In case you haven't noticed, hypocrisy out there in Campaign Land keeps piling up and gets deeper the closer we get to actual voting. The latest candidate wielding a shovel and adding to the mess? CD 26 candidate Joe Garcia.
The former congressman from Miami, looking to get his old job back in CD 26, took to Twitter recently to smack around district incumbent Carlos Curbelo over immigration. Garcia was indignant that Curbelo is supporting Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia. (Actually, it was The Miami Herald that reported the story first.)
Seems back in 2014, the Herald quoted Comstock as saying, “Fed-Ex can track packages coming in here all of the time, we can track people who are coming into the country and we can do that right.”
How dare Comstock suggest immigrants be tracked like FedEx packages? Garcia bristled. And how could Curbelo give Comstock's campaign $1,000 for comparing people to shipping packages?
Here's Garcia's June 30 tweet:
Joe -- or his campaign team of fresh faces from Mars -- should have let this one go. Because also two years ago, he said exactly the same thing Barbara Comstock did. Really. Exactly. In fact the FedEx analogy was so close to hers, Joe might have heard her say it, or read her quote, and adopted it for his own.
I'm not accusing, just saying.
During a long 2014 radio interview with host Grant Stern, then-Congressman Garcia said this when talking about the need for immigration reform:
"American Express finds you, yet we can't find Pedro when he crosses the border. It's silliness." Garcia said. "Pedro" apparently is his name for an Hispanic immigrant.
We have excerpted the pertinent audio clip for your listening pleasure.
And, please, Joe, don't waste your campaign's time making an excuse for The FedEx Flub. It's going to be ridiculously lame.
Plus, let's not forget Joe is still living down "Ballotgate" from May 2013. That was when his chief-of-staff and top political strategist resigned after being implicated in a sophisticated scheme to manipulate the previous year’s primary elections by submitting hundreds of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests. Joe was not implicated except by innuendo, but it's a scandal that never really disappeared completely.
Garcia is fighting a battle on two fronts this election -- he has a primary fight against the Democratic Congressional Committee's fair-haired girl, Annette Taddeo, and if he wins, he goes up against Curbelo, who beat him two years ago.
But he should have cooled it against Carlos. At least for now. The incumbent is the only Republican to qualify in the District, which means he and his staff have plenty of time, frankly, to check facts, poke holes and call Garcia out on his fables, fantasies and fibs.
The truth is, both candidates are on record supporting a pathway to citizenship.
If Joe said one thing two years ago and doesn't want to own it now, what's so wrong with that? All any candidate ever has to say is, "I admit, that one took me a while. I've had to evolve to get to where I am today."
Hypocrisy -- especially when he's pointing the finger at his opponent -- almost always backfires. Voters notice.
Reach Nancy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith