A screenshot of the St. Petersburg Patch's screenshot of Nick Finzer's comment about President Barack Obama on WTSP.com
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida- Dr. David McKalip's 4th Street North medical office doubles as his campaign headquarters, and a shrine to free speech.
The candidate for St. Pete City Council disagrees with a city ordinance discouraging moving signs; his office marquee makes that clear.
He also spent his own money on a series of monuments highlighting the bill of rights and U.S. Constitution.
"I think people have a right to free speech, but I think when we use our free speech, we should talk about the issues," said McKalip.
He was referring to criticism that surfaced after his campaign manager, Nick Finzer posted a controversial comment on-line.
The comment was made in reference to the Missouri State Fair where a rodeo clown put on a Barack Obama mask as the announcer asked the crowd if they'd like to see the president run over by a bull.
In reaction to the story Finzer posted on our website, wtsp.com: "I think I'd like to see Obama run down by a bull. Except that would make Biden President."
"Those comments were inappropriate and removed, but you know, I think people are sick and tired of political terrorist tactics being used to silence legitimate opposition, so we can avoid talking about real issues," said McKalip, who listed the city's pension plan that he worries could bankrupt St. Petersburg in the next decade.
McKalip says he's talking on behalf of his campaign manager when he states that his opponents are taking advantage of the Obama comment to distract from real issues of the campaign.
"I think the comment was inappropriate and we should remove it, but it should not be used as a tool of political terrorists to silence legitimate opposition so they can avoid talking about real issues like the pension plans that will bankrupt St. Petersburg."
And like a bad broken record with every question we asked, we got nearly word for word the same response.
"I want to focus on the issues and people are fed up with political terrorist tactics to silence free speech and avoid talking about real issues that hurt the citizens of St. Pete like the impending bankruptcy of our city."
He went on to say--
"People have learned that the opposition doesn't want to talk about issues; they want to intimidate their opponents with political terrorist attacks to silence them to talk about real issues like high taxes, and debt that will bankrupt our city."
When asked why he kept repeating himself over and over and over again, McKalip said:
"You're not going to get anything else out of me- that's it!"
Dr. McKalip himself stirred up controversy in 2009 when he forwarded a photo of the President dressed up as a witch doctor, complete with a bone through his nose.
And while he said he was sorry back then, it's clear McKalip still feels Americans should be able to voice their views, even if it involves the President.
"People are sick of it! They're sick of being afraid to speak their mind because someone has been put on a higher pedestal than they are."
Follow 10 News Reporter Beau Zimmer on twitter @Zimm10
Beau Zimmer, 10 News