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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Patrick Murphy's new digital ad says Rubio 'not strong enough to stand up to Trump'



Patrick Murphy's campaign is capitalizing on Marco Rubio's "con man" moment this week, launching a digital ad that shows how awkward Rubio's support of Donald Trump has become.

Appearing on Facebook and Twitter, the ad plays off Rubio's Miami Herald editorial board meeting on Monday in which Rubio said he stands by criticism of Trump during the presidential primary but that he supports him as the nominee.

“If somebody’s a con man you do not say in the next sentence, but I’m supporting that con man,” MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough says in a clip.

It portends a message the Murphy campaign will repeatedly push in an expected general election matchup with Rubio, who has a lead in polls.

Not only does the Democrat want to firmly attach Rubio to Trump, but a broader goal is to show Rubio as an opportunist who will do whatever it takes to get back into office.

"Marco Rubio called Donald Trump a 'con man' who couldn’t be trusted with our country’s nuclear codes, but now that his own political ambition is on the line, he wants to make that ‘con man’ our next commander-in-chief,” said Murphy campaign manager Josh Wolf. “Rubio's Donald dance would be comical if it didn’t involve handing over our country’s national security to an unhinged bigot. In reality, it is Marco Rubio who is attempting to con Floridians by saying whatever it takes to get re-elected to a job he hates so he can run for president again in 2020.”

Rubio on Wednesday previewed his own line of attack on Murphy, calling him “lazy” and “privileged” in a radio interview.

"Patrick Murphy's record of accomplishments is so weak that he's been lying to Florida voters for years about his resume, falsely claimed he runs a small business, and is now trying to cover up his weak record of getting things done in Congress," spokesman Michael Ahrens said Thursday. "Murphy can keep trying to distract from the truth, but Floridians already know that Marco has a strong record of fighting for them and that's why they're going to re-elect him in November."

[Last modified: Thursday, August 18, 2016 9:04am]


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