With two months to go until the election, both the GOP and the Democrats tipped their cards on what tactics they will embrace in two close congressional races in Florida.
For the Republicans, the plan is simple: tie Democrats in swing districts to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
In the race to replace retiring Congressman Patrick Murphy, the Democratic candidate running against Marco Rubio, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) asked if businessman Randy Perkins will back Pelosi to be speaker of the House.
“Will Randy Perkins commit to supporting Nancy Pelosi for House speaker if elected this fall?" asked Chris Pack, a spokesman for the NRCC, on Monday night. “Voters deserve to know if Randy Perkins will stand behind Pelosi's extreme agenda of higher taxes, more spending, and endless red tape that kills badly needed jobs.”
Pack asked the same question of former Congressman Joe Garcia who is looking to beat Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo in a rematch of the 2014 contest. Garcia beat Annette Taddeo, who had Pelosi’s support, in last week’s primary.
While the NRCC is looking to tie Democrats to Pelosi, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is painting Republicans as extremists.
Javier Gamboa, a spokesman for the DCCC, insisted Curbelo’s efforts to present himself as a moderate who didn’t back Donald Trump were misleading and pointed to his ties with the GOP congressional leadership.
“Carlos Curbelo’s political ambitions led him to put party first over South Florida families, and his party loyalty was promptly rewarded with a spot in House Republican leadership,” Gamboa said last week. “With a more Democratic-leaning electorate that makes up Florida 26th Congressional District, Carlos Curbelo will have an uphill battle to keep his seat, especially when voters learn that he is saying one thing in Florida and doing quite another in Washington. Curbelo cannot claim to be bipartisan to Floridians and then happily march in lockstep in D.C. as a member of his party’s leadership.”
Jermaine House, another DCCC spokesman, noted that Republican Brian Mast, who Perkins will face in November, endorsed Trump and praised former Congressman Allen West who Murphy beat in 2012.
“In a moderate district where over 20 percent of the population is made up of diverse voters, Mast is out of touch,” House said last week. “Treasure Coast voters already rejected extremist Allen West; they will also reject Brian Mast who supports reckless tax breaks for outsourcers and defunding Planned Parenthood.”