A day after Marco Rubio unveiled a new TV ad that showcases how he helped a mother get cancer drugs for her daughter, Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy is accusing the incumbent Republican U.S. senator of trying to "to paper over his terrible record on women’s health."
In Rubio's ad, Blanquita Trabold talks of how Rubio worked with the Food and Drug Administration to secure a yet-unapproved cancer drug that helped her daughter, who was battling breast cancer.
Murphy's U.S. Senate campaign says Rubio is using the ad to "distract Floridians from the facts" -- including Rubio's opposition to abortion and his support for repealing Obamacare and defunding Planned Parenthood.
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"It will take a lot more than special interest money to distract from Marco Rubio’s disastrous record on basic rights for Florida women," Murphy campaign spokeswoman Galia Slayen said in a statement. "Instead of waging extremist crusades on a woman’s right to choose, Rubio should focus on showing up to the U.S. Senate and doing his job. Florida women deserve better than an absentee senator who has never fought for them."
In response, Rubio spokesman Michael Ahrens said: "Leave it to Patrick Murphy to try to politicize cancer. Marco is proud to have helped this Florida mother receive the medication her daughter needed and will continue to fight for all of Florida's families."
Polls have Murphy leading the Democratic field in the upcoming Aug. 30 primary -- which is why he's already aggressively targeting Rubio for a likely general election match-up. Republican groups supporting Rubio are also on the offensive against Murphy.
Murphy, a congressman from Jupiter, faces fellow U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando and Miami labor attorney and former naval officer Pam Keith in this month's primary. Manatee County home-builder Carlos Beruff is challenging Rubio.
Image credit: Rubio ad, "Daughter"