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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida congressional candidates use Trump as weapon against opponents

Joe Garcia attack ad on Carlos Curbelo

Screen capture

Joe Garcia attack ad on Carlos Curbelo



It’s not just Patrick Murphy who sees an opportunity in Donald Trump.

Democratic congressional candidates in Florida have scrambled to produce ads that tie their opponents to Donald Trump. And in one case, a Republican is pounding his Democratic rival over past support from Trump, while praising the “great respect” for the millions of Floridians who support the GOP nominee.

In South Florida, Joe Garcia released an ad in which he says “Carlos Curbelo and Donald Trump want to go backwards. They are working to repeal Obamacare, stripping health care from thousands of Florida families. That’s wrong.

The ad never mentions that Curbelo does not support Trump, though Garcia uses votes against the Affordable Care Act as evidence.

In Central Florida, Stephanie Murphy’s new ad states, “Congressman Mica and Donald Trump share the same harmful policies. Trump wants to restrict access to women’s health care and opposes common sense efforts to reduce gun violence.”

In Tampa Bay, David Jolly has been assailing Democrat Charlie Crist over his past association with Trump, who contributed to Crist’s Republican campaigns for governor.

“I’m Congressman David Jolly and I want to talk to my Democratic friends in Pinellas County,” he says in a video before accusing Crist of trying to latch him to Trump. Jolly has not endorsed Trump.

“The issue here is bigger than Donald Trump. The issue here is honesty. You see, there is only one candidate in this race who has ever sought political favor from Donald Trump, and that candidate is Charlie Crist. You see, when it was political convenient for Charlie Crist, he sought Donald Trump’s support.”

Jolly's campaign on Wednesday demanded the DCCC take down an ad that uses photoshopped photos of Jolly to make it look like he is standing next to Trump. "Imagine David Jolly in congress supporting Donald Trump's dangerous agenda," a narrator says.

[Last modified: Wednesday, October 12, 2016 3:43pm]


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