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Atwater's staff snagged in errant CNN and Fox News report

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater’s press shop got snagged in an embarrassing retraction Thursday after an errant CNN and Fox News report that the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act had been overturned. 

As Atwater was meeting with Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi in a quarterly clemency meeting, his communications office pressed the button at 10:10 a.m. on the wrong press release that had been prepared in advance.

“Today’s landmark ruling by the Supreme Court upholds two distinctly American principles outlined in our Constitution—individual freedom and limited government,’’ Atwater was quoted as saying.

Four minutes later, they sent out a new one: “Please regard previous healthcare statement.”

Alexis Lambert, spokeswoman for Atwater, said the CFO didn’t know any of it was happening.

“We reacted to the initial report from CNN and Fox News and then recalled it within a minute,’’ Lambert said.