George LeMieux Assails 'Career Politicians' Connie Mack and Bill Nelson
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"You don't send career politicians to fix Washington," LeMieux told the Indian River County Tea Party in Vero Beach. "I would serve a term or two and go home."
Characterizing Mack's private-sector experience as "a market outreach coordinator for Hooters," LeMieux renewed his call for term limits and noted that he lives and works in Florida.
"California doesn't need a third senator," the Gunster Law firm chairman said in reference to Mack's residence in Palm Springs with wife Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif.
Turning to the two-term Nelson, LeMieux called the senator "a nice guy who gets nothing done."
By contrast, LeMieux noted that he won passage of five bills -- including Medicare fraud legislation -- during his tenure in the Senate from 2009 to 2010.
"It wasn't because I was exceptional, but because so many lawmakers were not," he said.
Nelson spokesman Dan McLaughlin did not respond to messages from Sunshine State News seeking comment.
Overtaken in recent polls by Mack, a late entrant to the Senate primary, LeMieux suggested that the four-term congressman benefits from "name confusion" early on.
"People think pollsters are talking about Connie Mack III," Mack's father and former senator whom Nelson succeeded.
LeMieux also downplayed Mack's war chest, which received $758,000 in the fourth quarter.
"I expected he would have raised more," said LeMieux, who, with $1 million in cash on hand, still leads the fundraising race.
The Republican number pales in comparison with Nelson, who collected $1.4 million in the fourth quarter.
Mack spokesman David James did not reply to Sunshine State News' request for comment.
LeMieux, who was appointed by Charlie Crist to temporarily fill Mel Martinez's vacated seat, still calls the former governor "a friend, though we don't talk as much as we used to." In recounting his resume as an assistant attorney general under Crist and his time as the then-governor's chief of staff, LeMieux never uttered Crist's name during Thursday's speech.
"After I left, the governor went left. I was disappointed," the Fort Lauderdale attorney said.
LeMieux reminded the audience that he immediately endorsed Marco Rubio's bid for Senate after Crist bolted the Republican Party.
Highlighting his vote for the Small Business Jobs Act against the wishes of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., LeMieux said he joined Democrats in supporting the measure because it "cut taxes and provided money to small businesses."
"I don't work for GOP leaders. I work for you," he told a group of Indian River tea partiers prior to his speech.
Contact Kenric Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (772) 801-5341.