Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who emphasized an outsider theme when he launched his U.S. Senate bid against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson last week, continues to do so with a debut TV ad advocating term limits for members of Congress to rid Washington of “career politicians.”
Scott’s campaign is spending about $2 million to air the 30-second spot statewide. Scott appears as just a marker-wielding guy in a checked shirt and jeans, with no mention of his status as twice-elected Florida governor and no mention Nelson — though the “career politicians” tag is clearly meant to include the three-term incumbent.
Standing in front of a white board with an outline of the continental United States, Scott says there are more than 41,000 zip codes in the U.S.
“In all but one zip code, they want term limits on Congress. It’s common sense. The only place that doesn’t want term limits on Congress — right here, Washington, where all the career politicians are,” Scott says. (Actually, Washington, D.C., has about two dozen traditional zip codes.)
“In Washington, they say term limits can’t be done. That’s nonsense. We don’t work for them, they work for us. I’m Rick Scott. I approve this message. Let’s get to work.”
Florida voters overwhelmingly approved term limits for most state and federal offices in a 1992 referendum. But the voter-imposed limits on U.S. House and U.S. Senate members in Florida and 22 other states were struck down in a 1995 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which held that limiting congressional terms would require an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Proposing a constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress or support from two-thirds of the states (34 states) for a constitutional convention. Once proposed, a constitutional amendment must be ratified by three-fourths of the states (38 states) to become law.