Another election, another racist and anti-Semitic robocall from the right-wing extremist podcast “The Road to Power.” This time the target was Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, whom the call portrayed in a derogatory, grammatically challenged impersonation packed with racial stereotypes and insults to Jews.
The Miami Herald describes the inflammatory call:
On Tuesday, voters began receiving phone calls with a pre-recorded message from a narrator pretending to be Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and speaking with intentionally poor and offensive grammar. “Well, hello there. I is the negro Andrew Gillum and I be aksin you to make me governor of this here state of Florida.”
The message, which is laid over background audio of a choir singing harmonies, goes on to mock Gillum’s healthcare plan by claiming he’d give “chicken feet” to everyone in Florida to place under their pillows rather than provide “the white man’s” science-based, medicine. The message also makes derogatory statements about Jews and references to slavery.
The disclaimer at the end of the call reveals that it was produced by the same extremist podcast that issued another heinous call in August, which both campaigns forcefully condemned.
In response to the latest call, Gillum’s campaign issued another condemnation. “These disgusting, abhorrent robocalls represent a continuation of the ugliest, most divisive campaign in Florida’s history,” said campaign spokesman Geoff Burgan in a statement reported by the Herald. “We would hope that these calls, and the dangerous people who are behind them, are not given anymore attention than they already have been.”
How many people the call reached is unclear.
This isn’t the first race “The Road to Power” has inserted itself into this election cycle. It has produced a number of robocalls targeting various campaigns all over the country, the Herald notes.
Gillum has come under fire this week after documents contradicted his claims about an FBI sting investigation that implicates the mayor. Gillum has responded to the claims by suggesting DeSantis and Republicans are attempting to portray him in a racially stereotyped manner.
“I didn’t take free trips from anybody,” Gillum told DeSantis in a debate Sunday. “I’m a hardworking person. I know that may not fit your description of what you think people like me do. But I’ve worked hard for everything that I’ve gotten in my life, and I don’t need anybody handing me anything for free.”
The race between Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis has been tight for weeks, but Gillum has recently pulled ahead. Real Clear Politics currently gives Gillum an average of a 5.8-point lead, 49 – 43.2. The largest of the recent polls, a St. Pete Poll of 1575 Florida voters, puts Gillum ahead only by one point, 47 – 46, while a Gravis poll of 773 likely voters gives Gillum a 5-point lead, 51 – 46 and a Quinnipiac poll of 1161 last week gave him a lead of 6 points, 52 – 46.