In an out of character show of emotion, Governor Rick Scott is firing back at Senator Bill Nelson as the Governor accuses Nelson of a personal attack on his wife, Ann Scott.
In a statement posted on his campaign Twitter account, Governor Scott said “
@SenBillNelson you are embarrassing yourself and our state. There is no justification for you attacking my wife. Ann is an incredible person. After 46 yrs in office, why can’t you say anything positive about yourself? Let’s keep this race about our records and plans for FL.”
.@SenBillNelson you are embarrassing yourself and our state. There is no justification for you attacking my wife. Ann is an incredible person. After 46 yrs in office, why can’t you say anything positive about yourself? Let’s keep this race about our records and plans for FL.
— Rick Scott (@ScottforFlorida) August 8, 2018
Governor Scott is reacting to Nelson’s comments critical of First Lady Scott giving a loan to an employee of the firm that maintains the Scott’s blind financial trust. Politico Florida first reported that Mrs. Scott made a personal loan of between $100,000 and $250,000 to Cathy Gellatly, who works for Hollow Brook Wealth Management. Mrs. Scott released a statement to Politico stating, “Cathy has been a friend for over 20 years and when she was in a situation where she needed help, I was glad to help her. That’s what friends do for each other, and I would do it again.”
Senator Nelson was asked by reporters about the First Lady’s loan and insinuated Governor Scott knows what investments are in the blind trust since his wife Ann has access to it. Governor Scott can’t talk to the overseer of his blind trust, but his wife can.
“It’s already been shown that his wife knows,” Senator Nelson said. “Well, you know he knows what his wife has. I mean, come on.”
Nelson offered no direct proof to back-up his claim. Scott setup the blind trust in 2010 to provide a firewall between his personal wealth and decisions he makes as governor. Ann Scott needs no such protection and has access to the family’s assets.
As a candidate for federal office, Scott is required to file a financial disclosure form. Scott filed the annual form on July 27. The blind trust holds assets between $215 million and $500 million.
Republicans across Florida have jumped to Governor and Mrs. Scott’s defense.
Bill Nelson is despicable for attacking Ann Scott. He has reached a desperate all time LOW by going after my kind friend who has done so much for our state. Shame on you Bill Nelson. @ScottforFlorida
— Pam Bondi (@PamBondi) August 8, 2018
Ann Scott & Grace Nelson are both wonderful people who should not be attacked in a Senate campaign. Well said, Governor. https://t.co/YITiMonKW1
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) August 8, 2018
— Adam Putnam (@adamputnam) August 8, 2018
— Leslie Dougher (@lesliedougher) August 8, 2018
This is the second odd comment Nelson has made this week. When asked by reporters about claims that, at 75 years old, he’s too old for the job at a United States Senator, Nelson made a direct challenge to Scott, “Any time he wants to have a contest about push ups or pull ups, we’ll see who’s not up to it.”
Republican Scott is challenging Democrat Nelson for the United States Senate. While the November general election race remains tight, Scott maintains a lead over Nelson, who is seeking his 4th term in the Senate.