In the closing message of his campaign for the U.S. Senate, Governor Rick Scott says American can come together, and Washington can set the example. Scott is also critical of a comment his political opponent, Senator Bill Nelson made over the weekend. Nelson compared the recent murders at a Pittsburgh synagogue and explosive devices sent to high profile Democrats to genocide seen in Rwanda in the 1990s. 

Using photos of Hurricane Michael’s impact on the Florida Panhandle, Scott says in his latest TV ad that he saw people helping people without concern for political party. 

“They’re saying, ‘Do you need a generator, do you need food, do you need water, or can I help you get a tarp on your roof?’ That’s what we ought to be doing – we ought to be coming together. We can do that in Washington. We can bring America together,” Gov. Scott says in the campaign commercial. 

In contrast, Scott accuses Nelson of closing his re-election campaign by invoking fear. While campaigning last weekend, Sen. Nelson seemed to compared recent political violence in America to the 1990’s genocide in Rwanda, where 800,000 people were killed. 

“When a place gets so tribal that the two tribes won’t have anything to do with each other … that jealousy turns into hate,” Nelson said. “And we saw what happened to the Hutus and the Tutsis in Rwanda, it turned into a genocide. A million-people hacked to death within a few months. And we have got to watch what’s happening here.”

Nelson’s campaign attempted to backtrack from the Senator’s comments by calling them a “worst case scenario.”

Governor Scott didn’t see it that way. “Nelson seems to see us slipping into that kind of disaster… but that’s not what Florida is about. Florida is defined by what we’ve seen in the Panhandle over the last few weeks – people coming together. That’s who we are,” Scott said. People from all over our state and our country have come together to help those whose lives were devastated by Hurricane Michael. And I know, with the right leadership in Washington, we can bring America together too.”

Nelson and Scott are locked in a tight battle. Most of the recent public polls show them deadlocked. Scott has spent more than $60 million of his own money in the race. Third party Democratic groups have recently balanced spending in the race, but neither candidate has been able to pull away. 

David Bishop is a native Floridian, husband and father. During his 30 year career, David has been a journalist, political operative and communications consultant.