Establishment-Backed Dem Asks If It's 'Open Season' on Trump and GOP Officials

Pam Keith / YouTube screenshot
August 28, 2020

An establishment-backed Democratic candidate asked whether it's "open season" on President Donald Trump and other GOP officials.

In a June 10 tweet, Florida Democrat Pam Keith accused Republicans of implying that George Floyd's killing was "not a big deal" because he "was a 'bad guy.'" She went on to apply the logic to a list of prominent Republicans who she labeled "bad," including President Donald Trump, Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

"Is that REALLY the new rule they want? Killing is OK if it's a 'bad guy?'" Keith wrote. "Is it now open season on: Flynn, Manafort, Stone, Gates, Cohen, TRUMP, Barr, Kavanaugh, Lewandowski, Bolton, Pompeo, Papadopoulos, Parscale[?]"

Keith is running to unseat Rep. Brian Mast (R., Fla.) and is backed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). The group championed Keith in an August press release, claiming the Democrat would "put an end to the petty partisanship that gets in the way of delivering results for Floridians." Committee chairwoman Rep. Cheri Bustos (D., Ill.) also praised Keith, saying she "has the experience and a record of fighting for what's right."

The DCCC did not respond to a request for comment.

In addition to the June tweet, Keith called all Trump supporters "racist" in a July 2019 post.

"Stop telling me that EVERY Trump supporter is not racist. YES THEY ARE!" Keith wrote. "The word for someone who stands with, supports, votes for, justifies, disseminates and Co-signs on an avowed racist is… RACIST!"

The Washington Post ran a profile of Keith on Friday that failed to mention the controversial posts. It did, however, write that Mast is "swirling in social media controversy" after a pair of 2009 and 2011 Facebook comments resurfaced. In the comments, Mast joked about rape and told current campaign manager Rocco LeDonni that he hopes LeDonni "hook[s] up with at least fifteen 15-year-olds [in South Africa]. ... It's legel [sic] there right."

Mast apologized for the comments, saying that "a decade ago when I was in the Army, and following my injury, I made disgusting and inappropriate jokes that I am embarrassed to have associated with my name today."

The Keith campaign told the Washington Free Beacon that Keith is a "frequent and spirited Tweeter, which is inherently a forum designed to be provocative," adding that her posts "bear no resemblance to the joking among friends that we've seen out of Brian Mast."

A decorated Afghanistan war veteran, Mast lost both legs and a finger when a bomb exploded underneath him in 2010.

Update 8/28/2020 6:20 p.m.: This article has been updated with comment from the Keith campaign.