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Politics

Charlie Crist, Republicans Exchange Attacks in TV Ads

July 22, 2014 - 6:00pm
With five weeks to go until the primary, the leading Democratic gubernatorial contender and the Republicans exchanged fire on Wednesday in a round of new ads.

Former Gov. Charlie Crist, the favorite for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in next months primary despite spending most of his political career in the GOP, launched a new television ad on Wednesday, hitting Gov. Rick Scott on education. The ad is the second Crist has run so far in the campaign.

Doorway is about our schools -- because if we want to build a better Florida, we need to start with our kids, Crist insisted on Wednesday. Rick Scott cut education spending by $1.3 billion, hurting their chances at a better future. How can he sleep at night?

Florida Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, the chairman of Scott's campaign, quickly fired back.

"Instead of releasing an education policy he said would be ready by June, Charlie Crist is resorting to more false attacks against Gov. Scott, Thrasher said. It was Crist who slashed state education funding by $550 per student. Rick Scott has cleaned up his predecessors mess, funding schools $370 more per student in state funds than Crists last budget. Charlie Crists fuzzy math wont fool Floridians."

Later in the day, the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) struck back with an ad of its own. The RPOFs ad attacks Crists record on education spending and notes media reports calling the Democrats ad misleading.

Crist also drew fire from Scotts running mate on Wednesday. Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera is increasingly going after Crist on a host of fronts. Having hit Crist earlier in the week on his economic record, Lopez-Cantera went after the new Democrat on Wednesday for supporting more ties to Cuba.

While Gov. Scott has been building upon the 600,000 jobs created under his term and sharing his vision to grow Jobs for the Next Generation this week, the only jobs plan Charlie Crist has offered is for Florida to do business with Cuba, a state sponsor of terror, Lopez-Cantera said on Wednesday. Despite the Castro brothers increased repression of the Cuban people, orchestration of Nicolas Maduros brutal actions in Venezuela, and growing relationship with Vladimir Putin, Charlie Crist's continued advocacy for greater engagement with the Cuban dictatorship exposes a flippant and shallow attitude that is not only a very worrisome world view, but it is not in Floridas best interest."

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

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