Sen. Annette Taddeo‘s videos were paid out of her state Senate campaign, but it’s pretty obvious the Miami Democrat’s target sits in a much bigger office.
In her latest video, first posted Saturday on Twitter, Taddeo renews her July call urging Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency and blames him for much of the current crisis caused by the COVID-19 resurgence.
“And all of this is simply because Governor DeSantis doesn’t have the courage to do what is needed, to do what is right … he thinks it will hurt his political ambitions,” Taddeo says in the video, noting how an emergency declaration would bring more medical oxygen and more space for dead bodies as needed.
And she wraps up her video addressing the Governor directly.
“Gov. DeSantis, people are dying. Now is not the time to play political games. Now is the time to lead. Declare a state of emergency now.”
DeSantis is not declaring a state of emergency because of COVID-19, Christina Pushaw, the Governor’s spokeswoman said. Pushaw says a state of emergency would not fix the shortage of truckers that’s left hospitals with scarce oxygen supplies. She did not address the cramped morgue issue.
This anti-DeSantis video follows another from the week before from Taddeo. It shows DeSantis’ head morphing into political dictators Nicolás Maduro Moros of Venezuela, Fidel Castro of Cuba, and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua.
That video was inspired after school board members across the state were threatened with removal for opposing DeSantis’ order that stopped boards from deciding whether school masks could be mandated. Taddeo also hits DeSantis for remaining silent as his spokeswoman tweeted “Drag him” at an Associated Press reporter, resulting in online threats to the reporter’s life.
Pushaw said the real dictators are those who would take away parents’ right to choose whether their children wear masks to school.
Taddeo, who doesn’t have any opponents yet if she decides to stay in the Senate, is not ready to say she’s running for Governor, however. She will say she’s getting more and more phone calls urging her to make the run that already has two prominent Democrats, Charlie Crist and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. Taddeo was Crist’s running mate in his failed 2014 run for Governor.
DeSantis’ current fundraising schedule that has taken him across the country in recent weeks has increased the urgency of those callers urging her to run, she said. It’s clear that Florida’s concerns are being sacrificed to his presidential ambitions, Taddeo said.
“It’s not just the political types,” Taddeo said of the people urging her to run. “It’s the grassroots people, moms, people who are worried about their kids and realizing, ‘Wait a minute, this does affect us and affects our kids’ lives.’”
Taddeo says she can address the weaknesses that have plagued Democrats and have delivered Republicans to the Governor’s Mansion for more than two decades now.
“ … I am someone who’s been battle-tested, representing a (President) Trump district and strongly winning the Hispanic vote, the minority vote and all the different constituents that we need to win,” Taddeo said.
If elected, she, like Fried, would be the first woman elected Governor and the first Jewish person. Taddeo has also tasted defeat. She lost two bids for Congress, then another for a Miami-Dade County Commission seat before winning her state Senate seat in 2017.
The businessperson says her experience makes her ideal for the top executive job in Florida.
DeSantis’ refusal to acknowledge an ongoing crisis makes it critical to get him out of the office, she said.
“We are literally living every single day and losing more lives than we do in any category four of five storm,” Taddeo said. “It’s completely unacceptable that we don’t have someone that’s willing to protect the lives of Floridians.”
She said she doesn’t blame the voters for returning Republicans to the Governor’s Mansion election after election. Taddeo says Democrats have not done a good job fighting back and standing firm for the values they believe in, whether it’s raising the minimum wage, expanding health care or protecting the environment.
Taddeo, whose family suffered in the leftist government in Colombia, said she, better than anyone, can fight back against that “socialism” or “communism” charge that often sinks Democrats statewide.
“It’s time for us to fight back and let voters know what we’re really looking for, what we’re going to do to win elections,” she said.