President Biden will be in Orlando on Tuesday, but rather than appear with him in her hometown while the House is not in session, Democratic Florida Senate candidate Rep. Val Demings will be in Washington, D.C.
Demings, who has been serving in Congress since 2017, has spent much of her Senate campaign recalling her history as a 27-year veteran of the Orlando Police Department, including being the city’s first female chief of police. The campaign of her opponent, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is asserting that Demings is steering clear of Biden so that she is not associated with the president’s agenda.
“Val Demings refuses to accept responsibility for the harm she’s caused Florida. Demings’ blind support of Joe Biden and the Democrats’ far left agenda 100% of the time has consistently made Floridians’ lives worse, and no hiding out in Washington is going to change that,” Rubio campaign communications director Elizabeth Gregory said in a statement.
A Rubio campaign press release said Demings will be “hiding in her office in Washington” during Biden’s Orlando visit, even though the House will not be in session and Demings would not have to miss any votes or committee meetings.
Demings’ campaign messaging has often referred to her as Chief Demings rather than focus on her current role by calling her Rep. Demings or Congresswoman Demings.
When asked whether she would appear alongside Biden, and what the reason would be for not going, Demings campaign communications director Christian Slater simply told Fox News, “Chief Demings will be in Washington, D.C.”
Demings’ failure to appear with Biden echoes a trend among top Democrats running for re-election in November’s midterms of distancing themselves from the president. At times this has had them pitting themselves against their own party, as well as Biden, despite their past statements and voting records telling a different story.
For example, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, has been touting what she’s called her record of “fighting back” against Biden, releasing an ad last month accusing his administration of “letting Ohio solar manufacturers be undercut by China.”
In reality, Kaptur has voted with Biden’s legislative agenda 100% of the time as a member of Congress, and has previously said he would go down in history as “a great president.”
Rep. Frank Mrvan, D-Ind., told viewers in a Facebook live stream last month to “vote your interests,” and claimed he had “stayed moderate” and connected to his community. His record also showed he voted with Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi 100% of the time.
Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., claimed in a July ad that he had “stood up” to fellow Democrats and said he made himself unpopular in Washington, D.C., on certain policy positions, but has a similar track record of voting with Biden and Pelosi 100% of the time.
Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie contributed to this report.