Marco Rubio rolls out law enforcement backing at sheriffs’ conference

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'This endorsement speaks to more than just politics.'

In Jacksonville Monday at the Florida Sheriffs Conference, Sen. Marco Rubio introduced his “Law Enforcement for Marco” coalition that came with the endorsement of 55 sheriffs.

Rubio is seeking his third term in the Senate, and with a challenge from former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings, it was inevitable the Senator would spotlight the support of sheriffs to undermine a key part of her branding.

The 55 sheriffs cover the “overwhelming majority” of the 67 sheriffs in the state, the announcement said. Rubio said he was “deeply honored” by the endorsements, noting that “few matter as much as this one does to me.”

He chided politicians for criticizing law enforcement for “enforcing the laws they pass” as “injecting the spirit of lawlessness into our society.”

Spikes in murder rates and attacks against police officers are evidence of this, Rubio said, including “efforts organized to ambush law enforcement.”

“I think it’s especially sickening when people who should know better decide to align themselves with this effort,” Rubio said with a jab at Rep. Demings, the “hand-picked candidate” of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Rubio pivoted from there to describe border insecurity and an “epidemic of smash and grabs around the country.” He allowed that Florida is better off than most places, however, because “we don’t have a Governor and a Legislature who have gone completely crazy.”

“I’m honored by this endorsement. This speaks to more than just politics, it speaks to the direction of our country,” Rubio said at the press conference. “And I think this is a direction that is incredibly important and badly needed and that’s why I’m so grateful to be with all of them here today and I’m eternally grateful for your support. And you can continue to always count on mine.”

“When you inject the spirit of lawlessness in a culture and in a society, you only embolden the lawless. And in the end, the men and women standing behind me, and the men and women that work for them, are the ones that have to respond to it in a very difficult job.”

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, who is often a point man for these law enforcement endorsement events, said Demings voted to “defund the police” in Congress. He added that Rubio, unlike Demings, hasn’t “changed.”

Judd went on to deliver red meat about the protests of 2020, calling it “lawlessness” that “occurs because of the rule makers” in places like Kenosha and Portland. Rubio, Judd asserted, was one of the reasons such chaos didn’t happen in the Sunshine State.

Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook also was among the speakers.

“The rhetoric from some of our leaders in Washington is fueling anti-cop sentiment,” Cook said, noting that Rubio was a “steadfast champion” of law enforcement.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


One comment

  • Governor CovidDick

    January 25, 2022 at 3:20 am

    Will someone please explain to me how Senator Rubio, our Federal senator, had anything to do with the actions of our state government?

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