TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The re-election campaign of Florida Gov. Rick Scott is launching yet another television ad, but this one takes direct aim at former Gov. Charlie Crist.
Scott's campaign organization said Monday that it will spend $2 million on a statewide ad buy that will go after Crist for his support of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Recent polls have shown Scott trailing Crist in a head-to-head matchup.
This is now the second television ad launched by Scott's campaign in March even though the election is about seven months away. Crist is just one of a handful of Democrats who is seeking the nomination.
Democrats and Crist's own campaign responded quickly, saying the ad was misleading and was meant to distract voters from Scott's record.
The ad features recent television footage of Crist saying the overhaul has "been great" for the state despite a difficult rollout. That is contrasted with recent stories about the health care overhaul.
"It may be great for his political career, but it isn't great for the rest of us," Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera said about the ad.
One of the stories highlighted in the ad is that 300,000 health insurance policies issued by Florida Blue would be cancelled because the policies were not sufficiently comprehensive under the health care overhaul.
But Paul Kluding, a spokesman for Florida Blue, said after the insurer sent out notices that most of the members have "kept their plans" with the insurer since then.
Kluding said that the Jacksonville-based insurance company also did special outreach that helped Florida Blue customers shift over to policies offered by a health care exchange because they would benefit from new coverages and better premiums.
He added that because the enrollment period has not yet ended the company does not know many have "officially dropped out of the system."
Kevin Cate, a spokesman for Crist, said the ad was part of the "Rick Scott playbook."
"When after four years, you have no record and no vision, you spend millions attacking your opponent," Cate said.
The ad is being paid for by Scott's campaign organization Let's Get to Work.
Associated Press reporter Kelli Kennedy contributed to this story from Miami.
On the web: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZstMy-wu_yw&feature=youtu.be