Mack ties Nelson to monkeys, cocaine in first Senate ad

Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) is out with the first television ad of his Senate campaign, an ape-themed 30-second spot accusing Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) of "monkeying around."

"When Bill Nelson voted for the stimulus," the narrator says, "he votes for millions in wasteful spending, including spending our tax dollars to see how monkeys react under the influence of cocaine."

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Monkeys can be heard screeching in the background as photos of simians making silly expressions fill the screen. Superimposed over an image of lines of cocaine is $144,541, the amount the ad claims was included in the stimulus for the research in question.

"Hey Bill Nelson, stop monkeying around with our tax dollars," says the ad.

None of Mack's positions or policies are mentioned in the ad.

The campaign did not release details about the buy other than that it would run on cable and broadcast.

But two sources tracking the ad market in Florida said Mack's campaign had only purchased about $9,000 of airtime — all on Sunday. One source said the ad was timed to run during NBC's "Meet the Press."

That $9,000 is divided up among six media markets in Florida, one of the most expensive states in the country to run ads, meaning the ad is likely to air only once in most markets.

Mack's spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for additional details.

“This ad is as childish as Congressman Connie Mack’s campaign," said Brannon Jordan of the Florida Democratic Party, adding that the ad itself amounted to monkey business. "Florida voters want to talk about real issues like growing jobs and strengthening the economy. If this is the best they’ve got, they are in real trouble.”

Mack is running far ahead of the other Republicans in the Senate primary in Florida, where the Mack name is widely recognized. Mack's father represented Florida in the Senate and his great-grandfather was Hall of Fame baseball manager/owner Connie Mack.

The four-term congressman raised about $1 million between January and March, but the $1.3 million he has in the bank pales in comparison to the $9.5 million war chest that Nelson has amassed for his reelection.

Mack's opponent in the GOP primary, former Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.), also pushed back on the ad, arguing that Mack's own voting record flies in the face of his attacks on others over wasteful spending.

"Although Connie Mack the Fourth doesn't bother voting on the Ryan Budget, he made sure to vote 26 times to keep nearly $3 billion in earmarks," said LeMieux spokeswoman Anna Nix.

Watch the ad: