McCollum in Tampa: I'd like to ban gays from being foster parents in Florida

Unlike McCollum or Scott, former Governor Jeb Bush has been critical of the Arizona anti-illegal immigration bill. (Some analysts say Scott's support of that law is one reason he's done so well in the polls.) When asked by CL how illegal immigration had become a hot issue in the race, Bush mentioned a litany of other issues that he said were far more important, and admitted he disagreed on the issue with McCollum.

"This is a very emotional issue. I can see why the people of Arizona are really angry about the federal government's callous attitude about what's going on. I just don't see it as a Florida issue.  "

In Clearwater two weeks ago, Bill McCollum refused to say whether he would endorse Rick Scott if Scott becomes the GOP nominee for Governor. Today, Jeb Bush did the same thing, saying he doesn't answer hypotheticals, but insisted that Bill McCollum would be the nominee for the Republican Party of Florida.

When asked how he could explain Scott's ascending poll numbers, Bush said simply, "Twenty-five million dollars. It's not that complicated."

On the first day of early voting, GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum brought out the ultimate in star power in the world of Florida GOP politics, former Governor Jeb Bush, to aid his campaign. Bush joined McCollum at events today in Jacksonville, Miami, and this afternoon in Temple Terrace, in front of a jam-packed room of supporters.

McCollum, trailing multi-millionaire Rick Scott in virtually every poll taken over the past six weeks, needs to feed off of Bush's charisma as he tries to close the gap over the next 15 days before the August 24 primary.

He's also appealing to the religious right. In an interview published today in the Florida Baptist Witness, McCollum, who was embarrassed earlier this year when his key witness fighting Florida's ban on gay adoption, Dr. George Rekers, was caught taking a European vacation with a male escort, said that he disagreed with Florida law that allows gays to serve as foster parents.

At a news conference at the campaign event in Temple Terrace, CL asked McCollum to elaborate on that comment.

"Well, I think we have to face the issue whether or not the gay adoption law in Florida is constitutional or not first. I'm defending that law in court. It's the law right now, it's going to go to the state Supreme Court. I think it is inconsistent that the foster care law reads one way and the adoption law reads another way." CL asked him if he'd like to ban gays from being foster parents if elected governor. McCollum replied, "Were going to wait and see how all this comes out in the courts." When asked again by WFLA's Samara Sodos about gays being foster parents, he said, "I think the best thing for children is to have a man and a woman, a mother and a father, not gay parents. I don't think that is the right kind of parenting — that's my personal views, those are my religious views, those are my convictions."

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