Last Call for 7.27.22 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

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

First Shot

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio re-upped his “prayer request” that President Joe Biden come to Florida to campaign for his Democratic challenger.

Rubio is running for re-election against U.S. Rep. Val Demings, whom the campaign notes Biden considered picking as his running mate two years ago. Team Rubio also asserts that Demings, a former Orlando police chief, has veered to the left politically since her election to Congress and has embraced “anti-cop policies.”

The Rubio campaign also accused Demings of calling a Minneapolis plan to dismantle and rebuild its police department “thoughtful.” The Demings quote came during an interview shortly after George Floyd’s murder, when Minneapolis city officials were floating several proposals.

“I do believe that everyone has a right to look at any proposal that is put forth because there desperately needs to be change,” she said. “I also believe the council is being very thoughtful in terms of looking at all of the services that police provide.”

Demings has pushed back on the assertion that she called dismantling the city’s police department “thoughtful” specifically. Still, the Rubio campaign is hammering her for that and her associations with politicians who have been more directly critical of law enforcement. It pointed to a recent scheduled — but canceled — appearance with Orlando state Rep. Anna Eskamani and a campaign event with San Francisco Mayor London Breed last month.

“Val Demings went to Washington and abandoned the men and women who serve in law enforcement, calling Defunding the Police ‘thoughtful’ and violent riots ‘a beautiful sight,’” said Elizabeth Gregory, the communications director for Rubio’s campaign. “In voting with Nancy Pelosi and for Biden’s disastrous agenda 100% of the time, Demings proved she cares more about following the lead of Democrats in Washington than she does fighting for Floridians’ interests.”

The attack comes a day after Rubio tweeted that he hoped Biden would come to Florida to stump for Demings with the insinuation that the President’s flagging poll numbers would hamstring Demings’ chances in November.

Evening Reads

—“How we communicate will decide whether democracy lives or dies” via The Ezra Klein Show

—“How Joe Biden lost the support of young Americans” via Geoffrey Skelley of FiveThirtyEight

—“Ron DeSantis plans to fight ‘woke ideology’ of PayPal and other financial services” via Chris Hippensteel of the Tampa Bay Times

—“Gov. DeSantis: TikTok toddler dance at Miami drag show puts bar’s liquor license in jeopardy” via Anne Geggis of Florida Politics

—“Gov. DeSantis combats ‘woke’ corporate governance criteria in new legislative proposal” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics

—“How DeSantis and other GOP candidates are ditching ‘legacy media’ for friendly outlets” via David Weigel of The Washington Post

—“Dark power: How FPL, other utilities neutralize opponents, grow profits” via Annie Martin, Alejandro Ariza and Miranda Green of the Orlando Sentinel

—“Florida’s Primary is one of the country’s latest. How does that shape campaigns?” via Chris Hippensteel of the Tampa Bay Times

—“Manager of at least 2 Polk school board campaigns faced recent court judgment in Texas” via The Ledger

—“‘Self-serving’: Parents, health care advocates criticize GOP leadership on child COVID-19 vaccinations” via Kelly Hayes of Florida Politics

Quote of the Day

“For every master of the universe who’s prattling on about, you know, no emissions and all this stuff, I don’t see very many of them giving up their private jets. They’re living their own life, and they want the burden of their policies to fall on working-class Americans.”

— Gov. Ron DeSantis, announcing a legislative proposal to curb so-called “woke capital.”

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