fFlorida Gov. Rick Scott is launching a $2.2 million television ad buy for his re-election that aims to reintroduce the Republican incumbent to the state's voters. Florida Democrats consider it an attempt to mislead voters about Scott’s record.
Scott's 30-second ad features the Republican governor mentioning his poor upbringing, and how it affects his work as Chief Executive.
“I think about my mom, how hard it was for her to put food on the table. Thank goodness for a mom that cared and pushed,” says Scott in the ad. “And so I think about those families. It drives you to, every day, get up and say ‘OK, what can I do today that’s going to increase the chance that companies are going to hire more people in Florida?’”
Sen. John Thrasher, chairman of Scott's re-election campaign, said the ad is intended to tell voters "who this man really is." The themes of the ad mirror Scott's recent speeches, including his State of the State address earlier this month.
Scott narrowly won the governor's election in 2010, and he is trailing in recent polls to former Gov. Charlie Crist – a former Republican who’s seeking his old job as a Democrat.
Florida Democratic Party spokesman Joshua Karp said in a statement that voters would see through Scott’s campaign tactic and that “Rick Scott’s hypocrisy is on full display.” Crist is also firing back.
“Just tell the truth,” said Crist. “Tell the people that the [economic] turnaround started when we were still here. Tell the people that it’s important we understand that we can do better. I think it was a global economic meltdown, and the notion that any one person, or any one governor certainly, brought that on, is just absurd. You know, it’s laughable.”
The Governor's story will clearly be a focal point of the campaign, and Crist is expected to use every opportunity to remind voters that Scott left his company, Columbia/HCA, in the midst of what was the largest Medicare fraud case in U-S history at the time.
The new ad is the latest statewide media buy of the campaign season for Scott, who continues to enjoy high name recognition but continues to struggle with low poll numbers. A spokeswoman with the state GOP declined to say how long the spot would run.