Bill Nelson Criticized for Politicizing Florida Gun Town Hall Bill Nelson Criticized for Politicizing Florida Gun Town Hall – NTK Network

Bill Nelson Criticized for Politicizing Florida Gun Town Hall

The Florida Democrat showed little empathy and treated the event like a debate with his expected opponent, Rick Scott.

By NTK Staff | 02.23.2018 @11:00am
Bill Nelson Criticized for Politicizing Florida Gun Town Hall

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) said Thursday he believes the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida last week, and other topics like sexual harassment and hurricane response, will help Democrats in November.

“You stir that all into the mix — and who knows what else is going to happen at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue between now and November — and I think there is a movement,” Nelson said, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “These issues are going to help Democrats.”

And therein lies Nelson’s true feelings and strategy.

Political observers criticized Nelson for politicizing the South Florida town hall on Wednesday. The town hall featured students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the target of last week’s shooting that left 17 dead.

Nelson used the event “as a vehicle to jump-start his campaign against Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who is widely expected to run against him.”

Using one example in which Nelson turned a question about background checks into an opportunity to criticize Scott, CNN’s Chris Cillizza blasted Nelson:

First off: Where is the empathy? This kid has been grazed by one bullet and hit by the ricochet of another. She has watched someone close to her murdered. To immediately launch into an esoteric discussion of various laws and constitutional amendments as a way to comfort a grieving teenager is just a massive swing and miss.

Second, Nelson’s pivot to praising Rubio as a way to take a shot at Scott is both out of nowhere and totally transparent. “Hey, by the way, Marco is great! But Rick Scott is terrible! And he’s not even here!”

Nelson turned what could have been a night of healing into one about politics.

“That town hall wasn’t about racking up political points on a likely opponent. It was about trying to get beyond all of that — even for a night — to just have an honest conversation about guns,” Cillizza wrote. “Unfortunately, Nelson didn’t get that memo.”

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