by Javier Manjarres
Earlier today, Florida state GOP Chairman John Thrasher flew to Fort Lauderdale to meet with Republican Gubernatorial nominee Rick Scott to extend his and the RPOF’s support for him after Scott defeated Bill McCollum in Tuesday’s Republican primary election. The RPOF had openly criticized Scott and his campaign for contrasting McCollum to ex-party boss Jim Greer in both television and print advertisements. Scott’s victory on Tuesday sent shockwaves through the GOP establishment due to the fact that the Party and its top politicos were strongly backing McCollum. This episode also amounted to another blemish on the RPOF for interfering in yet another contested primary by trying to shove the McCollum campaign down the GOP electorate’s throats.
But now, the intra-party reunification process has begun. During today’s meeting between Thrasher and Scott, the two men spoke about healing the the Party’s divide and strategizing a winning game-plan for November’s showdown with the Obama-esque Alex Sink. Scott also spoke to Haley Barbour, the President of the Republican Governor’s Association and Governor of Mississippi about doing the same.
As the GOP establishment scrambles to get behind Rick Scott, his sore-losing opponent Bill McCollum seems to not understand that this campaign is over by continuing to pout and question Mr. Scott’s ethics and moral compass. McCollum has also said that he does not know if he will support Scott in the General Election:
“I still have serious questions and I have had them throughout the time that I’ve had the very brief acquaintanceship with Rick Scott about issues of his character, his integrity, his honesty, things that go back to Columbia/HCA,” McCollum told a gaggle of reporters in Florida Thursday morning.
“The bottom line is, he outspent us,” he said. “He had a lot of negative ads and we were never able to rebut them in the end the way I would have liked to.”
McCollum blames Scott’s media blitz for his election night loss, but the reasons for his loss were much greater than that. McCollum’s candidacy failed to inspire people, the campaign he waged was lackluster until after Scott’s media blitz commenced, not to mention the poor campaign staff that he put together to run his campaign. And when you combine these with the fact that McCollum refuses to support the candidate that Florida’s Republican electorate selected to represent them, that speaks volumes as to who the right choice was all along.