Thousands of Republicans turned out to a political rally in Sarasota featuring Marco Rubio and Rick Scott today. The timing, on Sept. 11, drew criticism from the two unions supporting Alex Sink for governor, The Florida Professional Firefighers, and the Police Belevolent Association.From CNN:
PBA President John Rivera: “Floridians are gathering together today to honor the sacrifices Americans made during the unthinkable tragedy of 9/11. On this day, we call upon Rick Scott to put aside his negative and partisan attacks and instead show respect to the American lives lost and strength we have all shown to carry on. Today is about honoring every American and our prevailing spirit which unites us and makes our country great.”
The overtly partisan rally, at which campaign stickers were handed out alongside barbecue sandwiches and $3 beers, was called “offensive” by the state’s firefighters union.
"On a day that should be spent remembering those we lost nine years ago today, including 343 FDNY members, and commemorating the brave service of our firefighters, police and first responders, it is disappointing that instead Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, and Pam Bondi are spending their day in a show of partisan attacks and name calling," said Gary Rainey, president of the Florida Professional Firefighters.
While each candidate took time to honor the dead, none shied away from outright attacks against the opposing party.
Asked about the criticism from the firefighters union before he took the stage, GOP gubernatorial nominee Rick Scott told CNN that the 9/11 anniversary “is a day to respect the individuals who lost their lives that day.” Pressed a second time about the political nature of the event, Scott repeated his answer.