Washington (CNN) - Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, trailing in the Florida Republican Senate primary against Marco Rubio, debuted his first television ad of the campaign.
Not surprisingly, it's a negative one.
Hoping to tarnish Marco Rubio's image as a fiscally conservative warrior, Crist uses the ad to go right after his GOP rival over a series of unflattering news reports detailing Rubio's questionable spending habits while he served in the Florida state House.
"We thought he was different," an ominous-sounding female voice narrates in the 30-second commercial. "Ideologically pure. Marco Rubio shot to national stardom. Called 'The Republican Obama.' Now, comes the truth."
"Rubio used Republican political donations on his lavish lifestyle," the narrator continues. "Then, failed to properly disclose it, violating the law. Marco Rubio, how disappointing."
Crist's campaign called the ad buy "significant," but would not reveal more details about its television strategy.
The ad is likely the first of many negative commercials from the Crist campaign, which has a sizeable cash advantage over the front-running Rubio. To win the nomination, Crist needs to raise doubts about Rubio's conservative bona fides among the loyal Republican voters likely to participate in the August primary.
Rubio's team shot back, labeling Crist "a liberal Republican" who is running "a campaign of smears and distortions."
"Instead of addressing the big issues facing Floridians, Charlie Crist has shredded his last bit of credibility with a negative ad filled with false attacks," said Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos. "In fact, Charlie Crist has spent more time lately attacking Marco Rubio than he has fighting Barack Obama's agenda. No wonder there is so much talk about him leaving the Republican Party."
The winner of the primary will face Democrat Kendrick Meek in the general election.
Rubio went to SC to be purified, but I think folks are beginng to see that he is one of the yokels that thinks more of himself than his constituents.
We don't need any more of those in DC – not in either party. Get rid of the SC republicans and a lot of U.S. problems will be over.
Typical of the Rubio campaign to call it a smear..How is it a smear when you stole money!!!
Rubio is a light weight know nothing right winger and a fox educated lier.
Rubio's record is like the dead albatross around his neck.
Rubio & Pork: During Rubio’s 8 years in office, he unofficially pushed $250 million to his hometown. This contrasts with his campaign hawk crusading against “earmarks”. When asked, Rubio wouldn’t comment.
Rubio, as Florida Speaker of the House, inserted special budget language in the 20007 budget that helped his friend’s bid on the fuel concession for the Florida Turnpike. He claimed he was trying to make the bidding “fair”.
The Republican Civil war continues. Crist is not conservative enough. Bob Bennet of Utah is not conservative enough, etc, etc.!
Warning GOP: "A house divided can not stand."
"You go" Charlie,I am a democrat but Charlie is nothing but honest to the core loaded with common sense for what is right for the people.
Crist has done nothing for Florida. As a business owner in the entertainment industry, he has battled incentives to increase business to our state. While Louisiana continues to get all of the southern film production, Florida continues to lag behind, due to Crist.
Did he threaten him with the picture where crist is about to kiss the so-called president?