"The folks who are saying that are politically motivated," Jolly said at the end of a press conference in front of the Lake Seminole Square ALF in Seminole Monday afternoon, where he was joined by Senator Marco Rubio. And "the folks" he meant were the editorial writers at St. Pete's local newspaper, who officially endorsed (or "recommended" in Times-speak) Sink in Sunday's paper.
"It's ironic to me that the Tampa Bay Times is the arbiter of Mr. Young's legacy," he said.
Tim Nickens, the editor of editorials for the Tampa Bay Times, penned a column last month entitled, "David Jolly is no Bill Young."
In the piece, Nickens wrote that "voters should see through" Jolly's attempts to wrap himself in Young's legacy. He took the 41-year-old lobbyist to task for his "pinched parochialism," stressing that Young brought home the proverbial bacon for the entire Tampa Bay area, not just the district that he represented for nearly 43 years. Nickens also chided Jolly for his take on how to deal with the federal deficit, and questioned his veracity when it came to whether or not he lobbied for offshore oil drilling interests.
Jolly specifically said the Times has it wrong when it comes to his stances on undocumented immigration and attacking Syria, saying there was no daylight between Young and himself on those issues.
Jolly has said he doesn't support amnesty (i.e. a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants). Looking back at his record, it doesn't appear that Young did either.
Syria, however, is a little more ambiguous.
Jolly has been critical of President Obama's reluctance to hold the Assad-led government accountable in the wake of its alleged use of chemical weapons last August. And on Monday he insisted that Congressman Young felt the same way, saying "I was sitting on his couch when Syria happened and he [Young] and I discussed this."
But in an interview with the Times' Alex Leary, Young said, "I do not want the U.S. to be involved in another war like we have been in that region."
"I don't buy into politically motivated attacks," Jolly repeated when asked the question by the Palm Beach Post's Dara Kam. "I know where Mr. Young stood, I know where I stand. I'm proud to be a Bill Young Republican and let me tell you, I stand here every day defending his legacy and I will honor that legacy."