Nikki Fried blasts Ron DeSantis for ‘blind allegiance to an insurrectionist’

Nikki Fried COVID
In a Twitter video, Fried lamented the Governor playing the victim in a global pandemic.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is condemning Gov. Ron DeSantis for his continued attacks on those who criticize his ongoing COVID-19 response.

In a minute-long video shared on Twitter, Fried set the tone for a potential gubernatorial matchup next year while arguing DeSantis is playing the victim in the pandemic.

“You won’t hear this from Gov. DeSantis, but you need to hear it. This pandemic has been painful. While he lashes out at everyone else like he’s the victim, we all know who the real victims are: every Floridian who has lost a loved one, lost a job, lost a way of life,” Fried said.

She continued with her critique, slamming the Governor for his loyalty to former President Donald Trump.

“This has been so much harder than it had to be and we know why — blind allegiance to an insurrectionist,” she said.

Fried’s video comes after a series of public comments DeSantis has made in recent weeks lamenting media coverage of his COVID-19 response in which DeSantis argues his approach is a model for the nation, despite criticism largely from the left.

Last Wednesday, after celebrations in Tampa for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Super Bowl victory, DeSantis offered an annoyed response to a question from a reporter about maskless celebrations.

“The media is worried about that,” the Governor groused. “Obviously you guys really love that. You don’t care as much if it’s a quote, ‘peaceful protest,’ and then t’s fine. You  don’t care as much if they’re celebrating a (Joe) Biden election. You only care about it if it’s people that you don’t like.”

DeSantis ended his statement not by condemning those who bucked Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance during Super Bowl celebrations, but by praising the Bucs himself.

“So I’m a Bucs fan. I’m damn proud of what they did on Sunday,” he concluded.

On Sunday, DeSantis took to Fox News, where he often finds a receptive audience, to lament a hypothetical travel ban on Florida in response to a surge in the B.1.1.7 strain of COVID-19 in the Sunshine State. In that interview, DeSantis mocked the Biden administration and its allies for being “lockdowners” and said the proposal, which has not been seriously discussed, was tantamount to a “political attack against Florida.”

On Monday, DeSantis said a CDC proposal to close schools that don’t meet certain COVID-19 metrics was “a disgrace” and an effort that put “politics ahead of what’s right for kids.”

Fried’s video did not mention any of DeSantis’ specific comments, but her criticism was clear. She followed up her direct digs on the Governor with a message of hope.

“So let me say this to all Floridians: You’re loved. We feel your hurt. Florida can and will do better. As the Biden administration puts science first and we turn the corner on this pandemic, I promise, I will continue to fight for you and hold the Governor accountable,” Fried said.

“Although this has been a dark painful time for our state, with your help getting vaccinated and masking up, this can be the beginning of the end. And we’ve got plenty more beginnings to look forward to, Florida.”

The video was paid for by Fried’s Consumers First political committee.

The ad could be viewed by some as political gamesmanship ahead of a potential 2022 run against DeSantis, a bid which Fried is considering.

Democrats will no doubt make COVID-19 a top topic in an eventual attempt to unseat the incumbent Governor, and this video sets the tone for a potential campaign.

The Republican Governor’s Association viewed it as a thinly veiled announcement of her intent to run next year.

“Nikki Fried is desperate to be coronated as the Democrat nominee for Governor, but instead of making her intentions clear, she’s hiding behind a veiled announcement video filled with politically motivated lies,” Republican Governors Association spokesperson Joanna Rodriguez said. “While Florida continues to battle the coronavirus and lead the nation in economic recovery under Gov. Ron DeSantis’ leadership, Fried is focused on conspiring for her political future and promoting inaccuracies and empty platitudes. She’s exactly the opposite of what Florida needs.”

Fried followed her video with a fundraising pitch via email, asking for donations to her Consumers First committee to “help me continue working to get things done on behalf of Floridians.”

“On Sunday, Governor Ron DeSantis visited his safe space: Fox News. He used his time on air to bash President Joe Biden, employing made-up terms like ‘lockdowner’ and praising former President Trump’s COVID-19 response. After his tirade, DeSantis said President Biden should “stop playing politics” and insisted they should work together,” Fried wrote. “This level of hypocrisy is ludicrous — throughout the pandemic, it has been DeSantis, time and again, who has played politics with our health.”

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]


13 comments

  • Sonja Fitch

    February 16, 2021 at 12:16 pm

    Duffus Desantis has willingly slaughtered Floridians. Duffus Desantis is using the Nazi herd immunity strategy Traitor Trump pushed. Duffus Desantis is incompetent and delusional. Vote Democrat up and down ballot for the elections in 2022!

  • bob

    February 16, 2021 at 1:28 pm

    just stop.

  • Jim

    February 17, 2021 at 1:39 am

    Complete garbage and california stats show how desantis has been correct and lockdown strategy WRONG !

  • Sonja Fitch

    February 17, 2021 at 4:45 am

    Stats of what? Stats from where? Duffus Desantis is willingly slaughtering Floridians with the Nazi herd immunity strategy. Deal with the facts boys. Masks, hand washing and social distance work! Vote Democrat up and down ballot for the elections in 2022.

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    February 17, 2021 at 7:02 am

    Fitch frothing at the mouth as usual🤪🦜. Fried is using her position to campaign for Governor and should be removed from office. She’s spending tax dollars to campaign.

  • trump lost

    February 17, 2021 at 7:48 am

    CA vs FL? LOL!!!!!!

    CA covid deaths per million: 1,201
    FL covid deaths per million: 1,357

    Yeah, Desantis definitely is showing the country he’s better than the blue states. Keep believing the cult!

  • Ocean Joe

    February 17, 2021 at 7:58 am

    Seems like an odd strategy to win statewide office in a state that went for Trump. She’s right though, as evidenced by Republican mayors in south Florida who represent the voters who gave Trump his margin for the Florida win, who have been pushing back against DeSantis. Trump denied himself a second term by his own bizarre, unexplainable path on covid. Let’s beat this monster and we can get back to arguing about blue and red issues. Covid or any other public health crisis should never have been a source of division, we should have united to fight it. But having the most divisive president in our history in charge, the very act of wearing a mask became a flash point.

  • tjb

    February 17, 2021 at 8:59 am

    Charlotte Greenbarg
    Where is your outrage when DeSantis campaigns while attempting to be our governor? I see him on cable tv and flying around the state in the taxpayer’s jet campaigning often. Should we remove him with Nikki?

  • just sayin

    February 17, 2021 at 10:20 am

    If the best the Democrats have is a botoxed up weed lobbyist, the Governor’s Mansion is safe for a while. Manny Diaz better be doing everything he can to get Charlie to run again.

  • Sandy

    February 17, 2021 at 1:34 pm

    BOB, JIM, CHARLOTTE — ALL OBVIOUSLY SNORTING OVER BEING republicans—need to sit down and shut up as they sound just like their ignorant, murderous fake president. Imagine how popular they will be ! trump was not just ignorant, he was monstrously ANTI=AMERICAN. I sure hope Putin invites that critter in to the Russian fireside. Hopefully, by the time the courts get rid of trump, notably focused on his ‘winning ways’, those avid trump lovers will have lost any gloriously misused fervor for an overweight, under-brained, non-starter, criminally emplaced ex-whip=trainer as leader. Americans are already seeing what a Real Leader-President can and will do–had we forgotten possibly while we churned over the stupid rulings under trump? OUT trump to RUSSIA. Offload GOP trump PREFERABLY TO JAIL ASAP WITH LONG SENTENCES back to back so folks injured by him can poke him with pointy sticks. WOW WHAT A BLAST THAT WILL BE ! LET’S SELL TICKETS!

  • Sonja Fitch

    February 17, 2021 at 3:12 pm

    Hush hush sweet Charlotte. Stick to the issues. Oh you can’t speak to issues. Mm your solution is to try and bully folks! Lol lol hush hush sweet Charlotte!!!!!!!!🤮🤧🤡😡🤑!!!!!! Duffus Desantis is willingly slaughtering Floridians ! Vote Democrat up and down ballot for the elections in 2022!

  • Jeff Burnsed

    February 17, 2021 at 11:28 pm

    Governor Ron DeSantis is a STRONG leader, a Man of God, much like General Joshua. Read Joshua 1:1-9 carefully. Read Joshua 24 carefully too. This TERRIFIC Governor that we have…will win…by an unprecedented landslide. Start praying for him…everyday…because he’ll be Governor of FLORIDA…for a LONG time😇🤗🤗🤠🤠 Thank you King Jesus…for an answer to many prayers…in Governor Ron DeSantis!

  • alex ramirez

    February 23, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    Ron DeSantis YOU ARE FIRE…..

Comments are closed.


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