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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Crist's new TV ad links Sansom and Rubio



Charlie Crist has a new TV ad that takes a hard swing at Marco Rubio by comparing him to indicted former House Speaker Ray Sansom. UPDATE: Rubio responds, calling ad "sad" and "false." See jump.

The commercial dramatically shows the word "indicted" under Sansom's picture and the word "subpoenaed" under Rubio's -- a reference to the fact that Rubio could have been called as a witness (but wasn't), had a House inquiry of Sansom not been short-circuited by Sansom's resignation from the state Legislature.

The House committee voted to approve a list of witnesses but it was left up to the opposing attorneys to send the subpoenas. Rubio's is here. UPDATE 2: Rubio campaign says it never received the letter from lawyer Gloria Fletcher, so Sansom was either bluffing by calling him as a potential witness or had always planned on settling/resigning before the case was over.

As an aside, Fletcher has contributed to Rubio's campaign, records show.

Response from Rubio campaign spokesman Alex Burgos:

"It's sad that Charlie Crist's political fortunes have fallen so far that he is willing to do and say anything to try to win this election. Only a candidate on his last gasp of desperation would run an ad so false and so over the top against a fellow Republican. Let's be clear what this ad is really about. Charlie Crist is trying to cover up his strong support for the stimulus, higher taxes, cap-and-trade and liberal judges.

"Charlie Crist is spending more than a million dollars on TV, every penny of it is negative, and he has yet to offer a single positive idea about what he would do in the U.S. Senate. He is doing a disservice to every Republican who wants a strong and united party committed to victory in November. But given that Charlie Crist may soon be leaving the Republican Party, he probably doesn't care much about that anymore."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 11:28am]


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