Feisty Senate debate between Bill Nelson, Connie Mack short on substance
DAVIE — Florida's sleepy U.S. Senate race saw a jolt of energy Wednesday night as Connie Mack IV came charging at Democrat Bill Nelson in their first and only televised U.S. Senate debate.
Mack accused Nelson of chronic tax-raising, of taking President Barack Obama's side over Florida Medicare beneficiaries, and even using cows to exploit a tax loophole. The 45-year-old Fort Myers congressman looked confident, stayed firmly on message and rarely let facts get in the way of his attacks on the 70-year-old incumbent senator.
"Bill Nelson cast the deciding vote to cut $700 billion out of your Medicare to pay for Obamacare. I voted against Obamacare," Mack said in his opening remark, a charge that PolitiFact Florida rates Mostly False.
"Bill Nelson voted for higher taxes 150 times — 150 times!" he continued, repeating a claim PolitiFact Florida rates False. "I've got a simple litmus test: If you voted for higher taxes 150 times, it's time for you to go."
It was a feisty 60 minutes at Nova Southeastern University, long on charges and counter charges and short on substance from the men vying for the world's most deliberative body.