Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, January 31, 2014
One Florida House wannabe has an unusual request for President Barack Obama: To play the president in a game of hoops.
Curt Clawson, a Republican running to replace now-former Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.), issued the challenge to the commander-in-chief of the United States in a campaign ad released Friday. In the ad, Clawson shoots a bunch of free throws in a gym – sinking every one relatively effortlessly.
“I’m Curt Clawson. I’m challenging President Obama to a three-point contest. I wanna take on Obama in Congress, so why not start on the court?” he says in the ad.
The former Purdue University basketball star and member of the school’s 1984 Big Ten Championship team later adds that “Obama’s been missing a lot of shots lately, and not just in basketball,” as viewers watch clips of Obama missing multiple free-throws.
Clawson ends the commercial by asking “My house or yours?” while looking straight into the camera.
His campaign is spending a pretty penny on the spot, running it on Fox during the Super Bowl, once before the game, twice during the game and once during halftime. The ad will remain on the airwaves for two weeks afterward.
Obama’s love of playing basketball comes second only to his passion for hitting the links. Despite having a world-class trainer at his beck-and-call in the form of his brother-in-law, Oregon State men’s basketball coach Craig Robertson, he’s no LeBron James or Dwayne Wade. Obama’s failures to make a free-throw have been well-documented over the years, including a rather embarrassing one-on-one match the president entered with an 10-year-old during the White House Easter Egg Hunt this past spring.
Radel, who was in the middle of his first term in office, resigned from Congress earlier this week at the request of party leaders. The former talk show host was arrested back in October for buying cocaine at a Washington, D.C. restaurant, and plead guilty to the charges the following month before entering rehab for drug and alcohol addiction.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, has yet to set a date for the special election. The race will essentially be decided in the Republican primary, as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the solidly Republican district in 2012 with more than 60 percent of the vote. Clawson is one of two candidates to already declare their candidacy for the seat, the other being former state Rep. Paige Kreegle. Others are expected to announce bids in the next few weeks according to The Hill.
One politician who won’t be running for the seat, however, is former Rep. Connie Mack IV. Mack vacated the Ft. Myers-based seat in 2012 to mount a failed U.S. Senate bid against Democrat Bill Nelson.
Watch the ad below.