This morning, Florida Democrat gubernatorial candidate and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried went on national TV to complain that her opponent, Governor Ron DeSantis, was at an advantage because he has a national platform.
The irony was not lost on the CNN host Poppy Harlow who quickly reminded Fried, “You just had about seven or eight minutes on a national platform, on CNN.”
During the interview, Harlow had asked Fried what she thought was her greatest weakness going into the 2022 campaign for governor.
Fried responded, “You know, I think my greatest weakness is the fact that right now Ron is on a platform on the national stage and so he’s getting a lot of national PR, but the greatest — but we are going to take that and turn it into a positive,” Fried said.
Fried said DeSantis was looking to run for president and would not serve his full term as governor.
That was when Harlow pointed out that Fried was using a national platform to make that complaint.
Harlow asked earlier in the interview if DeSantis deserved credit for the way Florida came through the pandemic.
Fried responded, “No, I don’t think he deserves credit. He had a very laissez-faire, hands off approach to COVID. There was a lack of transparency throughout the entire pandemic. It’s our private businesses and local governments that stepped up. Ron, the entire time, was not only not empathetic but was very confusing on the way he was leading our state.”
Harlow pushed a little further, “I’m just asking you, commissioner, since you’re running to be governor of Florida, about the hard data … you can’t argue that the unemployment rate in Florida right now is half what it is in New York and California, and it is 27th on the list when you look at COVID deaths. My question is, all your criticism of him saying he didn’t shut down soon enough, calling for mask mandates statewide, looking at the data, did he have it right and did you have it wrong?”
“No, and I go back to what the local governments did. The governor didn’t do a mask mandate, the local governments did. That is what slowed down the spread of the virus,” Fried replied, insisting credit should go to the local governments for imposing regulations in spite of DeSantis’ leadership.