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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Crist Fires Back at Gallagher



Charlie Crist is up with a new TV ad meant to answer Tom Gallagher's ad that calls Crist a "liberal" who supports higher taxes, abortion, gay civil unions and amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Speaking into the camera, Crist does not directly answer Gallagher's comparative ad. Instead, he reaches back to 1994, Gallagher's last run for governor, reminding viewers: "The last time my opponent ran for governor, he viciously attacked Jeb Bush, even comparing him to Fidel Castro. Now he's directing the same false, misleading attacks against me."

(Gallagher's 1994 ad criticized Bush for supporting NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. Tom Slade, state party chairman at the time, called the ad "deceptive and negative").

The ad closes with a hint of what's to come, with both Republicans having abandoned the 11th Commandment pledges they signed months ago. Crist's closing: "I'm the only candidate for governor who's never supported a tax increase." (That point is debatable, but Crist claims his support of a tax on sugar companies in 1998 was a "fee" that was contingent on voter approval. Gallagher backed a voter-approved sales tax increase for prison construction). 

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 3:12pm]


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