In the video, Pelosi did not mention any Florida-elected officials. But the Florida GOP’s tweet included Fried and Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), both of whom are challenging Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2022, and Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), who is running for Senate against GOP Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
“While @GovRonDeSantis works on policies and signs legislation in support of Florida’s Jewish communities, Pelosi calls an anti semitic, @CharlieCrist, a valued leader. Crist, @valdemings & @NikkiFried won’t stand up to Pelosi doing nothing to defend Florida’s Jewish community.”
The tweet faced swift pushback because Fried is Jewish and Crist was seen as pro-Israel when he was a Republican governor of Florida. He also visited Israel three times over his political career. Crist was the only candidate directly called antisemetic in the social media post.
“It was a total mistake, human error,” said Alia Faraj-Johnson, a Florida GOP spokesperson, in a text message to POLITICO.
She said the tweet was supposed to say that Omar was antisemitic, not Crist. Crist’s name, she added, was supposed to appear farther down in the tweet.
“It picked up the wrong name at the wrong place,” she said.
In a separate text message to POLITICO, Republican Party of Florida Executive Director Helen Aguirre Ferré said the tweet was a “typo.”
“That was a typo that was corrected and glad to know Fried is paying attention to us,” she said. “Are Nikki, Charlie and Val going to denounce Ilhan Omar anytime soon?”
After the GOP deleted the tweet, they quickly replaced it with one calling out Omar and tying the trio of Democratic statewide candidates to Omar, which it said was the original intent.
Joshua Karp, a spokesperson for Crist, blasted the response.
“The typo response does not hold water and is pathetic,” he said.
Fried to defended Crist after the tweet posted, a surprise move since their Democratic gubernatorial primary is starting to heat up.
“@CharlieCrist is not antisemitic,” Fried tweeted. “As a Jewish woman, I find this accusation disgusting — it’s a flat out lie.”
Crist responded by thanking Fried and blasting “lying and division in our politics.”
“Using Florida’s Jewish community as a campaign wedge issue is despicable,” he added. Florida is a state with one of the nation’s largest Jewish populations.