1990 article in Florida Trend magazine that asked on the cover if Nelson was an empty suit. The new ad from New Republican Political Action Committee emphatically offers the answer of yes, as an animated video shows Nelson aging while a series of suits flip past sporting lapel pins starting with Jimmy Carter and running through Hillary Clinton.

It’s the sixth in a series of TV commercials New Republican has run in Florida all with the same themes: that Nelson has been in office way too long, and he has never done anything worth mentioning the whole time. Through last Friday the super PAC had spent more than $9.6 million, mostly on those television commercials.

“In the 1970s, Bill Nelson wears his first suit in Washington; begins unremarkable career,” the narrator says as the suits start changing, first to a salmon suit with a Mondale-Ferraro button.

“He manages to raise taxes and cut Medicare. Nelson is called an ’empty suit’ adored by big money. Nelson even skips national security briefings and leaves hearings about the algae blooms. After nearly 40 years in DC, he votes with his party 89 percent of the time.

“It’s been an empty career, and it’s time to retire empty-suit Bill Nelson,” the narrator concludes.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


  • Ray Tampa

    October 3, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    Democrats, the best counter to this ’empty suit’ concept on the part of Bill Nelson by Rick Scott’s campaign is this: Portray a slender Governor Scott in ‘oversized’ suits stuffed with gobs and gobs of hundred dollar bills in a back alley. This caption should simply read – “This is wrong!”

    People, Scott’s wealth has grown by more than $83,000,000 in 2017 alone. UNREAL, UNEXPLAINED AND UNUSUAL EQUALS UNETHICAL AND UNLAWFUL. No doubt.

    I am donating my marketing skills with this suggestion.

  • Ray Tampa

    October 3, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Rick Scott has not been shy about letting people know he doesn’t accept a salary as Governor of Florida. Whoopi, what a guy.

    Guess who else doesn’t accept a salary – President Donald J. Trump. Whoopi, what a guy.

    Scott and Trump know how to ignore the chump change. They know how to get brownie points from large groups of people while amassing huge sums of money behind the scenes, in the dark, under cover and/or out of plain sight. I just read an article TODAY that suggested Trump is donating his salary for the third quarter to a veteran’s project. Sounds good doesn’t it?

    Thank you, New York Times. Your investigative work will hopefully wake up the zombies.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704