Val Demings’ ad brings in more cops to attest to her commitment to police
Screen shot from Val Demings campaign ad, "Seriously, Marco?"

Orange County Sheriff John Mina
Demings' new digital campaign ad continues effort to counter Marco Rubio's attacks.

Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s ongoing efforts to try to devalue Democratic opponent Val Demings’ 27-year police career has at least gotten the attention of Demings’ campaign.

The former Orlando Police Chief’s U.S. Senate campaign released another new commercial rebutting Rubio’s insinuations she’s not really a cop’s cop. The new ad again challenges the Rubio campaign’s false claim she once expressed support for the 2020 “defund the police movement.”

In Demings’ new 30-second digital ad “Seriously, Marco?” a handful of current and retired law enforcement officers who had worked with Demings, including current Orange County Sheriff John Mina, bear witness for her.

“The attacks towards Chief Demings about defunding the police — I can’t help but chuckle. No Chief of Police or ex-Chief of Police wants to defund the police,” retired Lt. Barbara Jones says in the commercial.

“I thought it was a joke because I knew for a fact she would never defund the police,” says retired Detective Eddie Lopez.

“I’ve known Chief Demings for decades. She’s never changed, she’s the same person that I know as Chief of Police. You cannot question her commitment to public safety,” says Mina.

In Rubio’s TV commercials, news conferences and news releases, he and his campaign have sought to defuse U.S. Rep. Demings’ background as a police officer.

Rubio has managed to bolster that with an impressive collection of law enforcement endorsements for his re-election. They have come from 55 Florida county Sheriffs, the Police Benevolent Association and the Fraternal Order of Police, though nearly all of them are either Republicans or usual Republican allies.

Some of Rubio’s message has been generic criticism of her law enforcement background, or regarding Demings’ support last year for a policing reform bill that included a provision to reduce law enforcement officers’ protections from civil suits.

Particularly troubling for Demings is the Rubio campaign’s contention that she once offered interest — using the words “very thoughtful” — for the defund police movement that arose in 2020 from the Black Lives Matter protests that erupted in 2020 after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police.

Demings has responded, first with her first major statewide TV commercial portraying her as all about law enforcement — and through her own news conferences, news releases and endorsements from individual law enforcement officers. And now comes the new digital ad.

Demings insisted her prior “very thoughtful” statement was not about defunding police. She cites video of the June 8, 2020, CBS This Morning interview that shows she was referring to seeing the Minneapolis officials sitting down with community leaders to come up with a plan to improve policing.

In her first TV commercial, widely played across Florida for weeks, she called the idea of defunding police, “just crazy.”

But it’s dogging the campaign. Her new ad cites a July 26 PolitiFact review, which found Rubio’s ad “mischaracterized Demings stance.”

Also hanging around is Demings’ counterattack, characterizing Rubio as a career politician who should have no standing criticizing the law enforcement commitment of someone who walked a police beat for decades.

“Marco Rubio, keep your opinions to yourself. Until you cross that line and become a police officer, you have no right,” retired Officer Renita Osselyn says in Demings’ new ad.

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]


18 comments

  • Impeach Biden

    August 4, 2022 at 2:41 pm

    Sorry Val your going down with the rest of the woke and defund movement. At some point you will have to defend the Democratic record since Joey and Giggles took over. Bye bye Val.

    Reply

    • Joe Corsin

      August 4, 2022 at 2:57 pm

      ^ False information

      Reply

      • Impeach Biden

        August 4, 2022 at 5:34 pm

        Live by the Democrat talking points. Die by the Democrat talking points. Bye bye Val.

        Reply

    • Tjb

      August 4, 2022 at 4:22 pm

      Just a reminder that our previous President, Trump, defunded law enforcement when he supported a bill that reduced funding to public safety agencies in his last year at the White House. It is interesting that our current President his against the defunding of law enforcement.

      Reply

      • Impeach Biden

        August 4, 2022 at 7:50 pm

        Big city crime is higher now since the Orange Man went away. We now have wacko DA’s not prosecuting criminals and no cash bail prevalent throughout the country. The Red Storm is coming.

        Reply

        • Tjb

          August 4, 2022 at 11:23 pm

          . Crime increased doing the trump presidency. According to FBI stats, the greatest violent crime increase has been the big cities such as Houston, Memphis, Milwaukee , Columbus, Detroit and Denver. Yes, crime has increased, but it not only blue states but RED State cities contributing to this increase. Also, your use of “ throughout the country” is misleading. You are using “one off” examples. How many DA’s are not prosecuting serious / violent crime and no bail?

          Reply

          • Frances Pagnotta

            August 7, 2022 at 10:04 pm

            This lady Val, no way, I’m saying far away from every name with a “D” bunch of cluster lying bag of cognitive impairment Democrats fool.
            “Economic101Stupid”
            You simply don’t Tax in most of inflation. People are now going to loose jobs, because employers can’t afford the tax hike. This crazy lady Val she was in favor of this stupid inflation – nonReduction plan of theirs. She is a liar don’t trust a “Democratic”!

            NO DEMOCRATS AS FLORIDA LEADERS. They will turn out state Blue , with crime, defund police departments and sheriff departments, State Taxes, and City Taxes, immigrants tents on the beaches and parks, no prosecutors all soft on crime and releasing criminals into the streets, murder will sky rockets by 70%, smash and break stores in mall, cancer culture in our schools etc….to worst.
            SO VOTE NO TO DEMOCRATS

    • SANDRA OLIVA

      August 7, 2022 at 12:29 pm

      CHILDISH REBUTTAL FROM ILL-EQUIPPED OPPOSITION…IT IS EASIER TO SIT BACK IN ONE;S CHAIR AND BE PICKY, THAN TO PICK UP THE HEAVY SHOVEL AND JUST DIG IN WITH RECOGNIZABLE SKILL.

      Reply

  • Ron Ogden

    August 4, 2022 at 3:20 pm

    “But it’s dogging the campaign. Her new ad cites a July 26 PolitiFact review, which found Rubio’s ad “mischaracterized Demings stance.”

    The Poynter Institute of St. Petersburg, which owns the Politifact brand, is the same organization that benefits from the Democratic-biased journalism of the old, nearly-defunct St. Petersburg Times. It’s purpose is to defend Democratic candidates at every level and to defeat conservatives such as Rubio. Your story should have clearly identified that Politifact is St. Pete Times’ next of kin.

    Reply

  • tom palmer

    August 4, 2022 at 6:06 pm

    Facts are facts. She has them. Marquito doesn’t. Only Ron and the other QAnon radicals will buy the slander.

    Reply

  • martin

    August 5, 2022 at 4:13 pm

    Yes, she has the detective squad looking for her lost service weapon! She needs all the help she can get. BTW: who cares who the keystone cops endorse?

    Reply

  • Ocean Joe

    August 6, 2022 at 8:26 am

    As for the last speaker on the ad, ‘you’ve got no right to criticize’ …in America everybody has that right.
    Can’t understand why any police officer supports allowing members of the public to own and carry assault rifles around. And Marco will never vote to ban them, the NRA won’t let him.
    The next mass casualty event involving one is probably only a few days away. We’ll do nothing and get the usual nonsense:
    “Why don’t we ban airplanes and knives? Why don’t schools only have one door? Guns don’t get up off the table and shoot people, We need more mental health counselling” etc. We are awash in guns. Thanks Marco.
    Don’t forget he used the Pulse nightclub massacre (assault weapon, mass casualties) to justify getting back into the Senate race last time, saying “Florida needs me” and what has he done since?

    Reply

    • SANDRA OLIVA

      August 7, 2022 at 12:38 pm

      ALSO, LADIES PLEASE READ THIS:
      RUBIO HAS ACTUALLY BOO-ED WOMEN OF AMERICA:

      RUBIO HAS CLEARLY SAID:
      “WOMEN DON’T NEED THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT” (BUT WE ARE DENIED A PLACE IN THE US CONSTITUTION DESPITE ERA’S PASSAGE TWO WHOLE YEARS AGO!) MORE THAN HALF THE POPULATION NEEDS EQUAL TREATMENT CODIFIED IN OUR CONSTITUTION SO WE CAN LEAP OUT OF 2ND CLASS)

      MARCO ALSO SAID: “BESIDES, THE ERA IS OUTDATED”
      TELL THAT TO THE WOMEN WHO ARE BEATEN AND KILLED OR RAPED EVERY YEAR! WE OF NATL ERA ALLIANCE INC WILL NOT STAND FOR THAT NOR WOULD HE IF HE WERE RAPED!

      Reply

  • martin

    August 6, 2022 at 11:51 am

    Joe, we are still waiting for you “gun no-it-alls” to define assault weapon.
    Hint; the military makes use of assault weapons. Whereas, true assault weapons are not available to the civilian public.
    Do your homework, before spouting off.

    Reply

    • SANDRA OLIVA

      August 7, 2022 at 12:39 pm

      DO YOUR OWN HOMEWORK TO GET IT STRAIGHT, MARTIN.

      Reply

  • YYep

    August 6, 2022 at 5:43 pm

    I am still looking at the UFO thing and how it knows how to fly in the target range

    Reply

  • Ellie

    August 6, 2022 at 8:32 pm

    I’m a woman of color, millennial, and progressive, Bernie loving Democrat. I will not vote for Val Demings. #ThirdParty

    Reply

    • SANDRA OLIVA

      August 7, 2022 at 12:41 pm

      WHY NOT, SHE IS FIGHTING FOR YOU!

      Reply

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