Democratic candidate for Florida governor targeted with racist robocalls

Democratic candidate for Florida governor targeted with racist robocalls

Democratic candidate for Florida governor targeted with racist robocalls

According to the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper, which first reported on the robocalls, they include jungle noises in the background and a man who pretends to be Gillum, the 39-year-old mayor of Tallahassee, using a minstrel performer's exaggerated accent and speaking about mud huts.

Racist phone calls mocking Florida's black Democratic gubernatorial nominee appear to be from a Sandpoint-based white supremacist podcast that has also taken credit for inflammatory robocalls in Iowa and California.

DeSantis denied that race had anything to do with his comments, but instead argued he was focusing on "ideas and principles". Adrianne Shropshire, the executive director of BlackPAC, joined CBSN with more on how race may affect this election. The calls, which according to the Gillum campaign started Friday, are said to be paid for by The Road to Power - an Idaho-based video podcast. "I'm pleased to see him decry those robocalls, but it's also important that Ron DeSantis take control and ownership of his own rhetoric and words", Gillum added.

During an appearance on Fox News after Tuesday's primaries, DeSantis called Gillum - who is seeking to become Florida's first black governor - an "articulate" candidate, but said "the last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting this state".

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Regardless, it seems like the couple has really been happy together and everybody there is certainly happy the pair got engaged. Kent stated that she can't wait to put as much detail into planning their wedding as Emmett did in planning their engagement.

Gillum went on to say, "What I don't want the race to turn into is a race of name-calling".

Responding to DeSantis's comments and the robocalls on Meet the Press Sunday morning, Gillum said: "We can not afford to weaponize race and to go to the bottom of the barrel here". "I want to make sure that we don't racialize and, frankly, weaponize race as a part of the process, which is why I have called on my opponent to really work to rise above some of these things". "People are taking their cues from [DeSantis], his campaign and from Donald Trump". DeSantis spokesperson Stephen Lawson said, "Our campaign has and will continue to focus exclusively on the issues that Floridians care about and uniting our state as we continue to build on our success".

His comments prompted fierce backlash, with critics suggesting the remarks had racial undertones or were outright racist.

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