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Sen. Nelson Mum on VP Bid, Optimistic About Election Season

Florida Senator Bill Nelson meets with reporters.
Kate Payne/ WFSU
/
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Pundits are floating Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson as a possible vice presidential nominee. But Nelson is quiet on the subject.

Florida Senator Bill Nelson meets with reporters.
Credit Kate Payne/ WFSU
/
The Florida Channel
Florida Senator Bill Nelson meets with reporters.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Nelson said it’s too soon to comment on a possible VP bid. But Nelson is confident a strong Democratic ticket will have far-reaching effects.

“The ones that are shaking in their boots right now are the Republican senators in swing states. And they can imagine, if it’s a huge, sweep for Hillary over Donald, that they are worried about that down-draft ballot movement,” he said.

He also says the tides may be turning for US Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. Senate leaders have blocked the confirmation process since Garland’s name was raised in March. But as Hillary Clinton’s path to the White House becomes clearer, Senator Nelson says the GOP’s opposition may be weakening.

“Judge Garland is going to look pretty good to our Republican friends that are now blocking him in the Senate. Since then, however, just yesterday we are starting to hear some people say that that time table may even be accelerated because they now see that they think Donald Trump is going to lose,” he said.

Nelson says Republicans will distance themselves from Donald Trump, especially in swing states. But Florida may be an exception: Trump boasts the support of Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi.

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As a Tallahassee native, Kate Payne grew up listening to WFSU. She loves being part of a station that had such an impact on her. Kate is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts. With a background in documentary and narrative filmmaking, Kate has a broad range of multimedia experience. When she’s not working, you can find her rock climbing, cooking or hanging out with her cat.