Last Call for 11.29.22 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

A digest of the day's politics and policy while the bartender refreshes your drink.

Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.

First Shot

With eyes back on China following anti-lockdown protests, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio took to Fox & Friends Tuesday morning to flag the protests as a warning for the world.

Co-host Brian Kilmeade prompted Rubio with a tweet from a Chinese spokesperson questioning the price of American freedom, citing deaths from COVID-19, gun violence and fentanyl. China’s rebukes against the U.S. and the west come following increased scrutiny of the communist regime after reports that officials are investigating anti-lockdown protesters.

“It should be a wake-up call to the world,” said Rubio, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “These people want to be the most powerful country in the world. If they’ll do that to their own people, what will they do to you?”

Rubio also linked the tweet to domestic criticisms of the United States.

“That comment … sounds a lot like the left-wing talking points we actually often get hit with here in Washington and across the country in America,” Rubio said.

U.S. officials’ criticisms of China have been weak, he continued. He blamed it on “self-awareness” that some Democrats wanted people arrested, fined and removed from airplanes for violating COVID-19 policies.

“It wasn’t so long ago that, in this very country, there were Governors and Mayors and even federal officials who wanted to see very strict enforcement of COVID regulations at a time when, frankly, we had what was, in many parts of the country, COVID-zero type policies,” Rubio said. “Nothing like China, of course, but basically in the same spirit.”

Rubio also took the opportunity to swipe at the United States’ concessions to another communist regime, that of Venezuela. President Joe Biden’s administration has begun lifting sanctions on Nicolás Maduro’s Venezuela to lower the price of oil.

“They are the source of harm in this hemisphere,” Rubio said of Maduro’s regime. “They have harmed all of their neighbors as a result of it, and these concessions by the Biden administration are all about getting closer to them because it is full of leftists in this White House who want to cut a deal with Maduro.”

Evening Reads

—“Ron DeSantis wants Congress to back Elon Musk against Apple” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

—“‘You’ve been suspended.’ Ousted Tampa prosecutor testifies in DeSantis trial” via Lawrence Mower of the Tampa Bay Times

—“DeSantis’ Chief of Staff, public safety czar now named in suit over migrant planes” via Bianca Padró Ocasio of the Miami Herald

—“DeSantis condemns Chinese protest crackdown” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

—“China COVID-19 protesters become targets of Beijing’s surveillance state” via Rachel Liang and Brian Spegele of The Wall Street Journal

—“Congressional leaders say they will act to prevent rail strike” via Michael D. Shear of The New York Times

—“Kevin McCarthy says he will not drop out of Speaker contention” via Lindsey McPherson of Roll Call

—“Herschel Walker to Donald Trump: Please phone it in.” via Natalie Allison and Meridith McGraw of POLITICO

—“Nick who? Fox News has barely mentioned the Nick Fuentes-Trump dinner” via Philip Bump of The Washington Post

—“Was ‘Glass Onion’ a success? Peeling back the layers on Netflix’s box office gambit” via Rebecca Rubin and Brent Lang of Variety

—“Name the giant flamingo at Tampa International Airport to win free flights” via Gabrielle Calise of the Tampa Bay Times

—“Christian Pulisic goal advances U.S. in World Cup with 1-0 win over Iran” via Ronald Blum of The Associated Press

Quote of the Day

“The old regime at Twitter tried to suffocate that dissent. Elon Musk knows that’s not a winning formula, and he’s providing free speech.”

— Gov. Ron DeSantis on Apple threatening to pull Twitter from the App Store.

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