TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum is demanding that television stations stop airing an attack ad from his opponent that contains a number of “malicious falsehoods.”
The ad was paid for by the GOP and approved by Ron DeSantis.
“It is abundantly clear that Congressman DeSantis is a liar who has no respect for Floridians and no positive vision for our state,” said Gillum campaign communications director Johanna Cervone. “His latest attack ad is indicative of a candidate with no moral compass who has resorted to desperate and dirty lies in order to score political points during a natural disaster.”
On Thursday, the Gillum campaign issued a cease and desist letter to stations airing the ad.
In the ad, a voice states that “Andrew Gillum is running for Governor and also from the FBI” combined with the text “Andrew Gillum FBI Investigation.” The Gillum camp said this is not true. While the FBI is investigating key players in Tallahassee’s city government, it has been widely reported that Gillum has
been advised by the FBI that he is not the subject of an investigation.
Also in the ad, there is a block of text which reads “Illegal Trips with Lobbyists.” Gillum’s campaign said this is an intentionally false claim that Mayor Gillum took illegal trips. They point out that the source cited for the claim, the Tallahassee Democrat, reported that a trip to New York is the subject of an ethics
The Gillum campaign also took issue with the voice stating “Now Gillum refuses to disclose who’s paid him” combined with text stating “Andrew Gillum Refuses to Disclose Who’s Paid Him.”
They said the source they cite for the statement, Politico, made it clear in their article that Gillum did not accept any money and was not paid by anyone.
“The Advertisement concludes with the intentionally false statement of fact “Andrew Gillum: … he’s corrupt.” Such an accusation is not supported by the source material and is defamatory per se,” the Gillum campaign wrote in the cease and desist letter.
The letter concludes that Gillum and the Gillum for Governor Campaign will take all available legal recourse to prevent the spread of the false and defamatory
The DeSantis campaign also landed in hot water for running negative campaign ads while a hurricane was battering the state.
While Hurricane Michael battered the state, the DeSantis campaign aired two ads which bashed Gillum, Tallahassee’s Mayor, for the city’s response to a hurricane in 2016.
When asked about the ads, the DeSantis’ campaign referred questions to the state’s Republican Party, which later said it would pull them down.