Gov. Rick Scott‘s latest attack on Sen. Bill Nelson is a sham, according to one member of the Florida Congressional Delegation.
Orlando-area U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, a Democrat facing a tough primary challenge, called Scott’s Medicare-focused ad bogus and ironic just a few hours after news of the ad spread on Tuesday. The 30-second TV and digital spot accuses Nelson, who Scott hopes to unseat in November, of agreeing to cut Medicare when he voted for the Affordable Care Act.
“Rick Scott is blatantly lying to Floridians,” Soto said in a prepared statement Tuesday evening. “This ad is nothing more than a false attack aimed to divert attention from two key facts: Rick Scott has previously backed a plan to end the Medicare guarantee, and Scott himself made millions of dollars overseeing one of the largest cases of Medicare fraud in history.”
Scott’s ad, titled “Unfair,” claims Nelson’s vote led to a cut of $716 billion from Medicare, but as Scott Powers previously noted for Florida Politics, “PolitiFact sought to check the claim and rated it ‘Mostly False.'”
In alleging the governor is “distracting” voters from his record on health care, Soto references Scott’s tenure as CEO of Columbia/HCA ahead of his transition to elected office. The magnitude of the Medicare fraud mentioned has been rated as ‘Mostly True‘ by PolitiFact.
In alleging the governor “previously backed a plan to end the Medicare guarantee,” Soto cites Scott’s 2015 support of the U.S. GOP budget. A news release accompanying Soto’s statement claims the plan would have turned Medicare “into a voucher program.”
“The irony of Scott claiming ‘stealing from Medicare is unfair’ will not be lost on Floridians, who are keenly familiar of Scott’s prolific history of defrauding Medicare of hundreds of millions of dollars,” Soto said. “The reality is Senator Nelson has worked his entire career to protect Floridian’s Medicare and social security.”
Scott’s ad is below.