CREATED Jul. 16, 2012
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Congressman Mack was game today. Open to an array of questions and topics. One thing he made clear, that policies both the president and Senator Bill Nelson have been fighting for do not sit well with him
"I think the president has a lot of explaining to do," said U.S. Rep. Connie Mack (R-14), from our Fox 4 studio.
They're strong words coming from Mack, who says the president will have to answer a lot of questions when he visits Fort Myers.
"Why he thinks forcing people to buy something they may not want to buy, whey he thinks taxing people to force them into health care, why he thinks the stimulus was a good idea," explained Mack.
Another talking point was Mack's take on incumbent senate challenger Bill Nelson possibly campaigning alongside Obama on Friday.
"There's been rumors he may campaign with Nelson. Do you think that could hurt him?" asked Fox 4 reporter Gabrielle Sarann. "Nelson hasn't shied away from President Obama for the last four years," replied Mack. "In fact, he votes with Obama 98 percent of the time. They're both lockstep liberals."
That has some experts arguing that if Nelson shows up with Obama in southwest Florida, a conservative bastion of the state, what message would that send right-leaning voters?
"It's to his advantage to go on stage with the president," said Ben Polk, a political analyst and former member of the Illinois House of Representatives.
Polk says Nelson can't afford to ignore the president.
"If the senator loses and the president wins, the president will help take care of the candidate after he's out of office," explained Polk. "He'll also assist him in passing legislation that will be advantageous to him."
Either way, Mack says Obama should stay on-message.
"It's important for for him to speak directly to those issues," said Mack. "Stop making up things about Mitt Romney's past, start talking about the issues. [That] would do him more good in Florida than to continue down the campaign trail he's been on."
Senator Nelson's office says he's scheduled to campaign with Obama in Orlando on Friday.