There could be a new senator in Florida. And her name is Val Demings.
Marco Rubio immediately lashed out at Demings in apparent fear after the Democratic Congresswoman formally announced on Wednesday that she’s coming for the Republican’s seat in the U.S. Senate next year.
Demings released an expertly produced campaign video that explained why a sitting Congresswoman is running for Senate. Without mentioning Rubio’s name once, Demings clearly got under his skin by contrasting her self-described energetic passion for serving the people with what she called weariness and fatigue displayed by the Republican Senator.
“When you grow up in the South poor, Black and female, you have to have faith in progress and opportunity. My father was a janitor and my mother was a maid,” Demings says in the clip. “She said, ‘Never tire of doing good, never tire.’”
The nearly 3-minute video ran down Demings’ impressive resume, including her decades in law enforcement and history of reducing crime in Florida communities. That led Demings, with her signature non-nonsense countenance, to remark that “no one is above the law.”
As she spoke those six words, images of Rubio flashed on the screen portraying him as a jester-like stooge for other Republicans, including former President Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, both of whom have lobbed vicious insults at Rubio with impunity.
“But it turns out there are some in Washington who prefer the same old tired ways of doing business, too tired to fight the efforts to suppress the people’s vote. They fall back to tired talking points and backward solutions,” Demings continued as a clip played of Rubio getting owned by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie about those aforementioned “talking points” during a Republican debate.
Watch the video below.
The video was apparently too much for Rubio to ignore. He responded with a tactless, hasty selfie video disingenuously reading from a teleprompter exactly one hour after Demings posted hers and unsuccessfully tried to depict her as a puppet for Democrats. But what really betrayed Rubio’s fear was when he decided to resort to name-calling.
“I’ve always known that my opponent for the Senate was going to be a far-left liberal Democrat,” Rubio started his video off by saying. “Today we just found out which one of them Chuck Schumer picked.”
He added unconvincingly: “I’m looking forward to this campaign.”
Rubio then called Demings a “do-nothing House member.”
The video neared Shakespearean proportions as some might think Rubio “doth protest too much.”
Demings responded to Rubio’s video with the perfect tweet trolling him.
Trump in April endorsed Rubio’s bid for re-election, a coveted co-sign for any Republican
At that point, Rubio was the favored candidate, according to the Miami Herald. With Demings in the equation now, those odds are expected to shift.
Demings first hinted that she would be launching a Senate bid when she tweeted an article last month focused on Rubio’s hypocritical flip-flopping for political gain. As evidence, Demings pointed to Rubio’s recently expressed pride from being associated with Trump, who the Senator previously condemned. (Rubio was famously dubbed “Little Marco” by Trump during the 2016 presidential primary season, ultimately being knocked out of the race by the eventual president.)
“Leadership matters. Florida can do better,” Demings wrote, alluding to her future plans.
Demings, 64, was elected in 2016 after becoming the first Black woman to head Orlando’s police department. Demings became a police officer in 1983 and rose through the ranks after initially beginning a career as a social worker. Prior to winning a congressional seat in 2016, Demings launched two unsuccessful campaigns in 2012 and 2014. She also notably was under consideration to be President Joe Biden’s vice-presidential running mate and successfully served as a House Impeachment Manager during Trump’s first impeachment.
If elected, Demings would become only the third Black woman Senator after Vice President Kamala Harris and Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois.
Learn more about Demings’ campaign by clicking here.