Rep. Val Demings is pinning Sen. Rick Scott’s “Rescue America” plan on Sen. Marco Rubio as Democrats continue to skewer Republicans over the proposal.
In her latest ad, titled “Marco Rubio is Running From Florida,” the Democratic Senate candidate’s campaign said Rubio is taking his cues from party bosses like Scott, Florida’s junior Senator. That makes Demings the first Democratic challenger to launch paid advertising against a Republican incumbent, according to Demings’ campaign.
Scott, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, released an 11-point plan earlier this month as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has held back from laying out any alternative agenda for Republicans. Topics under the plan mostly hit red meat issues like abortion and LGBTQ policy, but the section earning the most attention and immediate pushback involves income taxes.
“All Americans should pay some income tax to have skin in the game, even if a small amount,” the plan states. “Currently over half of Americans pay no income tax.”
While Scott’s plan frequently mentions himself, there is no mention of his Republican colleagues, including Rubio. That hasn’t stopped Democrats from linking the plan to GOP candidates more broadly.
In the case of Florida’s senior Senator, Demings’ campaign labeled the plan the “Rubio-Scott Tax Hike.”
“Marco Rubio is scared — scared to stand up to his bosses, scared to stand up to Florida. Say no to the Rubio-Scott Tax Hike,” the ad says. “Tell Rubio to take a hike.”
“Marco Rubio’s party boss is planning to hike taxes on Florida’s working families, seniors and veterans with the Rubio-Scott Tax Hike, and Rubio is too cowardly to reject the politicians and special interests that tell him what to do,” said Demings’ communications director, Christian Slater. “Chief Demings will work for Florida’s seniors and working families, not fight to hike their taxes.”
The ad follows comments Demings made Friday criticizing Rubio for not speaking out against Scott’s plan.
In a roughly 20-minute speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday, Scott portrayed America as a nation under siege by socialist actors — media, academia and Hollywood, among others.
The digital ad will run as part of the campaign’s ongoing, six-figure digital ad buy.
The latest polling shows Rubio, a two-term Senator, with a solid lead in his 2022 re-election bid. Rubio leads Demings 46%-34%, according to polling released Thursday by the University of North Florida. That followed a Mason-Dixon poll earlier this month that showed a slightly tighter 49%-42% lead for Rubio.