Charlie Crist has a new ad in the Florida Senate race, with the independent ex-Republican trying to challenge GOP nominee Marco Rubio’s fiscal bonafides.
In the ad, Crist touts his vetoing of earmarks from a state budget in 2007 — pinning those earmarks on Rubio, who was Speaker of the state House at the time.
“Have you seen Marco Rubio’s ads attacking me? Here’s what he’s hiding. Rubio tried to sneak almost $500 million in earmarks into the budget. I vetoed them,” Crist declares. “One and a half million dollars for a rowing institute. Vetoed. $800,000 for artificial turf on a Miami field where he played flag football. I vetoed that, too.
“Just remember, the Washington special interests who are paying for Rubio’s ads don’t want an independent like me looking out for your money.”
By hammering Rubio as an earmarker, Crist seems to be trying to win back some Republican voters, in the face of recent polls that have shown Rubio consolidating the GOP vote while Crist and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek are splitting the rest.
The Rubio campaign quickly put out a press release fact-checking the ad, pointing to news articles saying that other legislators — not Rubio — had sponsored the earmarks, and accusing Crist of having protected the earmarks of his political allies.
Also amusing is their fact check of Crist’s statement about negative ads against him: “Marco Rubio Has Not Launched One General Election Ad Attacking Charlie Crist Or Even Mentioning Charlie Crist.” (Bolding and capitalization in the original.)
The TPM Poll Average gives Rubio the lead with 39.1%, followed by Crist at 30.6%, and Meek with 21.2%.