DSCC hits Crist with early TV ad



The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is wasting little time going after Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R), releasing a TV ad on Wednesday that sharply criticizes the governor.

Crist has yet to announce he is running for retiring Sen. Mel Martinez's (R) seat, but most observers expect he will.

The DSCC ad is titled "Mess" and chronicles aspects of Crist's governorship, including Florida's current budget crisis. The ad's message is clear: Crist is quitting his job as governor to go to Washington when the going has gotten tough.

A spokesman for the DSCC said the ad will hit airwaves of the Tallahassee media market on Thursday and the committee may run it in other markets as well in the future. He declined to disclose the size of the media buy.

Crist, who remains very popular in recently polling, would likely be considered the immediate frontrunner should he join the Senate contest. A Quinnipiac University poll in the middle of April found that two thirds of Floridians approve of Crist's performance as governor, while less than a quarter disapprove. This ad is undoubtedly an attempt by Democrats to start bringing those approval numbers down.

UPDATE: Amber Wilkerson, the National Republican Senatorial Committee just emailed in the following response that criticizes the ad:

"The DSCC obviously knows they're in trouble in Florida because this reeks of desperation. Too bad they haven't learned that voters in the Sunshine State are looking for real solutions, accountability, and checks and balances in Washington - not another round of pithy negative attacks," Wilkerson said.

jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com