While the date of the Florida Primary hasn’t yet been determined, the state will most likely be fifth in the presidential primary season and has been seen as one of the more important primaries. With that in mind, tailoring a message to the Florida electorate is very important. Like other states, there are certain topics that are more sensitive in Florida than in other places. For instance many of our Romney folks believe that Rick Perry’s comments in Fed Up! about Social Security will hurt him with the large elderly population of the state. However, this post is about another candidate, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and her remarks about the Florida Everglades:
Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann says she’d consider drilling for oil and natural gas in the Everglades if it can be done without causing “environmental degradation.”
This is a colossal mistake on the part of the Congresswoman on several levels. First, any kind of drilling near Florida is political suicide since the BP oil spill. The Florida Legislature has killed any and all drilling bills since that fiasco. Moreover, this isn’t just any area we are talking about. The Everglades is one of the natural treasures of this state and Governors of Florida starting with Governor Claude Kirk in 1968 and continuing to this day have strived to protect the area. It’s one of the few things Jeb Bush, Bob Graham, and Charlie Crist agree on. This policy has been strongly supported by both Democrats and Republicans in Florida. In short, it is one of the few things that Floridians agree on; don’t touch the Everglades.
But don’t take my word for it. I give you Congressman Allen West:
U.S. Rep. Allen West told a town hall audience today that Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann made “an incredible faux pas” when she said she is open to allowing drilling for oil and natural gas in the Everglades if it can be done safely.
“When I see her next week, I’ll straighten her out about that,” West said of the Minnesota congresswoman.
West is a member of the House Tea Party Caucus, which Bachmann chairs.
Michele Bachmann’s long-term viability is open to question, especially with the rise of Governor Perry. However, if the Congresswoman is still in the race come Florida, you can bet someone, whether another campaign or an outside group, will blister her over her comments. Two of the debates in September are here in Florida and I would be shocked if someone didn’t ask her a question about this. The Congresswoman better have one heck of an explanation if she doesn’t want to cause herself anymore damage on what should have been an easily avoidable mistake.