Demings campaign touts Carville backing, but stays quiet on comments about punching unvaccinated

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Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., has been touting the endorsement of veteran Democratic strategist James Carville as she seeks the Democratic nomination for the Florida Senate race but is keeping quiet about his recent comments about punching “piece of sh–” unvaccinated people in the face. 

Demings’ campaign has sent out fundraising emails to supporters from Carville in which he tells backers that she can “ONLY win if activists like YOU dig deep and support her every step of the way.”


Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., attends a Build Back Better for Women rally on the House steps of the U.S. Capitol, Sept. 24, 2021. 
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

“From the White House to the campaign trail, I’ve seen it all. More than most,” Carville said. “I’ve seen what it takes to win, and I’ve seen what happens when campaigns fail to muster enough grassroots momentum. I’m told Val Demings has one of the strongest grassroots teams in Democratic politics. And, trust me, I was relieved to hear it.”

In another email from Demings herself, she touts Carville’s endorsement.

“I’m neck and neck with Marco Rubio in the race that will determine Senate control, and CNN contributors like James Carville have ‘zero doubt’ that I CAN win,” she says.

Separately, Demings is scheduled to appear at a “virtual grassroots rally” next week with Carville. Carville led President Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential bid and infamously said, “If you drag a hundred dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find” as an attack against one of Clinton’s accusers.

Despite sticking close to Carville, Demings’ campaign has remained silent on controversial remarks he made during a recent podcast about punching unvaccinated people in the face.

“I wish what they’d do is pass a law to make you immune from liability if you punch some unvaccinated person right in the face, which I’d really like to do,” Carville said. “If you ask me what’s my first reaction to you if you’re not vaccinated, you don’t have any medical reason not to be, you’re a piece of s—, OK? I just want to punch you in the god—-ed face. That’s the way I look at these people.”

Fox News Digital reached out to the Demings campaign for comment on the remarks, but did not receive a response.

Sen. Marco Rubio’s campaign has been urging Demings to condemn Carville’s comments.

UNITED STATES – MAY 26: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., walks to the Senate subway after a vote in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. 
(Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

“Val Demings has aligned herself with a divisive Democrat who is advocating violence against fellow Americans, and it is completely unacceptable,” Rubio communications director Elizabeth Gregory said in a statement this week. “Demings should condemn these remarks and stop using Carville to raise money for her hyperpartisan campaign.”

Demings this week was sharply critical of Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., for telling Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, to “kiss my a–” when she asked him to put a mask on.

“This is not the kind of America that we are going to accept for our children and grandchildren,” she said.

Fox News’ Lindsay Kornick contributed to this report.

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