Battle Between George LeMieux and Connie Mack Intensifies

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: May 18, 2012 3:55 AM
George LeMieux and Connie Mack

George LeMieux and U.S. Rep. Connie Mack

The battle between the two leading Republican candidates for U.S. Senate -- George LeMieux and Connie Mack -- intensified Thursday as they exchanged attacks, LeMieux's launched on national television.

LeMieux fired away on “The Daily Rundown,” hosted by Chuck Todd on MSNBC.

The former U.S. senator drilled Mack’s attendance in Congress. “This is a guy who doesn’t show up to work,” LeMieux said about Mack, accusing the congressman of having “missed 40 percent of his votes.”

LeMieux also said he had concerns about where Mack’s residency was -- whether in Florida or in California, the home of his wife U.S. Rep. Mary Bono Mack. “We asked him to clear it up," LeMieux added. “Just release your travel records.”

Asked by Todd about fundraising and support from Republicans, LeMieux insisted he was in solid shape despite Mack getting the endorsement of Mitt Romney, the probable Republican presidential nominee.

“We are financially competing,” LeMieux insisted, before maintaining that Florida voters are waking up to the fact that his opponent is not his father -- former U.S. Sen. Connie Mack, who held the seat for two terms. “We’re getting a lot more support in recent weeks as people are getting to know that this Connie Mack is not the father.”

LeMieux told Todd that he could beat Nelson in November and he does not think Mack can.

“I believe that if I am the nominee, I can beat Bill Nelson,” LeMieux said. “If Connie Mack is the nominee, I don’t think he can beat Bill Nelson. It will be a race about character. Connie Mack cannot win a character contest with Bill Nelson.”

LeMieux also looked to distance himself from former Gov. Charlie Crist who appointed him to the Senate back in 2009. LeMieux had been a longtime ally to Crist before then, rising to serve as his chief of staff.

Saying they had taken “different paths," LeMieux insisted to Todd that his ties to Crist, who left the GOP to run for the U.S. Senate with no party affiliation in 2010, were not hurting him with Republicans.

“Every Republican in Florida at one time or another supported Charlie Crist," LeMieux told Todd. “We’re all disappointed in the decisions he made.”

The Mack team punched back Thursday afternoon, insisting that LeMieux was closely connected to Crist, helping him attack Marco Rubio, the Republican who went on to win the U.S. Senate contest in 2010.

“Facing dwindling fundraising, a voting record praised by Barack Obama, and seeing Connie Mack earn the support and full endorsement of the next president, Mitt Romney, George LeMieux is losing his grasp,” said David James, a spokesman for Mack. “LeMieux’s meltdown is revealing the real George LeMieux Republicans cannot trust. After all, when Charlie Crist was in trouble, he could go to George LeMieux. On his downward spiral, not even Charlie Crist will take his calls anymore.

“The shoe is now dropping on the real George LeMieux and as the layers peel away, the pattern of undermining conservative values and principles is clear and all that is left is a liberal trial attorney, who legally parses words on the stump, and who can’t let go of the 16 months Charlie Crist gave him,” James continued.

As LeMieux and Mack continue to fire away at each other, former U.S. Rep. Dave Weldon continues to leave the door open to running in the Republican primary. Retired Army officer and businessman Mike McCalister, who took more than 10 percent of the vote in the 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary, is also in the mix.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

Comments (6)

Doug Raymond
6:12PM MAY 18TH 2012
Marialena Stuart is also in this race not one word mention about her in this article but I have a feeling you will be Forced to report her GROWING grass root support in the coming days, she will be on the ballot when it is released May 21 and on Stage with Col. Allen West
May 28 Memorial Day at St Judes Catholic Church in Boca Raton
We all know what happen in Nebraska,Indiana and Soon be to Texas
No more Rinos or Career Politicians the people will be heard!!
1:04PM MAY 18TH 2012
Given is past police record ... Mack wouldn't qualify for a routine job with the company I work for ... so ... it's unthinkable ... and unconscionable ... that he could qualify to be a U.S. Senator!

A rapscallion "good ol' boy" ... and a dinosaur of a southern politician! LeMieux has F-A-R more class ... and F-A-R less crass!

Dump Mack!
Dorothea De Luca
12:06PM MAY 18TH 2012
How I hate the propaganda and mud-slinging. Here is Connie Mack riding in on his great, great....grandfather's coat-tails. Having heard he speak and asked him questions......he could not answer.....I am not impressed. He is, unfortunately, more attractive and personable and will look good on TV. But PLEASE check out the voting records of these two. Mack has managed not to have established one. Was this lack of interest, deliberate or was he just spending too much time in CA?

We all supported Gov Crist at one time until he showed his true colors. As for Jim Greer....guilt by association.....don't we all have a friend or relative who has disappointed and/or outraged us?

Just PLEASE check out and compare the voting records of these two. Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.
Charles Terry
10:14AM MAY 18TH 2012
Of course George LeMieux is trying to distance himself from former Gov. Charlie Crist. As Gov. Crist’s Chief of Staff, LeMieux recommended Jim Greer for the Florida GOP leadership in 2006. Currently Jim Greer is under indictment for skimming off hundreds of thousands of dollars from GOP fundraising proceeds. It has been suggested by a former parry staffer that LeMieux put Greer in the position of GOP leadership to take over fundraising which facilitated the theft of fundraising proceeds.
Marla Torres
10:40AM MAY 18TH 2012
Yea. LeMieux doesn't want to be associated with known criminal, Jim Greer. The Greer connection almost hands the Senate primary victory to Connie Mack.

LeMieux leaned too far to the left, anyway.
6:58AM MAY 18TH 2012
If Romney endorsed Mack, then Mack is the insider establishment that enabled this mess we find our nation in. Romney will not be the solution if he brings in the RINOs on his coat tails.

I'm with Col. Mike McCalister who is under the radar and definitely not Establishment.

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