Why Rep. Donna Shalala Is Confident Florida Will Go To Biden

Joe Biden has received regular COVID-19 tests since last week’s debate with President Trump, who is now known to be ill with the virus. To discuss Trump’s conduct, the Biden campaign’s concerns, and the effect all this could have on the presidential race, Christiane speaks with former Secretary of Health and Human Services and current Congresswoman Donna Shalala.

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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: But I want to ask you about Joe Biden and your state, Florida, which is obviously critical swing state. He is — apparently, Biden, now showing a narrow, narrow lead over Donald Trump in the state polling averages, but it’s a tough, tough state to call. Are you satisfied with their Florida campaign particularly bringing on Cuban-Americans and the Latino vote and all the other votes that he needs to bring out?

REP. DONNA SHALALA (D-FL): I am. We will be able to do more. We are going door to door in my campaign. We are going to track voters and turn out our voters. Look, Florida is always going to be tight. We’re always going to focus on the margins because that’s where we’re going to win, and it’s going to be turnout that makes a difference. And we intend in South Florida, where we have to get the big vote out. Joe Biden will win South Florida by big numbers. The question is will they be big enough? And then we have a quarter where we have Puerto Ricans who have moved in who will vote Democratic and we will see, but I told the vice president yesterday, I really believe that we are going to deliver Florida.

AMANPOUR: And finally, do you think his messaging is correct right now? Meaning, there are a lot of Democrats who keep saying to him, you know, all this sort of armchair advise, get out, attack the president more. Do this. Do that. Do you think he’s running the right campaign, and is he handling with due respect, as he has done, the president’s condition? Is that the right thing to do politically and as a human being, I guess?

SHALALA: Well, absolutely. And Joe Biden is anything as empathetic and sensitive about the fact that the president is sick. But I think once the president gets back to the White House, as he has, all bets are off, and it’s time to go back at him on the leadership issue. This is about leadership. This is an issue about his inept management of COVID-19. That’s what our voters tell us in Florida. It’s all about COVID and about getting the economy back, but we can’t do that until the people in our community feel safe to get the economy back. Look, I represent Miami Beach. Miami Beach has 90,000 residents. Last year, we had 10 million visitors. That’s our economy. It’s a tourist economy. It has to do with conventions, with people that come on vacations, with the cruise lines that bring hundreds of thousands of people. Until everybody receives South Florida as a safe place to come to, our economy doesn’t come back. That has to do with the management of COVID and particularly with the management by the person that sits in the White House. Joe Biden is a very steady hand.

About This Episode EXPAND

Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL) and global health expert Devi Sridhar give a reality check on COVID and presidential politics. Andrew Weissman gives new insight into the Mueller investigation. U.S. army veteran Kristofer Goldsmith explains how white supremacists are targeting veterans for recruitment.