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Bill Nelson’s new digital ad takes aim at ‘Oil Slick Rick’

The Democrat accuses the Republican governor of a 'political stunt' on offshore drilling.
An image from Bill Nelson's digital ad [YouTube]
An image from Bill Nelson's digital ad [YouTube]
Published Jun. 21, 2018
Updated Jun. 21, 2018

You've already met "Negative Nelson" in Florida's U.S. Senate race in an ad Gov. Rick Scott launched a couple of days ago.

Now, meet "Oil Slick Rick."

Nelson is up with a 60-second digital ad that accuses Scott of a "political stunt" in his announcement in January with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke that Florida was "off the table" for future oil exploration.

Since then, Zinke has made contradictory remarks, and legal experts say that his claims aren't legally binding. Democrats said the hastily-arranged announcement at the Tallahassee airport smacked of election-year politics.

Four days before Zinke came to Florida, Scott issued a statement that cited "the crucial need to remove Florida from consideration" as a potential site for drilling.

READ MORE: Ryan Zinke may have hurt, not helped, Florida on oil drilling

The ad makes reference to a Politico report that aides to President Donald J. Trump plotted to create a political win for Scott. Words flash on the screeen: "Scott supported offshore drilling even after the BP oil spill."

And there's that now-familiar selfie of the governor and president smiling together.

The ad kicks off a "Scott is not for Florida" messaging theme by Nelson that includes @NotForFlorida accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Nelson's campaign did not disclose the size of the online ad purchase.

Other than theme music, the only sound heard in the entire spot is an audio clip of Scott saying: "Offshore drilling is an option."

Scott said that in December 2010, shortly before he took office, in response to an announcement from President Barack Obama.

UPDATE: Responding to this ad, Scott's campaign said Nelson "likes to pretend" that he wrote an oil drilling moratorium bill in 2006, but that he was the only senator from a Gulf Coast in either party who didn't cosponsor it. It was S 3711, the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act.

Scott's campaign also pointed to a Nelson statement from 2010: "I have no objection to offshore drilling if it is done responsibly."

"When Obama needed the support, it was Bill Nelson who was willing to put partisan politics first and change his position to support oil drilling closer to Florida's shores," Scott's campaign asserted.

Watch Nelson's ad here.


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