In a post titled “Lessons for Conservatives From the Rick Scott Campaign,” Scott’s staff lays out its views on why the campaign triumphed over Attorney General Bill McCollum Tuesday night, and specifically highlights comments Scott made about Park51, the proposed Muslim community center that the Scott camp calls the “Ground Zero mosque.”
A Scott ad posted just last week and misleadingly titled “Obama’s Mosque” featured Scott dismissing President Obama’s calls for “tolerance” in the debate over Park51, and built upon rhetoric Scott used earlier at a Sean Hannity Freedom Tour event. “Muslim fanatics murdered thousands of Americans that day, yards from where they want to build this mosque,” he told an Orlando crowd. “The leader of this mosque will not admit that Muslim extremists use terror tactics. The truth: This is a slap in the face for every fallen American.”
“Scott was not afraid to take a strong stance against the Ground Zero mosque,” reads the “Lessons for Conservatives” post. “In fact, after the subpoena stunt from the McCollum campaign, the Ground Zero issue probably saved Scott’s campaign.”
Scott’s campaign never responded to requests from The Florida Independent for a source for the candidate’s claim that Park51′s leader “will not admit that Muslim extremists use terror tactics,” nor would the campaign comment on why it called the ad “Obama’s Mosque.” CNN reported that GOP candidates were “being encouraged to talk about the issue as much as possible.”
Oops. Turns out the post in question, originally credited on the Scott site just to “Campaign Staff,” was a reprint of a column penned by Red State blogger Erick Erickson. Scott staffers have updated the post to clarify the source. You can read Erickson’s original column here.