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Mack goes off on the press—again

Posted Jul 16, 2012 by William March

Updated Jul 16, 2012 at 06:49 PM

Rep. Connie Mack IV’s Senate campaign has responded to a newspaper’s endorsement of his opponent in the GOP primary by blasting the newspaper and a reporter, as he’s done before.

As in the previous instance, the campaign again drew into the argument the name of Mack’s father, former Sen. Connie Mack III.

“Adam Smith and the Tampa Bay Times should have the decency to admit they are Left Wing Democrats,” said Jeff Cohen, Mack’s campaign manager, in a letter to the Times that was also distributed as a news release.

The release was in response to the Times’ endorsement of former Rep. Dave Weldon in the primary. That wasn’t a big surprise, considering that Mack refused to participate in the Times’ planned debate among the primary candidates, or do an interview with the Times’ editorial board. But Cohen spent much of the letter attacking Adam Smith, political editor of the Times, who’s not involved in decisions of the editorial page including endorsements.

“Your attacks on Connie are reminiscent of your brutal attacks on his father when he ran for the U.S. Senate. It’s fair to state that former Senator Connie Mack was perhaps the finest U.S. Senator to have ever served, but your Left Wing venom could not be contained then or now,” Cohen wrote. “What people find offensive and intellectually dishonest is your refusal to admit that Adam Smith’s agenda is Left Wing and Democrat, as is your newspaper.”

The Times’ endorsement of Weldon included harsh criticism of Mack, calling him an “opportunist” with “questionable work habits, a sense of entitlement and an undistinguished record in Congress.”

In April, the campaign published a similar attack on the Times and the Miami Herald, which share their political coverage, in the form of a published letter by the elder Mack. That followed a story by Smith and Herald reporter Marc Caputo saying Republicans were disillusioned by Mack’s “lackluster” campaign, and a Caputo story on Mack’s history of bar brawls and financial problems.

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