Former President Obama is campaigning in Florida for Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who's running for governor, and Sen. Bill Nelson, the three-time incumbent Democratic senator from Florida seeking his fourth term. At the moment, Nelson is the only Democrat holding statewide office in Florida. Should Gillum win, he will be Florida's first black governor.
Obama gently chastised a heckler for using profanity in front of children. The protester then started blowing a whistle and Obama addressed the individual again.
"If you support the other candidates, then you should support the other candidates," Obama said. "Go to their rallies."
Periodically the crowd chanted to drown out the protester: "Bring it home! Bring it home!"
"Why is it that the folks that won the last election are so mad all the time," Obama asked. "When I won the presidency, at least my side felt pretty good."
We have seen rhetoric designed to divide us, the former president told the crowd. "In four days, you can be a check on that kind of behavior," Obama said in a speech that embraced themes of inclusivity and social justice. You can choose a more generous vision of America, "where love and hope conquer hate," he said.
Andrew Gillum will expand Medicaid coverage, Obama said, and he promised Democrats "won't let Republicans gut your health care."
Right at election time, the former president said, Republicans have started to say they'll protect pre-existing conditions, when they've been doing the opposite.
"Let's call that what it is: it's a lie," Obama said.
Early voting in Florida is already on pace to surpass turnout in the last five midterm elections in the state. On Friday for the first time, over 4 million had voted early, with more Republicans than Democrats casting votes so far.
Election Day will wrap up a bitter campaign season that witnessed the battle between DeSantis and Gillum veer into racial politics and heated exchanges over a long-simmering FBI investigation involving Gillum's home city.
Right after the primary, DeSantis said Florida voters shouldn't "monkey this up" by electing Gillum, a comment Democrats contend was racially charged. President Trump also called Gillum a "thief" and corrupt, a move the mayor says is meant to reinforce negative stereotypes of black men.
The Gillum campaign, meanwhile, cut ties with a Democratic Party vendor and a campaign volunteer caught on video calling Florida a "cracker" state and saying the campaign was taking advantage of "white guilt."
The Senate race between Scott and incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson has taken a back seat to the governor's race, but it too has centered largely on name-calling and insults lobbed in tens of millions of dollars' worth of negative television ads. Scott has painted Nelson as an ineffective career politician, while Nelson has labeled Scott untrustworthy because of questions about how the multimillionaire governor has handled his finances while in office.
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