Rubio accuses Crist of using Gulf spill as photo-op and political opportunity

Senate GOP hopeful Marco Rubio Friday accused his opponent, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, of using the Gulf of Mexico spill as a mere photo-op.

Asked by Fox News’s Neil Cavuto whether the Gulf spill has helped Crist’s campaign, Rubio said, “I really don’t. I think he used it for photo-ops. I think he used it to appear on camera.”

Rubio and Crist — a former Republican who is running as an independent to replace Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) — remain in a tight race, with Crist slightly ahead.

Rubio said the advantage for Crist will be only short-lived. “It might have given him some attention in the short term,” he told Cavuto. “But here there is a growing realization, and that he is using this for political gain.”

Rubio has been criticizing Crist for calling a special session of the state’s legislature last week in order to consider a constitutional amendment to ban offshore oil drilling.

The Republican-controlled legislature agreed to adjourn the special session after 50 minutes without considering the proposal. Florida has actually banned leasing and drilling in its waters since 1990.

Crist joined protesters camped outside and held a rally on the issue.