Racist Robocalls Target Democratic Nominee for Florida Governor

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Not to be outdone, the RGA is making a different kind of investment in Gillum, hoping to craft a narrative of corruption around the Democratic nominee for Florida governor.

Scott and other Republicans running for office this year largely argue that Gillum and other Democrats have become too liberal and are out of step with most Florida voters.

Democrats predictably seized on the comment but media outlets such as The Hill churned out questionable headlines such as, "DeSantis: Florida voters shouldn't "monkey this up" by voting for black candidate". Gillum himself later said on Fox News it was more like a "bullhorn". The Tallahassee Democrat first reported the robocall.

Gillum has repeatedly said he is not the focus of the investigation and has asked voters -- and reporters -- to gauge him based on his record as mayor. In the background are the sounds of drums and monkeys. The speaker specifically mentions DeSantis' "monkey" comment.

While the polls didn't see it coming, people in Tallahassee say they did. "Please don't give it undeserved attention". They reference comments her father made in defense of Hispanics when he addressed friends and family. Trump also weighed in on the race by calling Gillum a "failed socialist mayor" on Twitter. "To characterize it as anything else is absurd", said Stephen Lawson, the communications director for the DeSantis campaign.

"This is absolutely appalling and disgusting - and hopefully whoever is behind this has to answer for this despicable action", Lawson said.

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"Our campaign has and will continue to focus exclusively on the issues that Floridians care about and uniting our state as we continue to build on our success", DeSantis spokesperson Stephen Lawson added.

And Gov. Rick Scott said while DeSantis was "inartful" he doesn't believe he had any "ill will".

A disclaimer at the end of the recording says it was paid for by The Road to Power, a white supremacist and anti-Semitic group based in Idaho that has made other offensive robocalls, including one in Charlottesville, Virginia, after a far-right rally there previous year, and another identified Friday in Iowa.

For example, the site paid for a robocall that called for "ethnically cleansing the country by expelling nonwhites to other countries" following the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., according to the Richmond Times Dispatch.

The Anti-Defamation League calls the Road to Power a "right-wing extremist website" that has been behind several rounds of robocalls in recent months, including two that supported anti-Semitic congressional candidates in California.