Val Demings Goes On Attack Against Marco Rubio In Florida Senate Debate

MIAMI (AP) — Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) went on the assault Tuesday in her first debate in opposition to Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, accusing him of being a serial liar, whereas Rubio criticized her for supporting President Joe Biden’s financial agenda.

Rubio, a two-term senator, and Demings, a three-term congresswoman and former Orlando police chief, confronted questions on the West Palm Beach debate on subjects together with inflation, abortion, voting rights, gun violence, immigration and international coverage.

Florida has more and more shifted rightward in latest election cycles, giving Rubio the benefit as Republicans now lead Democrats with voter registration within the state. But Demings clearly noticed the talk as a possibility to take Rubio on forcefully as she tries to turn into the state’s first Black senator.

Rubio skirted a question on whether or not he would assist a federal abortion ban with no exceptions and as a substitute known as Demings’ position excessive as a result of she wouldn’t say what limits on abortion she would assist.

“Every bill I have ever sponsored on abortion and every bill I’ve ever voted for has exceptions,” Rubio mentioned.

“What we know is that the senator supports no exceptions,” Demings responded. “He can make his mouth say anything today. He is good at that, by the way. What day is it and what is Marco Rubio saying?”

Following the Supreme Court’s determination in June to overturn Roe v. Wade, Rubio has expressed his personal opposition to abortion in all circumstances whereas saying he’d again abortion-restricting statutes that embrace exceptions. Demings helps abortion entry a minimum of till fetal viability, saying the federal government shouldn’t be the one to find out that.

On gun management, Demings accused Rubio of not doing sufficient to alter legal guidelines to stop shootings, together with mass killings on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in 2016 and at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in 2018.

“How long will you watch people being gunned down in first grade, fourth grade, high school, college, church, synagogue, grocery store, movie theater, a mall and a nightclub and do nothing?” Demings mentioned.

But Rubio defended his opposition to gun restrictions, saying some proposals wouldn’t have stopped lots of the mass shootings and Americans have a Second Amendment proper to guard themselves.

“Everything she is for would have done nothing to stop any of those shootings,” Rubio mentioned. “Every one of these shooters would have passed the background check that she keeps insisting on. No one here is in favor of mass shootings and violence.”

To tackle inflation, Rubio mentioned the U.S. must cease spending a lot money, citing some pandemic aid funds, and to spice up home oil manufacturing. He chastised the Biden administration for its determination to launch extra oil from the U.S. strategic reserve to assist convey down costs on the pump.

“Oil reserves do not exist to win midterms,” Rubio mentioned.

Demings mentioned the pandemic aid money was essential to assist hurting households and companies.

“Of course the senator who has never run anything at all but his mouth would know nothing about helping people and being there for people when they are in trouble,” Demings mentioned.

Rubio additionally attacked Demings for not passing laws in Washington, saying all she had accomplished was get put up workplaces named after individuals. Demings angrily rejected his characterization, noting the buildings have been named after cops who died within the line of obligation.

“It’s embarrassing that you think that honoring a person who was a hero by naming a federal building after them is nothing,” she mentioned.

Demings repeatedly accused Rubio of distorting her report and positions on points.

“I am really disappointed in you, Marco Rubio, because I think there was a time when you did not lie in order to win,” she mentioned.

Rubio maintained that Demings was merely there to assist Biden’s and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s agenda, whereas calling himself the best senator.

“In the two terms I’ve been there, no U.S. senator has gotten more done than I have,” he mentioned. “The only thing she does is vote 100% with Pelosi.”

Asked whether or not he would settle for the outcomes of the 2022 election, Rubio mentioned, “Sure, because I’m going to win.”

Later, he clarified that “no matter what the outcome is, I’ll support it, because Florida has good laws. They’re not some crazy laws like they have in Pennsylvania and these other places.”

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