Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carlos Beruff is clearly making a play for Donald Trump supporters in his campaign against U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.
Beruff is out with his second ad this month that hits Rubio for disagreeing with Trump on key policies. This time Beruff is zeroing in on Trump's plan to ban Syrian refugees and other immigrants from the Middle East.
"Donald Trump wants a temporary ban on immigrants from the Middle East. Marco Rubio opposes Trump’s ban. And Marco refuses to secure our borders," Beruff's new ad says.
Beruff ends his ad by saying: "I'm not ashamed to support Trump."
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It is similar to an ad released earlier this month that reminds Republican voters that Rubio has been reluctant to endorse Trump.
"Why does Marco Rubio refuse to support Donald Trump? Is it just sour grapes because Florida chose Trump instead of Rubio?" Beruff's earlier ad declared.
The strategy is rooted in the Republican Presidential Primary results from March. Rubio lost 66 of Florida's 67 counties to Trump in the primary. In 26 of those counties, Rubio finished in third behind both Trump and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.
Rubio's campaign response to Beruff's newest ad, as has been in previous attacks, is to try to align Beruff with former Gov. Charlie Crist with no reference Trump.
"Carlos Beruff is a Charlie Crist insider who is misleading voters about Marco’s strong record of fighting to keep Floridians safe. Marco has consistently supported measures to strengthen our nation's borders, from doubling the number of border patrol agents to creating a mandatory e-verify system," Rubio spokesman Michael Ahrens said.
The comment is a reference to Beruff being a major campaign donor to Crist in his 2006 campaign for governor. Crist later appointed Beruff to various boards and commissions. Beruff also donated to Crist's U.S. Senate campaign in 2009 when Crist was still a Republican.