October 5th, 2010
04:30 PM ET
4 years ago

New attack ads in Florida gubernatorial battle

(CNN) - Democrats are going up with a hard hitting ad against Florida Republican gubernatorial nominee Rick Scott.

The commercial, which includes clips from various Florida law enforcement officials, calls into question Scott's management of two health care companies that went on to face legal problems.

"Take it from prosecutors who know – Rick Scott just can't be trusted," says Florida State Attorney Michael McAuliffe, in the ad.


"Scott claims he didn't know the company he led was systematically defrauding Medicare," adds Florida State Attorney William Cervone, who the commercial notes is a Republican.

"Ripping off seniors and taxpayers," continues Tampa Police Sergeant Paul Southwick.

Scott, a multi-millionaire faced similar attacks during a bruising primary campaign with Florida Attorney General and former Rep. Bill McCollum. Scott's now facing off in the general election against Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, the Democratic nominee.

The new ad was put out by the Florida Democratic Party, which has been assisted by the Democratic Governors Association. The DGA says they've contributed $4 million this cycle to state party.

Sink's campaign is also running an ad that says that there are "a lot of questions about Rick Scott. The company he ran was fined."

Both Sink, and McCollum before her, have slammed Scott for running a health care provider, Columbia/HCA, that was fined $1.7 billion for alleged fraud.

In August Scott told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that "my opponent said that in the primary, and he lost," adding that when you're in business and things go wrong, "you should take responsibility as the CEO. I do."

In a statement to CNN, Scott's campaign responded to the new ad by Florida Democrats, saying "down in the polls it's no surprise that Alex Sink would release another rehash of the same charges that failed during the primary. Especially with today's news of her involvement in fraud at Nations Bank."

And the Scott campaign is up with a new commercial of their own accusing Sink of wrongdoing: "Alex Sink's own company was fined $6.75 million by the U.S. attorney and fined for 'deceptive sales practices.' Sink's bank was forced to pay back $30 million for fraud charges."

The most recent polls, including a CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation survey, indicate that Scott has a single digit advantage among likely voters in Florida.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2010 • Florida • Rick Scott
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Augsbee

    Well of course Scott is ahead, people in Florida remember well when Alex Sink was President of Bank of America in Florida and thousands lost their jobs because she was shutting down branches and she didn't care to leave people out of a job and put people in the unemployment line. What makes people in Florida think she won't put people out of jobs again if she didn't care the first time around.

    October 5, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  2. Eddie

    Ok neocons i guess this is all a lie? U cons are truly some fu(ked people. Scott defrauded medicare and taxpayers. now lets see how answers go at obama,lol. But just remember 1.7 billion and he knew NOTHING and plead the 5th 75 times and oh yeah and he got fired

    October 5, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. Marty, FL

    It's about time. Rick "Medicare fraud" Scott would be a disaster for FL. He is tring to buy the election with corrupt funds he defrauded from taxpayers in the worst Medicare scam in US history.

    Hardly "responsible," Scott's current company is being investigated for the same kind of fraud! He simply wants to buy the governor's seat so he can change laws with the Republican-led Legislature to protect him from future lawsuits. Time to go strongly negative with the truth; moreso than the dishonest ads Scott is running.

    October 5, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. Rick Scott is a fraud!

    Rick Scott is a fraud. His friends will get rich off the backs of senior citizens and Florida will be at his mercy. Vote NO for Rick Scott!

    October 5, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. Marty, FL

    Augsbee,
    Did you even bother to research that information or just regurgitating nonsense you saw on TV? Politifact acknowledges that mergers under any CEO often require consolidation of redundant positions as a means of financial efficiency for the organization. It is not uncommon.

    In fact, Rick Scott fired many Americans before being forced out under a cloud of the worst Medicare fraud in US history. By contrast, Alex Sink resigned as a successful executive 10 years ago. Big difference.

    iViva Alex!

    October 5, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. Marie MD

    Imagine that. A rich rethug doing wanting to do what rethugs in Congress do best . . . . help the rich while screwing the middle class and poor.
    Medicare and Florida go hand in hand. He knew where he could hurt our older citizens. Pond scum!

    October 5, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    WHY would anyone in Florida vote for a Republican? Just ........a mere..... 21........months........ago....... we were on the brink of the 2nd Great Depression, Florida was hard hit! Thanks to the failed policies of the Republicans (12 years controlling Congress) and 8 years of the Bush regime Florida has suffered.

    Wake UP Florida and ask yourself what have the Republicans done for you?

    October 5, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. Mike in FL

    I hate the fact that these are the best that republicans & democrats could come up with. To me, this is gonna be a lose-lose choice in November, looks like another race I be choosing a third party.

    October 5, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  9. common sense

    12 years of complete Republican rule have run Florida into the ground, high unemployment, huge insurance premiums, terrible public schools, high crime, high property taxes and real estate values that continue to sink. When will Florida voters wake up?

    October 5, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  10. greg in jax

    I live in deep red ne florida and do not personally know anyone who is voting for scott, so this poll where he is ahead is quite puzzling and scares the crap out of me.

    October 5, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  11. ConsiderThis

    So we in Florida have two crooks to choose from for Governor? I think we can hold Sink's feet to the fire more than Scott's. If Florida votes Scott in for Governor, heaven help us; we'll be robbed blind! It's a sad day in America when we vote for proven criminals and "jawdroppingly" incompetent people for public office. Believe me, we'll get what we deserve when we do that.

    October 5, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  12. Amy Vanhouven

    Remember this when you vote in FL in Nov: is a taxation-loving, high-spending, arrogant Obama-loving democrat better than the republican who has not been convicted of anything - just accusations, political stuff we all understand. Better vote for Scott.

    October 5, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  13. Carrotroot

    There is now way in hell you could ever convince me to vote for Rick Scott. That man's company defrauded billions of dollars out of Medicare. He should be behind bars.

    October 5, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  14. Crispy Crister

    Floridians are sick and tired of our State regulating the begeezus out of us. In a time such as this our State has yet had lay offs in any of the State agencies that regulate growth and development (FDEP, FWC, FDOT, SJRWMD, SWFMD, SFWMD, & SRWMD) and industry that has been dead for the last two and half years. These agencies employ hundreds of State employees on a not so small pay schedule that was devised based on the mean pay on the private sector. On top of their over inflated pay schedules for producing nothing but bureaucracy we have had fee hikes on property taxes, permits, hunting licenses, fishing licenses and just about everything else you could be subjected to as a private citizen. While Florida suffers one of the highest unemployment rates and foreclosure rates in the Nation our current Government and Bureaucrat hierarchy of crony figureheads and politicians continue to sail on their merry way. Rick Scott gets it because he was subjected to the inner workings of Government extortion through medicare price setting as a CEO. I hope he wins and guts these useless bureaucrats out of their 30 and 40 year reign of over regulating oppression that strips land owners of their private property rights and burdens citizens to pay for benefits and pensions that they may never have!

    October 5, 2010 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  15. they call me "tater salad"

    Rick Scott is a spineless, greedy, little maggot that knew full well he was ripping off Medicare and padding his bank account at the same time.........He's as guilty as the word itself........He's a prime example of exactly what's wrong with this country! Say NO to the party of NO this NOvember!!!!!!

    October 5, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. T'SAH from Virginia

    WOW – it's great to hear what FLORIDANS are talking about, which puts a 'personal' spin on the campaign and it makes it LOCAL!!! And, it sounds like RICK is the LOSER and should not win. All you have to do is keep everyone else from BUTTING in and everything will be FINE!!!

    DEMOCRATS in FL – STATE the CASE and mean it – UNITE the BASE and be proud of it – get out and VOTE so we can WIN that RACE in November 2010!!!

    This is T'SAH from Virginia and I approve this message!!!

    October 5, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  17. bobby

    This life long republican and most of my R friends are voting Sink. I can't in my right mind vote for someone who as the leader of a company had no clue what was going on in his OWN company. Whether or not he was convicted of anything is irrelevant. He had no clue (ya right) what was happening in his own company. Plus the allegation with Solantic. This guy is a joke and gives us republicans a bad name.

    October 5, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  18. oldsoldierboy

    Florida is loaded with corrupt politicans but Rick "I plead the 5th" Scott takes the cake.

    October 5, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  19. Dan in FL

    It's shocking that the people of Florida would consider voting for a white-coller criminal like Rick Scott, not that I think Alex Sink is a great alternative. While a CEO cannot be expected to know everything that's going on at his company, for Scott to claim he was unaware of the massive fraud taking place suggests he was really not managing the business. Therefore, Scott should either go to jail (he knew what was happening) or return his salary and bonuses (he wasn't doing his job).

    October 5, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |