Sen. Bill Nelson blames knee, crutches, media for recent uptick in gubernatorial speculationby George Bennett | December 4th, 2013
Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson said his recent deviation from his standard denial of interest in the 2014 governor’s race was merely a “flip remark” he made while he was hobbled by a knee injury and hounded by Washington reporters.
For months, Democrat Nelson has repeated that he has “no plans” and “no intention” of running for governor — an answer that makes it clear he’s not a candidate while leaving the door open to changing his mind.
So Nelson-watchers were intrigued last month when Politico reported that Nelson expanded on his usual answer by saying he might change course if Democratic frontrunner Charlie Crist “gets into trouble.”
When Politico asked what Nelson meant by trouble, he replied: “That’s in the eye of the beholder.”
In West Palm Beach today, Nelson sought to tamp down the gubernatorial speculation.
“I have no plans to run for governor and I have no intention of running for governor,” Nelson said when a reporter asked.
Asked about the Politico remarks, Nelson described being swarmed by reporters while trying to catch a train from the Capitol to his Senate office.
“I had just had, the day before, a procedure on my left knee. And I’m on crutches. And I get to the point of which I’m trying to get on the escalator to get down to the level where the little train is. And so I’m concentrating on that as I get onto the escalator with these crutches and he (a Politico reporter) has asked me a whole bunch of questions and I’ve answered them and then he says something about, I don’t even remember what the question was,” Nelson recalled.
“Anyway, I said some flip remark, well, ‘That’s in the eye of the beholder.’ So somebody took that and made that to be something else. So that’s what that’s all about.”