He didn’t use the word “boycott,” but U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio took to Twitter to urge folks to skip white nationalist leader Richard Spencer’s speech at the University of Florida next week.
In a pair of tweets this morning, UF alum Rubio (@marcorubio) advised people not to give Spencer the attention he “craves:”
Spencer is scheduled to appear on campus on Oct. 19.
UF President Kent Fuchs initially balked at allowing the controversial leader of the National Policy Center to come to the university, but relented after the threat of a lawsuit.
Yesterday, Fuchs also advised students and faculty to stay away.
“(Do) not provide Mr. Spencer and his followers the spotlight they are seeking. They are intending to attract crowds and provoke a reaction in order to draw the media,” Fuchs wrote in an email. “By shunning him and his followers we will block his attempt for further visibility.”
University officials have estimated the tab for beefed-up security for the event will be $500,000, but they’re only charging about $10,000 to Spencer’s group for the rental of the Phillips Center and security costs.
Spencer was involved in a rally in Charlottesville, Va., in August, in which Heather Heyer was killed after a car plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters.
— By Jim Turner and Dara Kam