Rick Scott Comes Out Swinging at Joe Biden, Andrew Cuomo

With a presidential election looming in November, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., is turning up the heat against some top Democrats including that party’s presumptive presidential candidate.

In an interview with CBS 4 this week, former Vice President Joe Biden said he would go back to Obama administration policies on Cuba.

“In large part, I would go back,” Biden told CBS 4. “I’d still insist they keep the commitments they said they would make when we, in fact, set the policy in place.”

Biden was asked about the Cuban government supporting the Maduro regime in Venezuela.

“Well, they’re having great difficulty propping up Maduro,” Biden said. “Number one, Maduro is in real trouble. Number two, there’s no reason why we cannot still sanction them, but failing to recognize them at all is a different thing than sanctioning them.”

Scott came out swinging at Biden on Wednesday.

“The Cuban people have suffered nearly six decades of atrocities, oppression and misery inflicted by the regime – and Joe Biden’s embrace of Obama’s appeasement policies toward the Castro dictatorship did nothing to help,” Scott said. “The violence, instability and chaos we see now in Latin America is directly tied to the oppressive Cuban regime, which continues to prop up dangerous dictators throughout the region, including Maduro in Venezuela and Ortega in Nicaragua. I’ve repeatedly told the story of Sirley Ávila León, a Cuban woman who was attacked by Cuban security forces in 2015 – after Obama’s failed appeasement policies. They cut off her hand and stuck her arm in mud to make sure it got infected. Her crime? She complained that the regime was going to shut down a school in her neighborhood.

“Now, Joe Biden is doubling down on his support for this ruthless dictatorship, reversing any progress toward freedom in Latin America. That’s not going to fly with the people of Florida and all those who have escaped this repressive regime. Instead of pledging his support for a dictatorship that has denied Cubans their basic rights for far too long, Joe Biden needs to stand with the people of Cuba as they fight for their freedom and opportunity,” Scott added.

On Thursday, Scott took aim at Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-NY, who has garnered national attention for leading the Empire State during the coronavirus pandemic.

As Florida Politics reported, Cuomo slammed Scott on Wednesday for standing against a federal bail out of state governments.

“Senator Scott from Florida says ‘we’re supposed to bail them out.’ We versus them,” Cuomo said. “It’s we and it’s them.”

“Who is we and who is them….them, the people who had coronavirus. We, without the virus, are supposed to bail out those people who have the virus,” Cuomo added, insisting it was an “ugly sentiment.”

Cuomo insisted New York bails out states like Florida.

“You take out $30 billion more every year than you pay in. How dare they? How dare they when those are the facts? How long are you going to play the American people and assume they’re stupid? They are not. And they can add. And they know facts,” Cuomo said.

Scott pushed back on Thursday.

“Yesterday, Governor Cuomo used his daily briefing as an opportunity to attack me to distract from the fact that he wants his state bailed out by Florida taxpayers. He also claimed that those of us who care about how American taxpayer dollars are spent are somehow attacking states with significant cases of coronavirus. That’s a lie and simply meant to distract from the woeful fiscal policies of Governor Cuomo and other liberal governors around the country. Florida has made the tough choices that New York has refused to make for decades and can get through this crisis without a bailout. The federal government should continue to reimburse states and local governments for expenses related to coronavirus response. But it’s irresponsible and reckless to take money from American taxpayers and use it to save liberal politicians like Cuomo from the consequences of their poor choices. Floridians shouldn’t have to backfill New York’s state budget and pension fund. American families make responsible budgetary decisions every day. Florida’s done it for years. It’s time for New York to do the same,” Scott said on Thursday.

Scott had questions for Cuomo including how to “explain the fact that New York has 2 million fewer people than Florida and a budget twice the size of Florida’s;” “what concrete steps has New York taken to address its underfunded pension system;” “why do you continue to conflate federal taxes paid and benefits received (e.g., Social Security and Medicare) by individuals with state budgets. Is it because you assume the American people and the media are stupid and won’t understand the difference?”


Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.


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