Former Democratic Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum is facing a host of federal felony charges related to campaign fraud.
Back in 2018, when he was squaring off against GOP nominee Ron DeSantis, however, he was seen by some Democrats as the party’s golden child.
In fact, top party leaders including Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Kamala Harris couldn’t wait to offer their glowing endorsements at the time.
As Fox News reported:
During an October 2018 campaign event in Tampa, Biden praised Gillum as “one of the most exciting, new, young leaders in the nation” and described the November election as “reclaiming America’s soul, for real.”
Weeks later, just days before the election, Obama delivered a speech in Miami during a campaign event for Gillum, calling it the “most important election of our lifetime.”
“The consequences of any of us staying home really are more dangerous,” he said. “Maybe most of all the character of our country is on the ballot.”
Obama also mocked the Trump administration, saying, “they promised to take on corruption – instead they have racked up enough indictments to field a football team.”
Days before the election, Warren recorded a video endorsement for Gillum describing him as a “terrific candidate” and “the leader the Sunshine State needs.”
After Gillum won the Democratic Party’s nomination in August 2018, Harris tweeted, “He’s a strong progressive leader and will make a great Governor of Florida!”
“We need to do everything we can to elect @AndrewGillum,” Harris tweeted that October. “Call up your friends in Florida. Knock on doors. The stakes couldn’t be higher.”
Here are a few other tweets in which Democrats portrayed Gillum as the best choice to lead Florida.
Andrew Gillum ran a great progressive campaign. He has transformed politics in Florida and is a key player in the political revolution we are waging.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 18, 2018
Congratulations to @AndrewGillum on his historic victory in tonight's primary. He’s a strong progressive leader and will make a great Governor of Florida!
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 29, 2018
After DeSantis won the race, Harris couldn’t even bring herself to admit the truth.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 6, 2019
Of course, Twitter users aren’t being so kind to Gillum in light of the latest development — and many Democrats are suspiciously silent on the matter.
Thank God that Ron DeSantis beat Andrew Gillum in 2018.
— Nick Adams (@NickAdamsinUSA) June 22, 2022
Sure, Andrew Gillum has been indicted on 21 counts of campaign contribution fraud… but is that really worse than passing out in your own puke at a gay meth orgy?
Democrats only run the best people for office…
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) June 22, 2022
Florida should be thankful they got Ron DeSantis instead of the alleged corrupt and deviant meth head, Andrew Gillum. They'd be a s*** state.
— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) June 22, 2022
Andrew Gillum is a typical Democrat politician, he just got caught.
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) June 22, 2022
As might be expected, Gillum denied any wrongdoing in a statement this week.
According to USA Today:
Gillum denied any wrongdoing in a statement sent through his campaign.
“I have spent the last 20 years of my life in public service and continue to fight for the people,” Gillum said in a prepared statement. “Every campaign I’ve run has been done with integrity. Make no mistake that this case is not legal, it is political.”
Details of the charges were not immediately available. If he were indicted by a federal grand jury, it’s possible documents detailing the charges will be unsealed soon.
Gillum went on to say, “Throughout my career, I have always stood up for the people of Florida and have spoken truth to power. There’s been a target on my back ever since I was the mayor of Tallahassee. They found nothing then, and I have full confidence that my legal team will prove my innocence now.”
Here’s a clip of Biden emphatically campaigning for Gillum: