Florida’s first Cuban-American female lieutenant governor, Jeanette Núñez, gave one of the most striking warnings, citing her parents’ story of fleeing Cuba under Fidel Castro in 1959.
“The radical left systematically pushes away the freedoms that we cherish. They peddle dangerous ideologies, turn to global progressives and normalize socialism to dismantle our Constitution, ”Núñez said.
Republicans say the strategy has the potential to pay dividends in a state that President TrumpDonald John Trump Trump to visit Kenosha on Tuesday amid unrest Warner calls intelligence chief’s decision to cut congressional election security briefings “scandalous” Katyusha rocket lands in Baghdad in the “green zone”: report LEARN MORE can’t afford to lose.
Just this week, a CNBC and Change Research poll showed the president was following the Democratic candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenMick Mulvaney to launch Trump hedge fund to visit Kenosha on Tuesday amid unrest Warner calls intelligence chief’s decision to cut congressional election security briefings “outrageous” READ MORE by 3 points. The former vice president also holds a 3.7 point advantage in the Sunshine State’s Real Clear Politics poll average.
“When it comes to the battlefield states at stake, the accusation of socialism itself is more serious in Florida,” said Ford O’Connell, Florida-based GOP strategist.
“Florida voters tend to be older,” O’Connell added. “It has a lot more seriousness than saying with young voters who don’t really know what it means.”
“In addition, you have a large number of people who come from socialist countries, whether it is Venezuela [or] Cuba, ”he said.
The warnings of socialism were not limited to Floridians.
Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyGOP Lobbyists Pleasantly Surprised by Republican Convention Republicans Aim for Socialism Charge Against Florida Audience Five Takeaways About GOP PLUS Breaking Standards Convention In a speech on Monday, Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Harris Republicans target socialism accusation against Florida public Democrats seek balance in supporting protests, condemning violence Obama Honors Chadwick Boseman: “He Has Been Blessed”‘s (D-Calif.) “the vision for America is socialism.”
Mark McCloskey, the St. Louis man who, along with his wife, has been criminally charged with brandishing weapons at protesters outside their home, has described Democratic congressional candidate Cori Bush as a “Marxist revolutionary” before to conclude that “it is Joe Biden’s party. ”
And Trump himself has sought to label the former vice president a “Trojan horse of socialism.”
Republicans say the message is getting well across the country, but it hits especially hard in Florida.
“There are people in my grandfather’s generation who never thought Cuba would be a socialist country,” said Nelson Diaz, Chairman of the Miami-Dade Republican Party. “Certainly for Hispanics the possibility of a socialist government is much more real.”
Diaz acknowledged that the socialist nickname has long been used by Republicans as “some sort of empty and veiled attack” on Democrats. But he said the growing influence of self-proclaimed Democratic Socialists like Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders Republicans target socialism accusation against Florida public Michael Moore warns of 2016 repeat: Trump enthusiasm ‘OFF THE MAP’ Politics of fear finds its way into 2020 campaign MORE (I-Vt.) And Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez Republicans target socialism accusation against Florida public No democracy with junta Progressives seek to oust main Massachusetts Democrat in primaries MORE (DN.Y.) within the Democratic Party made the criticism more concrete.
“Back when Republicans called Democrats socialist, it was always some sort of empty, veiled attack,” he said. “But it’s no longer an empty attack. It’s a very real scenario. ”
“Nobody thinks Joe Biden is going to be a strong man,” Diaz continued. “But policies will start to be adopted that will start to take a socialist path.”
One of the most moving convention speeches on the subject came from Florida businessman Maximo Alvarez, whose family fled Cuba at the age of 13 when Castro took control of the country. .
Alvarez warned that ideas touted by the liberals, such as free health care for all, “sound familiar” based on his own experiences in Cuba.
“I’m talking to you today because I’ve seen people like that before,” Alvarez said. “I’ve seen moves like this before. I’ve seen ideas like this before and I’m here to tell you that we can’t let them take over our country.
He added that recent unrest in a number of American cities reminded him of what happened during the Cuban revolution.
“The country I was born in is gone, totally destroyed,” he said. “When I watch the news in Seattle, Chicago and Portland, when I see history rewrite itself, when I hear the promises – I hear the echoes of a past life that I never wanted to hear again. . I see shadows that I thought I had passed.
However, some Republicans warn that the message does not necessarily have widespread appeal among the state’s electorate.
“Unless someone has really gone through it from the heart and escaped from it, and their family’s challenges have really been affected, it’s not a big deal to say it’s okay.” motivate people to go to the polls and vote ”. said former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, who served under the administration of former Governor Rick Scott (R).
Polls show that socialism is not necessarily viewed negatively by Americans. A Gallup survey conducted last year found that 43% of those polled said some form of socialism would be good for the country, while 51% said it would be a bad thing.
Granted, capitalism is still viewed as more positive in the United States. An NBC News / Wall Street Journal poll released in January showed that 52% of those polled had a positive view of capitalism, while only 16% had a negative view.
It can also be difficult to paint Biden as a socialist. The former vice president courted moderate and center-left voters throughout the Democratic presidential primary, resisting many of the more liberal policies adopted by Sanders.
And there’s also evidence voters view Biden and Harris as less extreme than Trump and Vice President Pence. A Morning Consult-Politico poll released earlier this month found voters were placing Democratic candidates closer to the political center than Trump and Pence, who were seen as closer to the ideological far right.
While Republicans in convention have repeatedly hammered Biden as a socialist this week, Sanders dismissed the label, saying it just wasn’t the case.
“If you’ve watched the first two nights of the Republican National Convention, and I’m sorry if you did, you’ve probably seen speakers after speakers accusing Joe Biden and the Democratic Party of being SOCIALISTS,” he said. Sanders said in an email to his supporters. week. ” If only it was true. “