In her strongest language yet, Democrat Alex Sink blasted Republican rival Rick Scott as a mystery candidate who is trying to buy his way into the governor's office, "doesn't know zip about Florida" and whose proposals are "totally unrealistic."
"I just refuse to let Rick Scott hijack my state without a fight," Sink said Monday in a meeting with the St. Petersburg Times editorial board.
Sink, 62, blamed Scott's lead in the latest polls on his campaign finance advantage. The former CEO of Columbia/HCA Corp. has spent more than $52 million of his own fortune, and Sink said he appears to be on track to spend $20 million more before Nov. 2.
"He's trying to buy the office," she said.
In a poll released Monday by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Scott leads Sink 46 percent to 42 percent. The business-backed group, which surveyed 800 likely voters, has endorsed Scott.
Scott, 57, has been tainted by allegations that he knew, or should have known, of the Columbia/HCA practices that drew a $1.7 billion federal fine for Medicare fraud. Scott was never charged and has said he believed the company should have hired more auditors to flag the problems.
Sink said she believes that voters who support Scott in the polls know about his history, but "maybe they don't care -- or are just so angry with the state of affairs we find ourselves in they put their beliefs aside and think that it's not that important."
"I don't know what they're thinking," she added, "because it's stunning to me, frankly."
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