By now, everyone has seen them. Congresswoman Val Demings, presenting a very real challenge to Sen. Marco Rubio, has released a pair of TV commercials that show she’s getting aggressive in this race.
The first ad positions the Democrat, a former Orlando police officer and chief from 2007 to 2011, as the law and order candidate. Demings walks across a timeline with photos of her 27-year law enforcement career and says she will fight against “bad ideas” like defunding the police.
“That’s just crazy,” she says, ending it with “It’s time to send a cop on the beat to the Senate.” Ladra knows a couple of Republican seniors who love it.
A second ad, which started to air in mid July, blasts Rubio on his abysmal attendance record. It, too, relies big on her law enforcement background.
So it’s only natural that when Team Rubio fights back, they attack that very thing: A new ad released by the senator’s campaign Tuesday — the first Rubio commercial of this election — features a parade of cops bashing Demings and calling her just another politician who has “turned her back on law enforcement,” one who agrees with Speaker Nancy Pelosi 100% of the time.
“Maybe she used to be a cop. But in Washington, she’s just another radical rubber stamp,” says the 30-second spot, paid for by the National Republican Senate Committee.
According to published sources, however, Demings is spending more to get her message across than the incumbent. At least so far.
Demings has apparently spent $1 million while Rubio has made a commitment to spend about half that much on this ad. In fact, his total on ads this year doesn’t come to $1 mil while Demings has invested $11 million so far.
“For 27 years, I showed up every day to put dangerous criminals away, never knowing if I’d come home to my family,” Demings says in her second spot. “But Marco, you’ve got one of the worst attendance records in the Senate. When Florida needs you, you just don’t show up.”
Rubio’s attendance has been an issue before. According to PolitiFact, he has missed almost 10% of roll call votes. The average for a U.S. senator is not more than 3%. Of course, he missed most of those votes when he was campaigning for the presidential ticket in 2012 and 20`16.