President Donald Trump attacked Florida Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum as a "failed socialist" Wednesday, saying the Tallahassee mayor is not what the state wants in a governor.
Gillum pulled off an upset victory over better-funded Democrats in Tuesday's primary while running on a strongly liberal agenda, including Medicare for all and a $15 minimum wage. He was supported by democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.). If elected, Gillum would be the first black governor in Florida's history.
Trump ripped him in a Wednesday morning tweet while praising his preferred candidate, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.), who has fully embraced Trump and cruised to victory in the GOP primary for governor.
"Not only did Congressman Ron DeSantis easily win the Republican Primary, but his opponent in November is his biggest dream….a failed Socialist Mayor named Andrew Gillum who has allowed crime & many other problems to flourish in his city. This is not what Florida wants or needs!" Trump wrote.
Trump won Florida in the 2016 election over Hillary Clinton, and the swing state has consistently been a strong indicator of the direction of the country. The last six presidential election winners won Florida.
Rep. Martha McSally (R., Ariz.) embraced Trump on the campaign trail to win the Arizona U.S. Senate Republican primary and easily beat challengers from the hard right who had engendered considerable controversy: Sheriff Joe Arpaio and State Senator Kelli Ward.
In congratulating McSally, Trump took a shot at Sen. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.), one of his most outspoken critics in the party who did not run for re-election and has fretted about the direction of Republicans under Trump.
"Martha McSally, running in the Arizona Primary for U.S. Senate, was endorsed by rejected Senator Jeff Flake….and turned it down – a first! Now Martha, a great U.S. Military fighter jet pilot and highly respected member of Congress, WINS BIG. Congratulations, and on to November!" he wrote.
"Big Election Wins last night!" Trump wrote on Wednesday. "The Republican Party will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! Actually, it is happening faster than anybody thought possible! It is morphing into KEEP AMERICA GREAT!"