Florida Democratic candidate for governor Nikki Fried said on Friday that her “biggest weakness” in the race was her opponent’s access to a national audience.
When Fried lamented the national platform of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R.) during an appearance on CNN Friday, presenter Poppy Harlow was quick to point out that Fried was filing this complaint on a national platform. .
“You know, I think my biggest 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 biggest – but we’re going take that and make it a positive, ”Fried said.
“You just had about seven or eight minutes on a national platform, CNN,” Harlow replied.
The exchange took place after Fried spent several minutes criticizing DeSantis’ handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Harlow noted that Florida “has an unemployment rate of 4.8%, well below the national average” and that the “per capita death rate from COVID-19 is the 27th, far from the highest.”
“Do you think he deserves credit for it? Harlow asked.
Fried responded that she did not believe the Republican governor deserved credit and claimed he had taken a “hands-off approach.”
Harlow pushed back, noting that DeSantis was “one of the fastest governors to move to lock down nursing homes, unlike what happened here in New York.”
Still, Fried claimed DeSantis hadn’t been clear on what people should do. She said local governments and private companies that have issued guidelines on their own should be credited.
She also accused DeSantis of being “confusing” and not being “empathetic”.
Harlow again pushed back, “I’m just asking you, Commissioner, since you’re running for governor of Florida, about the hard data. . . you can’t say Florida’s unemployment rate is currently half of what it is in New York and California, and it’s 27th on the list when you look at deaths from COVID. My question is: all your criticism of him saying he didn’t shut down soon enough, calling for statewide mask warrants, looking at the data, was he right and you are you wrong? ”
“No, and I go back to what local governments did,” Fried replied. “The governor did not make a mask mandate, the local governments did. This is what slowed the spread of the virus. “