Marco Rubio blasts Val Demings’ support for $3.5T infrastructure plan as ‘socialist spending spree’
Real life isn’t like CSI: Miami, says Val Demings.

Rubio's attack ad claims Demings seeks a 'liberal wishlist.'

In a new attack ad, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio‘s reelection campaign is blasting his most likely opponent, Democratic Rep. Val Demings, for her support of the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion clean energy and social services package.

A “socialist spending spree,” a new Rubio campaign ad calls it, charging that Demings is in thick with President Joe Biden and progressive Democrats’ leader Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“Val Demings supports Bernie and Biden’s $3.5 trillion socialist spending spree,” declares the 30-second spot, “Val Demings’ $3,500,000,000,000 Liberal Wishlist.”

The ad is the latest missive from the Rubio campaign, which has set its sights on Demings as the likely Democratic nominee to face him next November.

She has earned that target in part by outraising everyone — including two-term Senator Rubio — in the latest campaign finance statements. The Orlando Congresswoman pulled in $8.4 million in the third quarter, compared to $5.8 million for Rubio. She topped Rubio in the spring quarter too, $6 million to $4 million. Several Democrats are contesting Demings, led by Ken Russell, who attracted about $315,000 in campaign contributions during the third quarter.

Rubio’s campaign did not release any information on where the ad is appearing or what is being spent on it.

The commercial focuses on Demings’ strong support for the 10-year, $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act, which she has actively promoted in tour appearances, interviews and statements. The Rubio ad comes with a press release citing an interview she gave Florida Politics in September, in which she called the package a demonstration that “America is back.” Demings focused on tax cuts that would be available to the middle class and for services such as Medicare expansion and “wrap-around” programs that provide help to working families, such as universal free pre-K education.

The Rubio spot focuses on different aspects of the proposal, which is now stalled in the House of Representatives while Biden and Democratic leaders try to hammer a new compromise that could win support from moderates.

“It’s loaded up with Demings’ liberal wishlist,” a narrator declares. “The green new deal. Tax hikes on Florida small businesses. Amnesty for illegal immigrants. And taxpayer-funded abortion.”

The Rubio spot cites one of those moderates — Demings’ neighbor, Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy — suggesting Demings is no Murphy. The Winter Park Congresswoman has expressed support for much of the package, but maintains concerns about some spending and tax provisions. She said in September she could not vote for it, “at this early stage.”

“That’s too radical for moderates,” the narrator declares as a news clip appears of Murphy’s opposition to the bill. “But not for Val Demings. Demings wants to move full steam ahead.”

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]


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