US Sen. Nelson cautions Trump while touring Florida Poly
Aug. 12--LAKELAND -- U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson on Friday offered the same advice President Donald Trump has received from a lot of others: Tone it down.
"I don't think excessive rhetoric is the wise thing to do," he said. "I would advise not doing that any more."
The 74-year-old Florida Democrat was speaking of Trump's threat to rain down "fire and fury" on North Korea and, most recently, his tweet Friday morning that read the U.S. military is "locked and loaded" should North Korea act against the United States or its allies.
Nelson voiced his opinion at Florida Polytechnic University during a brief news conference at the end of a tour of the school. He was at the Lakeland school to attend the I-4 Commercial Corridor Conference that was being held on campus.
The three-term senator said it's tough to deal with a dictator, such as North Korea's Kim Jung Un.
"There are three options we have right now," Nelson said: "Go to war, do nothing, or negotiate.
"But can you negotiate with a dictator?" he asked.
He also spoke about the future of health care. After Republicans failed to pass a health care repeal bill, Nelson said he wasn't gloating.
"I'm looking forward to when we get back (from the August recess) to fixing the health care bill in a bipartisan way," Nelson said. "That's what democracy is about."
During the tour, Nelson met with top officials at the school and students who showed him a number of projects they were working on.
"What we need to be doing is exactly what they are doing here," he said. "They are smart, fast and creative."
Nelson first spoke with about a dozen people, including students, teachers and Terry Parker, the university's provost. Florida Poly President Randy Avent was traveling on business related to SunTrax, a transportation technology facility that allows Poly students to work with the Florida Department of Transportation. The partnership allows students and faculty to research autonomous cars.
Nelson heard about the latest research of autonomous vehicles during his meeting.
"You all are on the cutting edge," Nelson said.
Rick Maxey, director of governmental relations for the university, told Nelson that Florida Poly is seeking funding from the state for a center to conduct additional studies.
"We hope Florida will be the center for testing," Maxey said.
Nelson was the second top government official to tour the school in less than a month. In July, Alexander Acosta, the U.S. secretary of labor, visited Florida Polytechnic.
Nelson, the Democrats' last statewide office holder, has filed to run for a fourth term. He could face Gov. Rick Scott in the 2018 election.
John Chambliss can be reached at email@example.com or 863-802-7588.