Nikki Fried likens Florida Republicans to the officers who watched George Floyd die
Image via AP.

Nikki Fried
"They stood by and watched ... without intervening."

After months of battle with Gov. Ron DeSantis on the Plaza Level, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has long since forsaken the dream of “state over party” cooperation.

While this won’t help the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in policy fights, the open acrimony frees up Fried for the kinds of partisan speeches she is likely to give throughout this election year, as well as in 2022, whatever she may run for then.

Fried, addressing the Florida Democratic Party’s Leadership Blue gala, compared the Republican Party of Florida to the officers who watched one of their own kill George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The context was the fight against coronavirus, where Fried said that the officers’ “inaction and silence” reminds her of the Republican Party of Florida standing idly by as the virus ravages the state.

“They stood by and watched … without intervening,” Fried said of the officers, “whose actions remind me of the Republican Party of Florida.”

Fried wondered “where was the Republican Party as over 4,000 Floridians have died of coronavirus and the Governor refuses to issue a mask mandate.”

For Fried, the critiques on Saturday night continue increasingly uncompromising warnings that, in her view, Gov. Ron DeSantis is taking the state toward a coronavirus disaster.

In national media appearances last week, the commissioner said Gov. Ron DeSantis “has lost the faith and the trust from the people of our state.”

“They no longer believe that he has a plan for our future and they believe he’s never cared about them. There’s been no empathy shown whatsoever from this Governor and no humility that when we did flatten the curve, he went on the national circus and went across the entire state claiming mission accomplished.”

She offered even more pointed critiques the same day on Cheddar.

“Basically he’s shown no leadership,” Fried said. “Part of the problem is he’s not taking this seriously and so when he doesn’t take it seriously, how can businesses and the people of our state take it seriously?”

The state confirmed more than 10,000 additional COVID-19 cases Friday.

As of Saturday morning, 337,569 people have tested positive with the novel coronavirus in Florida, including 333,201 state residents. Meanwhile, the overall death toll in the state crossed 5,000, with 4,895 dead residents and 107 nonresidents.

A recent Fox News poll showed DeSantis’ approval rating sliding to 53%, a six-point drop from April. The percentage of Floridians who viewed him unfavorably, meanwhile, grew from 33% in April to 40% last month.

Things took a turn four months ago, when the pandemic prompted the governor to close schools, bars and nightclubs, and place severe limitations on restaurants and other public establishments. As the shutdowns spiked Florida’s unemployment in April, benefits-seekers experienced long delays because of glitches in the state’s unemployment website, leading to widespread frustration.

DeSantis has resisted calls to reimpose shutdowns of the economy and to mandate the use of masks statewide — even as other Republican governors, such as in Texas and Alabama, have done so. Instead, DeSantis has left it to mayors and county commissioners to decide whether and how to enforce stricter measures — as major population centers have done.

“His hands-off approach is not working,” Democratic state Sen. Audrey Gibson, the minority leader in her chamber, said earlier this week. “He’s losing the war against the pandemic.”

Material from the Associated Press was used in this post.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


17 comments

  • HRVSF

    July 18, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    Says the cougar sleeping with the married weed mogul.

  • Sonja Fitch

    July 19, 2020 at 8:22 am

    Truth hurts the lying goptrump cult ! If we acted on facts and the truth Florida would shut down! Theme parks stf down! Cancel the RNC! Sports get a grip. We miss you but you are not worthy enough to commit community spread! Our children will be trying to transition back to school! Make it doable. Shut the state down for 14 days! If we are successful with our children we all win!

  • Kyle

    July 19, 2020 at 10:33 am

    She didn’t say anything that was incorrect. In fact, I’d venture to say she didn’t go far enough in her remarks. Trump has now blocked funding designed to fight the virus, and this comes after months of denials and looking the other way as the infection rate and the body count climbed.

    Its the closest thing to genocide in this country we’ve seen since the end of slavery.

    And it is being enthusiastically supported by Republicans up and down the ballot.

    • jon

      July 20, 2020 at 2:07 pm

      God Bless DeSantis and DJT! MAGA2020!

  • MJ

    July 19, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    Democrats always tear down successful Republican people bc they can’t get to a position without being on their knees. Ask Bill Clinton about that.

    • ron

      July 20, 2020 at 2:08 pm

      Well said MJ!

  • Ron Ogden

    July 19, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    She wins today’s Charlie Crist awards for the most shamefully ambitious person in Florida, as well as for the most resolutely untruthful. The 2020 campaign is not over, and the 2022 campaign has begun.

    • Charlotte Greenbarg

      July 20, 2020 at 7:47 am

      Fried is an unusually despicable far left Democrat among the bunch of anarchists who control the party. The trolls who support her and the rest crawl after her to insert their party lies

      • Lynn

        July 20, 2020 at 1:35 pm

        I disagree with you. I believe she is sincere and trying to help Floridians survive this disaster.

        • bob

          July 20, 2020 at 2:10 pm

          What disaster? Covid? If the old and sick people would quarantine themselves it would be no worse than the seasonal flu!

  • kenneth

    July 19, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    How do you like Democrat Socialism? just like the third world isn’t it. Democrat Governor’s & Mayors ordering Police to stand down while the city is looted, burned. citizens beaten in the streets, monuments destroyed, police stations actually taken over and allowed to be occupied. Antifa and BLM (founder is Marxist) are the criminals behind this. Joe has recently stated that Police need to be defunded or “funds diverted.”

    Biden wants to “transform America” If you vote for Joe Biden, you are voting for Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren’s far left platform.. Joe will follow the radical left’s agenda or Joe won’t get the support (and he is of) Nancy Pelosi, Val Demings, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Valerie Jarrett,. Rashida Talib, Stacy Abrams, Ayanna Pressley, Nancy Pelosi, Sheila Jackson Lee, Tom Perez, Maxine Waters, Al Green, and llhan Omar.

    This is the core of the socialists leftist wing of the Democrat party and are firmly in charge not old , confused

    Joe Biden will be a puppet.

    Democrats want to make this election all about President Trump. NOT their platform & Goals and Joe Biden for obvious reasons.
    Democrat Platform & Goals:

    *Citizenship for 20 to 50 million illegal aliens, DACA, TPS recipients their families with a cost of billions.

    *Massive tax increases. All Democrat candidates have committed to tax increases of various amounts. Biden has stated he will raise taxes.

    *Sanctuary Cities & States. Joe Biden supports sanctuary cities.

    *Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Green new deal.(which would create massive unemployment, 100,000 jobs estimated in the transportation industry alone.) Joe Biden supports.

    *De-fund & terminate border patrol & ICE.

    *De-fund Police. “re-imagine law enforcement” (the left’s new term.) Basically BLM is determining where your taxes go and it’s not to law enforcement. Biden recently stated his endorsement of “redirecting law enforcement finds.”

    *Free Healthcare for Illegal aliens, DACA, TPS recipients (taxpayer funded with one estimate at 52 trillion) Joe Biden endorsed.

    *Ending of all private / employer based health care. “Medicare for all”, Feds run everything.

    *Illegal Aliens eligible for welfare & food stamps. (Elizabeth Warren’s plan adopted) Endorsed by Biden.

    *Reparations for race’s harmed by Caucasians. Joe Biden committed to support Sheila Jackson Lee’s reparations bill in the House. Basically a tax will be levied on all Caucasians in America. (you can’t make this stuff up)

    *Free college for all, including illegal aliens (taxpayer funded with estimates in the billions. Bernie Sanders plan adopted.

    *Decriminalization of illegal entry into our country.

    *Open Borders.

    *End all deportations of illegal aliens, if you get here, you stay. Bernie’s website calls it a “moratorium” on deportations.

    *Drivers Licenses for illegal aliens (already happening in states with Democrat leadership. Biden endorsed

    *Late term abortions up to 9 months.

    * Destruction and erasing our history.

    • Gina F.

      July 20, 2020 at 12:01 am

      No one’s reading all of that nonsense buddy, so let’s keep it simple: Democrats want fairness, freedom, and a society in which the president is not a tool of Russia or China. A return to competence. Basically, all the things we don’t currently have.

      There, fixed it for ya.

    • Al

      July 20, 2020 at 7:19 am

      Its really time you take a break from Fox news.

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    July 20, 2020 at 7:46 am

    Fried is an unusually despicable far left Democrat among the bunch of anarchists who control the party. The trolls who support her and the rest crawl after her to insert their party lies

  • Just sayin'

    July 20, 2020 at 9:28 am

    Fried is such an awful hack. Truly. She’s done nothing but try to plaster her picture on every gas pump in Florida, funnel business to her boyfriend, and snipe at DeSantis from the sidelines.

    There are so many better Democratic politicians in Florida. Gwen Graham, Dan Gelber, Ben Diamond, Al Lawson, Stephanie Murphy, Rick Kriseman, etc…

    If Fried wins their primary, it’ll be a shame.

  • jon

    July 20, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    Typical democrat! Nothing but hate speech! Yet they are so inclusive! BAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • lumdor

    July 20, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    Ladies and Gentlemen… Our Next Governor, Nikki Fried!

Comments are closed.


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