Andrew Gillum: Florida is the only state ‘that could deny Donald Trump single handedly a second term’
Just over a year ago Andrew Gillum was the darling of the national Democratic party, on the verge of becoming Florida’s first black governor. But that never came to fruition. The former Tallahassee mayor lost the gubernatorial race by .4 points in the poll to the eventual governor, Ron DeSantis. It was a crushing blow in a race that the entire country seemed to be tuned into.
But it’s something Gillum says he learned from. In a sit down interview with Yahoo News ahead of last week’s Democratic debate in Atlanta, Gillum admits there were areas he feels he could have done better. “I was attacked in a lot of ways, but one being a socialist,” he said. “And I think I didn't totally grasp the weight of that attack. Had I had it to do again, I would have taken that attack more serious and it, it would have been much more outright and forthcoming in pushing back on that.”
The defeat hasn’t stopped Gillum’s political career in the least. At the top of the year Gillum became one of CNN’s newest political commentators. In March, he also launched a massive voter registration campaign in an effort to turn Florida blue. And just last month, several reports said Gillum has been in talks with Sen. Elizabeth Warren as a potential vice presidential running mate. But Gillum laughed off these reports saying, “It's the one thing in life I definitely don't have a choice around.”
One thing Gillum does have a choice on is aiding the eventual 2020 Democratic nominee in winning his home state. He says Florida is “the only state on the map right now that could deny Donald Trump single handedly a second term.” Last month he tweeted many of his friends running have reached out and asked him how to win Florida.
“It's a state that you have to work,” he said. “We're an insanely close state and [for] a state like ours you can't just campaign to to people of color in my state as if they're a monolith. I don't care who the democratic nominee is. … My job, based off the work that we're trying to do in Florida right now, by registering and reengaging a million voters is to be able to create Florida to be the state that regardless of who our nominee is, we're able to produce a win for them.”
The race for Florida has come down to the wire in the last few elections on the national and federal level. “Barack Obama won Florida by one point, both times,” said Gillum. “Donald Trump won the state by one point. The last five nominees for governor of the state of Florida have lost the state by one point, and in my case by .4%, right?” But Gillum says it’s not enough to run on an anti-President Trump agenda. He believes that voters have already made their opinion on him.
“Elections are won on the future and not the past,” Gillum said. “I think we need a nominee and a vice presidential nominee who's going to be concentrated on painting that kind of a futuristic vision and now one about whether Donald Trump is bad or not. I've already made my decision about that, and have, frankly most voters have as well.”
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