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Dems' new web ad attacks Scott for taking Fifth; GOP responds

Florida Democrats launched a new 30-second web ad Monday that attacks Gov. Rick Scott on issues of trust and credibility on a subject that was used repeatedly to pummel Scott in 2010 -- when he won.

The ad uses still numerous frames of Scott from a 2000 deposition in which he invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination 75 times. The Democrats called the ad "a bit of a throwback for us" but an issue that voters need to be reminded about.

"Frankly, Rick Scott doesn't have any credibility on matters of trust," said Scott Arceneaux, executive director of the Florida Democratic Party.

Arceneaux said the ad is part of a strategy to counter Scott's efforts to "change the narrative" with saturation TV advertising aimed at building trust between Scott and Florida voters.

The ad is narrated by a woman and shows a generic frame of an officer with "POLICE - FBI" on his jacket and a frame that says "Gov. Scott's Finance Chair Wins Billions in Medicaid Contracts."

Scott's former finance co-chair, Mike Fernandez, won billions in state Medicaid contracts. He and Scott's campaign say the contracts were won through competitive bidding, not favoritism, and Fernandez resigned his post in March following the leaking of emails in which he harshly criticized the direction of Scott's re-election effort.

Here's the ad text: "Seventy-five. That's now many times Rick Scott took the fifth to avoid incriminating himself while his company was under investigation by the FBI. Scott's company pled guilty, fined nearly 2 billion dollars for Medicare fraud. Taxpayers got cheated, while he walked away with millions. Now we find out Scott's office steered billions in state contracts to contributors. Medicare fraud. Contracts to contributors. Taking the fifth 75 times. We just can't trust Rick Scott."

The Republican Party of Florida responded with a new web ad of its own that repeatedly uses a Crist line -- "It was the right thing to do" -- to explain his support for 15 percent annual tuition hikes and for Obamacare. State GOP Chair Leslie Dougher issued a statement with the ad's release that said: "Charlie Crist continues to try and gloss over his failed record by saying that raising tuition and raising taxes was ‘the right thing to do.’ We have news for Charlie - putting college out of reach and raising taxes on Floridians is never the right thing to do. And continuing to support Obamacare, which has caused seniors to lose their doctors, will never be the right thing for Florida."