Annette Taddeo, the Democrat running against Miami Rep. Carlos Curbelo, used this week's vote in Congress on Middle Eastern refugees to highlight a contrast with the Republican incumbent.
"I'm running against somebody who actually voted that we should not let Syrians in -- including, by the way, I'm sad to admit, many Democrats that voted this way," she told the Democrats of South Dade club Tuesday. "That's not what America is made of. We are better than that."
A video clip of her remarks was posted online by America Rising, a conservative super PAC that highlighted the fact that a Democrat was criticizing other Democrats, though Taddeo didn't call any of them out by name. Two moderate Florida Democrats in Congress, Reps. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter and Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, voted with the Republican majority in November to restrict admittance of Syrian refugees. (A different measure suspending the entry of refugees from Syria and Iraq failed in the Senate on Wednesday.)
When he voted for the legislation in November, Curbelo, whose district extends from Westchester to Key West, cast it as a smart vote on national security. "Today's vote allows the United States to continue being a compassionate nation while keeping our homeland safe," he said in a statement at the time.
Taddeo was born in Colombia to a Colombian mother and American father. In her past campaigns, she has talked about being sent to the U.S. as a teenager after her father was kidnapped in Colombia.