Mr. “Margaritaville” Jimmy Buffett shared a stage with Florida Democrats on Saturday, taking shots at President Trump and Republicans in the process.
“Andrew Gillum’s going to win,” Buffett told a crowd of onlookers at West Palm Beach, referring to the Democratic Tallahassee mayor who’s running for governor of the state against GOP challenger Ron DeSantis, a former congressman.
Then Buffett altered the lyrics to one of his songs, “Come Monday,” to reference Tuesday’s election: “Come Tuesday, things will change. Come Tuesday, we’re making a change. It’s been two insane years and it’s time to really switch gears. It’s been two insane years and it’s time to switch gears.”
Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum speaks during a rally at CFE Arena on the campus of UCF in Orlando, Fla. (Associated Press)
Later, Buffett changed some words to his biggest hit, “Margaritaville,” to poke fun at Rick Scott, Florida’s Republican governor, who is now seeking a U.S. Senate seat: “Some people say there’s a red tide to blame,” Buffett sang, “but I know, that it’s all Rick Scott’s fault.”
Appearing with Buffett, Gillum urged voters to reject the politics of Trump and the GOP, saying, “We’re being convinced we’ve got to step on our neighbor’s shoulder and on their backs … in order for us to get ahead,” the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Joining Gillum was his running mate Chris King and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat who is locked in a race against Scott.
Buffett, 71, spoke briefly before launching into song: “These are your guys, this is your ticket,” he said. “There are better days ahead. Now let’s have some fun.”
Gillum pledged to rein in the National Rifle Association, a day after a gunman killed two women at a yoga studio in Tallahassee.
“Enough is enough,” Gillum said. “We can celebrate what it means to have the Second Amendment and celebrate safety and security in our homes, in our neighborhoods, in our schools, in our houses of worship at the same time.”
Buffett, known for his island escape-ism sounds, draws an older, whiter crowd, the paper said. His fans, known as Parrot Heads, showered Gillum with support, with some wearing “Andrew Gillum for Governor” T-shirts among the sea of Hawaiian shirts in the crowd.
“We need Andrew Gillum and Bill Nelson to win, we need to retake America,” said Jane Lipson, 67, a retired teacher who wore a “Jimmy Buffett for President” T-shirt and drove up from neighboring Broward County to attend the rally. “The bigotry, the hatred. (President Trump) is bringing out the worst in people.”
Gayle Pike, 71, a retired school teacher, also gave the Democrats her support.
“We have to change what’s happening in America,” she said. “All the hate and the misery, that’s happening that’s come down from the top. This country is so divided and I’ve never seen it so mean.”
Democratic U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel earned a round of applause when she proclaimed onstage that she had been banned from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago golf club.
Nelson and Gillum hope South Florida’s pro-Democratic counties can offset Republican votes elsewhere in the state like the Panhandle, where Trump help a campaign rally.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.