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Dear Iowans: Apologies for Sen. Rick Scott’s lack of decency

On behalf of the state of Florida, I would like to apologize for Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) penetrating Iowa’s airwaves to smear Joe Biden just days before your caucus.

When I first saw his self-serving stunt, I immediately thought of a quote from one of Iowa’s most patriotic native sons, Joseph Welch — whose name you may not know, but whose words are remembered for breaking the backbone of tyranny in Washington when he asked Senator Joseph McCarthy:

Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”’

Welch asked the question at the climax of the Army–McCarthy hearings, after McCarthy violated an agreement with Welch not to attack each other’s assisting attorneys.

Rick Scott has no personal agreement not to blatantly lie about Joe Biden — but do United States Senators not have an inherent agreement with all of us, the citizens they serve, to tell the truth?

Do they not have an agreement to practice basic decency?

PolitiFact has rated Rick Scott’s ad “False” because the facts are clear — and on the former vice president’s side.

Biden was acting on behalf of the United States and the international community when he pressured Ukraine to fire their corrupt prosecutor — and Republicans have presented absolutely zero evidence to the contrary. Period.

It’s no surprise to see the GOP use Rick Scott as their lead spokesperson to spread their lies. Before buying his way into politics, Scott was connected to one of the largest Medicare frauds in the nation’s history — and then pleaded the fifth 75 times during civil deposition.

Republican or Democrat, Floridians used to be proud of our Senators. One of them was my father, Bob Graham.

I grew up watching Dad, in Florida’s Governor’s Mansion and then in the United States Senate. I even followed him to Iowa and had the pleasure of meeting Democrats across the state when he ran for president.

In his decades of public service and campaigns, my father had plenty of political battles. He never lost an election, and he managed to do it the fair way, disagreeing with his opponents on policy and substance. 

While I fully support Joe Biden, I also respect those, from the right and left, who may disagree with him on policy or his record — but to smear his character with blatant misrepresentations, is beneath any candidate — and certainly beneath the dignity of a United States Senator.

In attempting to influence your caucus vote with bald-faced lies, Iowans should respond to Rick Scott with Welch’s words:

“Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”’

Former Rep. Gwen Graham represented Florida’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, ran for governor in Florida’s Democratic Primary, and worked the 2004 cycle in Iowa on the campaigns of Bob Graham and Howard Dean.   

Tags 2020 election campaign ads Gwen Graham Iowa caucuses Joe Biden Joseph Welch McCarthyism Rick Scott

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