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Mack campaign retracts Fortuno endorsement quotes

Posted May 23, 2012 by William March

Updated May 23, 2012 at 09:26 PM

The U.S. Senate campaign of Connie Mack IV issued an incorrect version of an endorsement from Puerto Rican Gov. Luis Fortuño that included statements Fortuño apparently did not make bashing Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson.

The news release quoted Fortuño as calling Nelson, President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid “lockstep liberals,” a Mack campaign slogan.

That language, contained in a news release sent to reporters by the Mack campaign Tuesday, wasn’t included in a copy of the statement posted Tuesday on the Mack campaign’s website.

Late Wednesday, the campaign acknowledged the news release was incorrect and sent out an updated version that also omitted the statements.

“Yesterday, an erroneous working draft of the English version of Gov. Fortuño’s endorsement of Connie Mack was issued,” said the updated version.

In the original version of the news release, Fortuño was quoted as saying:

“Electing Connie Mack to the U.S. Senate and defeating liberal Senator Bill Nelson will help make sure conservatives have another champion for freedom in the Senate, and that Harry Reid, President Obama, and Washington’s other Lockstep Liberals can’t inflict any more damage on the nation.”

The Fortuño statement posted on the website Tuesday and the updated news release used a different version of the quote:

“Electing Connie Mack to the U.S. Senate will help make sure we have another champion for freedom in the Senate. Our friends, families and neighbors in Florida need a fighter for fiscal responsibility and freedom—they need Connie Mack in the U.S. Senate.”

The Mack campaign didn’t respond to questions about who actually wrote the quotes or whether Fortuño ever made the critical comments. Nelson’s campaign sent out a statement saying Nelson “knew the governor couldn’t have been responsible for this kind of negative, personal attack.”

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