Nothing seemed to get in the way of election hopeful Andrew Gillum responding promptly to a couple of tweets that Donald Trump posted to diminish Gillum’s record as mayor of Tallahassee on Saturday, October 20. Still, Gillum thought it was in poor taste to avoid addressing him directly, and so in his retort, the burgeoning Democrat figured he’d call the President out for what he saw as an act of cowardice.
As RealClearPolitics points out, a number of polls currently have Gillum ahead of Republican rival, Ron DeSantis, in their race for Florida governor. Thus, President Trump made it a point to include the 39-year-old progressive in one of several posts he published highlighting a slate of GOP candidates he’s backing. He sought to characterize GOP opponents like Gillum as less than appealing options on the November ballot.
Trump rallied behind the likes of Nevada Sen. Dean Heller and North Dakota Rep. Kevin Gramer in his string of messages. He also championed Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Rep. Martha McSally of Arizona, only, in shining a light on the latter two candidates he also went above and beyond to slam the counterparts in their respective contests. The President suggested voters support Kemp over left-wing favorite Stacey Abrams because, as he put it, she is “totally unqualified.” He held Rep. McSally above Nancy Pelosi, whom he called a “puppet.” And he promoted DeSantis at the expense of Gillum.
Ron @RonDeSantisFL DeSantis is working hard. A great Congressman and top student at Harvard & Yale, Ron will be a record setting governor for Florida. Rick Scott gave him tremendous foundations to further build on. His opponent runs one of the worst & most corrupt cities in USA!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 20, 2018
Rick Scott is known as easily one of the best Governors in the USA. Florida is setting records in almost every category of success. Amazing achievement-the envy of the World. Ron DeSantis will build on this success. His incompetent opponent will destroy Florida - next Venezuela!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 20, 2018
When you lie about me from the most powerful office in the world and still don’t have the courage to @ me... https://t.co/ESxXG5j6eH— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) October 20, 2018
President Trump’s shade towards Gillum was sure to provoke a response, as it was unquestionably more critical than remarks in any of the previous tweets were. He knocked Gillum for running “one of the worst [and] most corrupt cities in the USA,” and went to the length of fear mongering by asserting that under the Democrat’s leadership, Florida would devolve into the “next Venezuela!”
In a response that he would issue in the comments of the tweet minutes later, Gillum selected to forego an opportunity to sling mud back at Trump, selecting instead to question the fortitude it must have taken to speak of him when he wasn’t around to stick up for himself.
“When you lie about me from the most powerful office in the world and still don’t have the courage to @ me,” Mayor Gillum wrote.
.@RonDeSantisFL is relying on @realDonaldTrump to help him win this race, but he doesn’t have what I have -- and that’s people like you who have my back in this race. Early voting starts on Monday, so let’s bring it home >> https://t.co/3T3VkXm6Ir pic.twitter.com/uyOhj3319T— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) October 20, 2018