STREAMING NOW: Watch Now
CLOSINGS: View Closings

Gillum: Racist robocall deeply regrettable

Florida's Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum responds to a racist robocall against him that was paid for by The Road to Power, a white supremacist and anti-Semitic video podcast hosted by Scott Rhodes of Idaho.

Posted: Sep 4, 2018 12:00 AM
Updated: Sep 4, 2018 12:04 AM

A racist robocall targeted Andrew Gillum days after the Tallahassee mayor won the Democratic nomination in the Florida governor's race, giving him a shot at becoming the state's first black chief executive.

The 78-second prerecorded message, obtained by CNN, is narrated by a man speaking in a caricature of a black dialect with cartoonish jungle noises in the background. It ends with a disclaimer that it was paid for by The Road to Power, a white supremacist and anti-Semitic video podcast hosted by Scott Rhodes of Idaho.

The phone message went to Florida residents, but it's unclear how many received it. The Tallahassee Democrat first reported the robocall.

The same neo-Nazi group recently sponsored robocalls in Iowa, using Mollie Tibbetts' death to attack Latinos and promote white supremacy, the Des Moines Register reported. There have also been reports the group previously targeted local officials in California, Virginia and Washington state.

The Gillum campaign's communications director, Geoff Burgan, said the robocall is "reprehensible -- and could only have come from someone with intentions to fuel hatred and seek publicity."

"Please don't give it undeserved attention," he said.

The campaign of Gillum's Republican opponent, Rep. Ron DeSantis, also denounced the robocall.

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

"Our campaign has and will continue to focus solely on the issues that Floridians care about and uniting our state as we continue to build on our success," Lawson said.

DeSantis faced criticism earlier this week for saying during a Fox News appearance that Florida voters should not "monkey this up" by electing Gillum the day after he won the Republican primary for governor. DeSantis' campaign denied the comments had anything to do with race.

"Ron DeSantis was obviously talking about Florida not making the wrong decision to embrace the socialist policies that Andrew Gillum espouses. To characterize it as anything else is absurd," said Stephen Lawson, the communications director for the DeSantis campaign.

St. Joseph
Clear
95° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 102°
Maryville
Partly Cloudy
99° wxIcon
Hi: 99° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 104°
Savannah
Clear
95° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 102°
Cameron
Clear
89° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 99°
Atchison
Clear
98° wxIcon
Hi: 99° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 104°
Dangerous heat will move into the area today with highs reaching the upper 90s to triple digits. Heat index values will likely be between 100-106. Use caution when spending time outside this afternoon. Hot and humid conditions will continue on Friday with highs back in the upper 90s and lower 100s with heat index values reaching triple digits. A cold front will move through the area Friday afternoon into the evening bringing the chance for a few showers and thunderstorms. Scattered rain chances will continue through the weekend with highs in the lower 90s. Highs in the 80s will return for the beginning of next week.
KQTV Radar
KQTV Temperatures
KQTV Alerts
   

Best of St. Joe

 

Community Events