Gubernatorial Democratic candidate Charlie Crist is airing a Spanish-language radio ad targeting Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez’s comments about plans to bus undocumented migrants from Cuba out of Florida.
The ad, which began airing Thursday, includes quotes from Nuñez’s appearance last week on the conservative Miami show Actualidad Radio where she said Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration intended to relocate Cuban migrants to President Joe Biden’s home state of Delaware.
Several Democrats, including Crist’s former running mate, Annette Taddeo, were quick to seize on Nuñez’s comments. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who recently lost the Democratic Primary to Crist, called the comments “wildly inappropriate,” “cruel and wrong,” and demanded Nuñez’s resignation.
Crist’s ad, supported by a six-figure buy, begins with a woman recounting the story of when a group of Cubans in Miami saved a young boy named Elián González from being sent back to Cuba in 1999. The incident sparked international headlines and had wide-ranging impacts, including the outcome of the 2000 election.
The ad also includes a reference to the protests in Cuba that erupted last year, marking the largest uprise on the island in decades.
It then again jumps to Nuñez’s comments: “He’s going to send them, frankly speaking, to Delaware, the President’s state.”
The ad finishes by accusing DeSantis of using children as political pawns.
“Charlie Crist has demanded that DeSantis immediately reject that idea and apologize to our community,” the woman in the ad says. “Mr. DeSantis: You must not play with the pain of a people and the future of children.”
Nuñez, the daughter of a Cuban exile, responded to the criticism with a statement over Twitter that said, “Democrats are, once again, resorting to ginning up their operatives and media partners by deceiving voters and uselessly pandering to the Hispanic community.”
She went on to note that in April, the Governor himself said he would send illegal immigrants from Florida to Delaware.
“Entering the country illegally and fleeing a dictatorship to seek asylum are two different things and misrepresenting that is offensive.”
Wildly inappropriate words from Ron DeSantis’ LG. Fleeing communism and tyranny to a state rich with family and culture only to be deported north by bus is cruel and wrong. https://t.co/Mhg9KBwqG5
— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) August 20, 2022