James Judge, the Republican candidate for U.S. House in Florida’s 14th District, said that Joe Biden’s response to Hurricane Ian is both “inadequate” and “shameful” after days spent in the field rescuing survivors using his personal boat, a prop from a cable TV show.
Since Hurricane Ian devastated Florida, Judge and volunteers with the nonprofit organization Project Dynamo have used his personal boat to rescue people and animals trapped or stranded by the storm.
That boat happens to be The Slice of Life from the TV show “Dexter,” which Judge described to Valiant News as a TV prop that he bought for recreation, not saving lives. Still, he’s saved several people and hundreds of animals left trapped by the hurricane.
Now, Judge is sounding the alarm on the Biden administration’s response in Florida.
“Where we have been operating,” Judge explained in a press release, “the federal government’s response has been entirely inadequate and virtually non-existent.”
He added, “Besides two chinook helicopters, a couple of National Guard black hawk helicopters and some Coast Guard aircraft, the federal military’s presence has been nowhere to be found.”
“Where is and was the U.S. military?” Judge exclaimed. “I am flabbergasted at the lack of federal military resources where we have been operating. The U.S. military has units whose sole responsibility is to build temporary bridges, including floating bridges, and conduct beach landings.”
Judge, who served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 2003-2007, said that it was left to him and his team of volunteers to step up where the Biden administration failed to act.
“For six days, we operated as one of the few vessels conducting search-and-rescue operations alongside local and state vessels, without seeing a single military vessel. We did not see a single Coast Guard boat on the water or DOD vessel on the water,” said Judge.
“At one point, I called the Coast Guard’s incident command center to report a latitude and longitude for a vessel in distress, which we had safely towed back to shore and gave a spare anchor to while conducting another rescue operation,” said Judge. He explained that “they told me they did not have any boats in the water, as it was still too dangerous for their boats to operate.”
“This was on day three, following the storm,” he added.
Judge questioned whether the military’s refusal to respond to the severe natural disaster stems from incompetence or malfeasance.
While he did not address the political backdrop, it is no secret that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, arguably the most country’s popular elected Republican, has feuded with Joe Biden and his administration.
Though DeSantis kept his messaging relatively nonpartisan during a joint appearance with Biden this week, the 79-year-old president’s speech mentioned the politically charged issue of climate change.
Speaking to Valiant News, Judge said seeing Biden’s entourage was the largest number of military vehicles he had encountered since the storm hit.
In his campaign’s press release, Judge said, “I’m not sure whether the United States no longer possesses the operational readiness capability to accomplish these tasks, or whether the executive branch is simply refusing to order them to help. Either way, it’s entirely unacceptable.”
“People are losing their lives, and many of those who survive will have lost everything.”
He added, “If the federal government won’t help them now, what exactly is the purpose of the federal government?”
Yesterday Judge spoke to Valiant News about Chad Watson, the man about to be discharged from the Coast Guard for refusing to take one of the controversial COVID-19 vaccines.
Judge said that, if elected, he would consider backing a Republican plan for reinstatement and back pay to all service members fired as a result of Biden’s vaccine mandate.
This November Judge will represent the Republican Party against incumbent Democratic Rep. Kathy Castor. Today Castor agreed to debate Judge “anytime” but has thus far neglected to respond to his campaign’s attempt to set a date and time.
This news and commentary by Tom Pappert originally appeared on Valiant News.