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Lopez-Cantera: 'No validity' to Mexican-accent story

Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera said Monday there's "no validity that we can find" to a report that Gov. Rick Scott's co-finance chair, Coral Gables health care executive Mike Fernandez, resigned a high-level campaign post in part over an incident in which two campaign aides joked in a Mexican accent.

In a conference call with Florida reporters to unveil the campaign's new TV ad, Lopez-Cantera discounted a report in The Miami Herald that Fernandez raised concern over the matter in an email last month, amid other behind-the-scenes disagreements with the direction of Scott's campaign.

Following three straight questions to Lopez-Cantera on the subject, a Republican Party spokeswoman ended the call.

"Mr. Fernandez left to spend more time with his family and concentrate more on his business," Lopez-Cantera said. "This is a diverse organization that we have here and I'm confident that there's probably no basis for any of that."

Asked to elaborate on his comment -- was he saying the incident never happened? -- Lopez-Cantera said: "Like I said, this is a diverse organization. We don't tolerate inappropriate comments and I don't believe they even happened."

To another question as to whether he personally looked into the matter, Lopez-Cantera said: "The campaign has, and there's no validity that we can find to any of those comments, or what was written."

Republican Party of Florida spokeswoman Susan Hepworth ended the conference call after a third question about the matter. "Today, I'm here to talk about the ad," Lopez-Cantera said of a new TV spot that criticizes Charlie Crist for calling Obamacare "great" in a recent CNN appearance. "Okay, operator, I think that's all the time that we have," Hepworth said, ending the call.