Who would have thought a Republican congressman would attack his Democratic opponent for being too connected to the Republican presidential nominee? Welcome to 2016.
Florida Representative David Jolly accused his Democrat challenger, Charlie Crist, of lying when it comes to which candidate is closer to Donald Trump. In the ad, Jolly speaks directly to Democrats, saying he has never endorsed the Republican nominee, while Crist has a history of currying favor with Trump.
“You see, there’s only one candidate in this race who has ever sought political favor from Donald Trump — and that candidate is Charlie Crist,” Jolly says in the highly personal video.
“When it was politically convenient for Charlie Crist, he asked Donald Trump to host a fundraiser,” Jolly says, as the screen shifts to a news report of the Crist fundraiser in Manhattan in 2005. “When it was politically convenient for Charlie Crist, he accepted $4800 in donations from Donald Trump.”
Jolly continues: “Charlie called Donald Trump ‘gracious,’ ‘hospitable,’ ‘good for Florida.'”
“But now that it’s politically convenient for Charlie Crist to abandon Donald Trump, he’s turning his back on his old friend, like Charlie’s turned his back on us, too many times,” Jolly says. “Why? Very simple: Charlie Crist just took a poll of all of us here in Pinellas County, and he determined that it would be beneficial for him to lie about his own past, to abandon an old friend, just like he’s abandoned us.”
Jolly contrasts this with his own record, promising to stand up for his constituents despite political convenience. He expresses “great respect for the convictions of the millions of Floridians who support Donald Trump,” but declares that he has not yet endorsed the nominee himself, contrary to Crist’s attacks.
“You see, Charlie will always do whatever’s most politically beneficial for him — I’ll always do what I think is right for Pinellas County,” Jolly concludes.
Jolly led in the Republican primary for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat, until Marco Rubio entered the race in June. While Jolly took first place in the primary polls, Rubio performed better against the Democratic candidates.
Crist entered politics as a Republican, serving in the Florida State Senate, then as attorney general, and finally as governor from 2007 to 2011. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010 as an Independent, and then he ran for governor yet again as a Democrat in 2014. He announced his run for Congress against Jolly in October of last year, after stating last March that he would not run for office in 2016.
— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) March 16, 2015
Jolly’s attack hits on Crist’s perceived duplicity very well, and serves to make this election just that much stranger.
Watch the video on the next page!