Dem groups hit Rubio with first wave of $10.5 million barrage

Dem groups hit Rubio with first wave of $10.5 million barrage
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A Democratic super-PAC and one of the nation’s largest labor unions are firing a double-barreled salvo at Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration Ocasio-Cortez's favorable, unfavorable ratings up: poll Rubio, Menendez request probe into administration's nuclear negotiations with Saudi Arabia MORE (R-Fla.), whose once bright political future is in danger.


Many Republicans consider Rubio the most talented communicator in the GOP and he’s expected to be a top-tier presidential candidate in 2020 or 2024.

That’s why Democrats are pouring millions of dollars into one of the nation’s most expensive media markets to beat him in his reelection bid.

Senate Majority PAC, a Democratic super-PAC, and AFSCME People, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees’ political action fund, have launched a new television ad attacking Rubio’s record on Social Security and Medicare.

The spot hits Rubio for accepting nearly $1 million from the insurance industry, claiming those companies would profit from his “privatization plans”.  

It’s the opening round of a $10.5 million ad buy in the Sunshine State that will air on broadcast and cable stations in Tampa and Orlando.

The ad quotes Rubio arguing that safety-net government programs have “actually weakened us as a people.”

“Marco Rubio wanted to cut Social Security and Medicare because he said they’re bankrupting our country,” the ad’s male narrator intones.

“But that’s what politicians say when the insurance industry bankrolls their campaigns,” he adds. “Marco Rubio’s taken almost $1 million from the insurance industry which would profit from his privatization plans.”

Michael Ahrens, a spokesman for Rubio’s campaign, rejected the ad's claim.

"Marco's own mother relies on Social Security as her sole source of income,” he said in a statement. “Marco would never do anything to hurt his mother or the millions of Florida seniors who depend on Social Security and Medicare, and he'll continue to fight to strengthen the programs for future generations.”

He criticized Murphy for supporting AFSCME when the union opposed legislation sponsored by Rubio to make it easier to fire incompetent employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"Florida veterans can't afford someone who puts union bosses ahead of working for them," Ahrens said.  

A Quinnipiac University poll released late last week shows Rubio leading Rep. Patrick Murphy, the Democratic challenger, by 7 points — 50 percent to 43 percent.

Senate Majority PAC’s internal polling from mid August shows Murphy and Rubio in a dead heat and Democratic strategists think Murphy will pull ahead if he improves his numbers with liberal voters.

The 33-year-old House lawmaker is performing well with centrists, the group’s internal numbers showed.

Republicans feel increasingly confident, however, that Rubio will hang on to his seat.  

-- Updated at 10:48 a.m.