Joe Gruters: How the left loses all credibility — Exhibit A

They do what they so often do: go too far and, in the process, lose all credibility.

I received a text message the other night from a Florida reporter wanting to know about the immigration listening tour I recently postponed in the wake of the tragedies in El Paso and Dayton.

I thought it was a little odd considering the decision to delay was made two weeks ago, and I had moved on to other items on my legislative agenda.

But that’s where I was wrong.

You see, sometimes a political narrative is too juicy — too intoxicating — that those on the liberal left just cannot let it go.

They couldn’t stand the fact that my decision to postpone the tour was widely lauded.  There had to be a way to politicize the tragedies further and keep a storyline alive, they mused.

So they do what they so often do:  go too far and, in the process, lose all credibility.

This week, as the aforementioned reporter would reveal in our text chain, Florida Democrats began running digital ads across the state calling on me to cancel the immigration listening tour altogether.  But not just any ads.

These ads, with the World War III headline “STOP THE GOP HATE TOUR,” featured me side-by-side with the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who marched on Charlottesville in 2017.

The advertisements are being paid for by a pro-illegal immigration group in Florida managed by the sister of a Democratic lawmaker.  Notably, that lawmaker has remained completely silent and hasn’t commented on whether she approves of the ads.

I understand that there is not a more hot button issue in America than that of immigration.  I also understand that as the author of the bill to ban sanctuary cities in Florida, I will be attracting fire from those who do not believe that immigration reform should be a top priority.  I get that.  It comes with the job.

But the moment you start linking all Republicans with symbols of hate is the moment you lose instant credibility and are actually doing more to fan the flames of division in this country.

recent poll conducted by St. Pete Polls revealed that a majority of Floridians supported my legislation to ban sanctuary cities across our state.  Does their support means they adhere to a racist and hate-filled ideology?  Or does their support mean that they too believe that we should never compromise when it comes to public safety and enacting common-sense policies that uphold the law of the land?

It will be interesting to see if Democrats continue to run these hate-filled ads across our beautiful state.  Part of me hopes they do because it just further shines a spotlight on their political motivations and absurdity.

But for the sake of a healthier dialogue, maybe, just maybe, they’ll do what’s right.


State Sen. Joe Gruters also serves as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.

Guest Author


  • Lisa S.

    August 22, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    Maybe, just maybe, Joe Gruters is having someone ghost write a sloppy and weak fascist self-pardoning guest editorial to take attention away from the recent revelation that he attended the ALEC 2019 Annual Meeting, which took place in Austin, TX between August 14-16, 2019.

    Oh, and so were two high level policy directors for FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform), the anti-immigration organization that authored #SB168 for him. David Jaroslav, State and Local Legislative Manager and Shari Rendall, Director of State & Local Engagement.

    “ALEC has faced criticism from activists and consumer for its role in promoting controversial corporate-backed model legislation. In recent years this has included weakening efforts to tackle climate change, lower corporate taxes, and dismantle collective bargaining rights. Many groups produce model legislation. But ALEC allows corporations to propose language for its model bills, and then (in return for financial contributions) allows lobbyists to vote on whether the organization should adopt it as policy.”

    • Craig Bozza

      August 23, 2019 at 10:17 am


      You write as if you are an intelligent person. However, how intelligent are you, really, if you don’t even know the meaning of Fascist. Fascism is exactly what you are calling for. The shutdown of free speech. Do you not understand that race bating and demonizing is exactly what you are accusing others of doing but you and your activist friends are doing just that. Antifa is not antifascist, it is fascism at its roots as is blacklivesmatter. Immigration has nothing to do with race. It has to do with rule of law. Again, you are calling for our people to ignore the rule of law, which is exactly the root of Fascism. You can hate all you want, “Free Country”, but try to get your terminology correct. The left are the fascists, as you seem to be.

      • Mary Frances Heery

        August 23, 2019 at 11:44 am

        Thankyou, Craig, for posting yourcomment.

  • DumpTrump2020

    August 22, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    Gruters is just a blowhard garden-variety partisan looking to get and maintain enough traction with his base base to be able to run for governor in 2026. He’s got about as much on the ball as Trump. Unfortunately for him, Trump is going to get blown out in 2020 worse than Goldwater did in 1964 – and if Texas and Florida go Democratic – the Republicans may well become extinct! A welcome thought! The Dems only need to pick up four seats in both the Florida Senate and the U.S. Senate to become the majority – and I’ll bet they do both! That’ll send Gruters and a bunch of Neanderthal Florida Republicans back to the caves they came from!

    • Mary Frances Heery

      August 23, 2019 at 11:43 am

      It’s difficult to stay objective when one side is so pugilistic.that one has to work to get past name calling and negative adjectives to locate any substance. Hate saps energy of mind and body.

    • Leo Belill

      August 23, 2019 at 4:04 pm

      willing to wage a fair amount of money, DumpTrump2020, that NONE of your predictions happen- –

  • Marianne

    August 22, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    Gruters supports a president who has tweeted hateful, divisive remarks almost daily. His continued support of this president and his hate filled agenda is why he is being attacked. Where is his article on how Trump goes too far?

  • Allison Drummond

    August 22, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    Gruters, you’re a STAIN on Sarasota.

    LMFAO – the GOP has never had credibility, especially now. You now longer support conservatism, fiscal responsibility, human rights, HONESTY, FACTS, personal responsibility, nothin’. Nothing your party used to ‘stand for’ does it stand for today, except racism. You always have racism and trickle down economics scam.

    • Mary Frances Heery

      August 23, 2019 at 12:11 pm

      Lisa, I don’t know how long, or if, you’ve been following politics or the history of the Parties’ platforms, but I’ve been an Independent my whole life, and in recent years, felt compelled to register Republican so I could vote in the primaries. Years ago, I could have named representatives who were outstanding in their patriotism, desire and success in working for the American people. Nowadays, I lack respect for both parties: the Dems because a bias has been deliberately cultivated by Congress that has permeated into our society of average working people. The Repub’s.rarely take a public stand; they are sooo.civil as to not be heard at all. The effect — without regard to real love and respect for our country — has turned American against American. I come from a time when almost any American could listen and comment on a difference of opinion without it ever getting to the animus level we have every day. We demean ourselves. It is no wonder nothing good gets done in Congress with its very low ratings. Each of us are responsible for our words and actions and their effects on our neighbor American. Sadly, our society has become filled with so many extremists that thinking is irrational. “Moderate” is balanced, seeing and acknowledging the purposes and benefits of each issue — that’s intelligence. Being balanced and stable. I’d love to see more of that!

  • stepheneng

    August 22, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    You were trying to capitalize on the current conflagration over immigration and got caught at it. Face it, your critics have it right. You are in league with the most regressive voices in politics, even to the Right of most Republican politicians. Get off your self-righteous whining and try to do something more constructive than running around your district to stir up more angst about immigration. Grow up!

  • Craig Bozza

    August 23, 2019 at 9:01 am

    All you people above, Please tell me why you support people coming into our country ILLEGALLY, and don’t tell me we are “a country of immigrants”. That is an old and worn out talking point and has nothing to do with illegal immigration, especially at our southern border. Repub or Dem, Trump lover or hater, please tell me why people should be welcomed illegally. Would you allow them to stay in your home if they walked through your front door w/o being invited. I think not.

  • Robert B Rigby

    August 23, 2019 at 11:17 am

    I’ve been listening to Democratic Candidates on the campaign trail. I’ve enjoyed the bantering, however they need to show their own ideas and campaign against each other, rather than their never ending name calling against President Trump!. I’m truly surprised how all the candidates have drifted to the far socialist left. I also believe Nancy Pelosi, has let the “Squad” dictate Democratic policy. I believe this and a few other minor things like the strongest economy in 75 year will defeat the Democrats this fall.

Comments are closed.


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