Reporter William March has covered state and national politics since 1994. Email
Reporter Mike Salinero has covered Hillsborough County government since 2007. Email
Reporter James L. Rosica covers state government from the Tribune's Tallahassee bureau. Email
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Nelson launches attack ad at Mack
Posted Aug 2, 2012 by William March
Updated Aug 2, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Sen. Bill Nelson, who announced the first television ad of his re-election campaign yesterday, has now announced his first negative ad against his likely Republican opponent, Rep. Connie Mack IV.
The ad—see it here —takes a predictable tack. It comes off a series of news stories over the past few months documenting problems in Mack’s personal history, including bar fights and road rage incidents when he was younger, financial problems he incurred around the time of his 2005 divorce from his former wife, and missed votes in Congress while he’s been campaigning for himself and for Mitt Romney.
Titled “Meet Connie,” it appears aimed at distinguishing Mack from his popular father, former Sen. Connie Mack III.
“Connie Mack IV has been hiding behind the $9.2 million outside groups have spent so far on attack ads to smear Bill Nelson,” said Nelson campaign manager Pete Mitchell. “It’s time Floridians learned who this Mack really is.”
The first ad of Nelson’s re-election campaign talked about his personal history and stands he’s taken in Congress, a typical, positive “introduction” ad like those often used at the outset of a political campaign.
What’s unusual is for Nelson to jump to a negative ad barely 24 hours later—apparently a response to the negative ads against him.
The Mack campaign’s response, from spokesman David James: “Bill Nelson is doing what every desperate losing candidate does – smears his opponent as hard as he can. After 40 years of being part of the problem, it’s pathetic.”