With less than three months to go until the Republican primary to see who will emerge to challenge Democrat incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, Senate hopeful U.S. Rep. Connie Mack unveiled his team of conservatives on Tuesday.
Mack’s team includes some of the leading right-of-center figures in the Sunshine State including former state Sen. Pat Neal, who had been affiliated with the state chapter of the Christian Coalition; Leslie Steele, who had been on former Gov. Jeb Bush’s communications team; social conservative leaders John Giotis, Lois Jones, Warren Lutz and Michael Rodriguez; and Bob Touchston, who served as president of Florida Right-to-Life.
“Connie Mack has been a champion for conservative causes in Washington just as he was as a state legislator,” Neal said on Tuesday. “Mack is the only candidate for U.S. Senate that conservatives can count on to advance a philosophy of limited government based on our constitutional principles.”
Mack’s new team sent out a letter on Tuesday bashing Nelson and former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux who is the congressman’s main rival for the Republican nod.
With LeMieux and Mack -- along with businessman and retired Army officer Mike McCalister -- fighting for conservatives, Mack’s new team hammered LeMieux on Tuesday.
“We have been disappointed to learn that George LeMieux is currently spending so much time tearing down Connie Mack and trying to remake himself with conservative rhetoric that is not consistent with his record,” Mack’s supporters wrote in the letter. “George LeMieux has shown support for many socially liberal programs, both before and after he orchestrated Charlie Crist’s election.”
Mack’s supporters looked to portray LeMieux as an “early and vocal supporter of the gay agenda as a candidate for state representative and then while serving as the self-anointed political maestro and chief of staff to Charlie Crist’s failed governorship.”
They also looked to link LeMieux to President Barack Obama. “He orchestrated many liberal initiatives including the Crist-era policy of cap-and-trade and the endorsement of President Obama’s failed stimulus plan,” they wrote. “After Charlie Crist handpicked him to serve in the Senate, George broke ranks with conservatives yet again and voted for President Obama’s failed liberal jobs program – one of only two Republicans to do so. And just recently, LeMieux even sided with Bill Nelson when he attacked Marco Rubio for voting against a version of the RESTORE Act that was chock-full of tax hikes and spending increases.
“LeMieux is in no way a solid conservative and in no way deserves our support,” insisted Mack’s supporters.