Florida Democrats are saying criticism of Vice President Kamala Harris on Spanish-language radio shows is part of a coordinated campaign, Politico reported.
Political veterans in the Sunshine State are alarmed by the speed and ferocity of the criticism on local radio programs in recent weeks and suspect that it is part of a larger effort to diminish Harris’ reputation in Latino communities, Politico reported.
Fernand Amandi, a political strategist who helped Barack Obama win Florida in 2008 and 2012, said the arguments against Harris that he’s been hearing on the radio seem scripted, Politico reported. His suspicions were piqued “because [Harris] is not really a topic of conversation down here.”
“The focus is always on the Democrats as a party, on Biden, local officials,” Amandi told the Politico. He described the critiques as ranging from Harris’ lack of preparedness to serve to accusing her of prioritizing the issues of black Americans over the concerns of Latinos because of her own ethnicity.
Amandi told the outlet of an instance when he changed the station and heard a caller say the same thing he just heard another caller say.
“‘This is the woman who’s done nothing,’” Amandi recalled both callers arguing. “It was a different person than was on the other [station]. And I was like, ‘Oh God, they got a phone bank.’”
Roberto Rodríguez Tejera, a morning radio host with a career spanning three decades in Miami media, also said he noticed a trend of people calling in about the vice president, concluding that they were coordinated, Politico reported.
“It’s not like you get 10 calls every day. It’s not like that. You get a couple of calls here, a couple of calls there,” Tejera told Politico. “That’s how the phone banks begin that [have] worked.”
“But it’s a trend that you see that is growing by the day; is growing by the week,” he said.
Florida Democrats accused party leadership of not taking the issue seriously and disengaging from the state after a number of Republican victories there, Politico reported.
“The fact that I’m having to raise this alarm, that it’s not coming directly from a Democratic organization or even the folks out of Washington, I think is a sign of concern,” Amandi said.
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