GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump harshly criticised rival Marco Rubio over his personal spending habits in a brutal TV ad released on Monday.
Trump’s campaign labelled the Florida senator a “corrupt, all-talk, no-action politician,” noting years-old revelations that Rubio put thousands of personal charges, including airline tickets, on campaign and Florida Republican Party credit cards.
“Corrupt Marco Rubio has spent years defrauding the people of Florida,” the narrator said.
The ad slammed Rubio for changing his vote on a key Florida bill after selling his house to the relative of a lobbyist who backed the bill. The spot also noted Rubio’s poor Senate attendance record during votes.
“On top of it all, Rubio has been a total no-show in the US Senate, with the worst voting record of all,” the ad said. “Marco Rubio: another corrupt, all-talk, no-action politician.”
In a statement accompanying the ad’s release, Trump said that Rubio is “a total crook and I am doing the people of Florida a great favour by further exposing him.”
Rubio’s campaign quickly responded to the ad, pointing out that Trump once said Rubio should be former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s running mate in 2012.
Trump’s campaign said that the ad will air in Florida, where the Republican frontrunner led Rubio just a week ahead of the state’s key primary, according to recent polls. Both candidates are vying hard to win the contest, which awards all of its 99 delegates to the winner instead of splitting them proportionally.
Rubio has long dismissed concerns about his misuse of a party credit card as “discredited attacks from Democrats and my political opponents.” But the senator’s personal finances were enough of a concern in 2012 that Romney’s campaign noted them as a potential issue while vetting Rubio as a potential running mate.
Trump’s television advertising campaign comes as the reality-television star faces an onslaught of negative ads in the state. As the Miami Herald reports, pro-Rubio super PACs have already bought $9 million in negative ads hammering the real-estate magnate.
Trump isn’t the only candidate going after Rubio in the senator’s home state.
A super PAC backing Sen. Ted Cruz is also rolling out a series of negative television ads aimed at Rubio, which will air in the Sunshine State.
Watch the ad below:
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