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RPOF, Atwater respond to Ausley's video

The Republican Party of Florida hit back on Loranne Ausley's attack of Jeff Atwater -- by changing the subject to Alex Sink. The party notes that the Democratic nominee for governor has a long history in banking, too, and oversaw a big merger where many jobs got cut. Of course, Sink's bank didn't get shut down by the FDIC.

Atwater's campaign also decried the fact that Ausley is immediately going negative in the CFO race: "Liberal Loranne Ausley has launched a mudslinging attack on the Web that lies about Jeff Atwater's professional experience."

Full quotes from RPOF and Atwater spokesman Brian Hughes below.

RPOF executive director Ronnie Whitaker: “Loranne Ausley's latest attack has reached a new low even for her, and is just more of the same false attacks we've come to expect. Ausley’s new ad is so reckless and ill-considered that she stands to do more damage to Alex Sink than Jeff Atwater.

"If Loranne Ausley wants to make this race about banking, then she'd better prepare to discuss Alex Sink's record at NationsBank.

“During their wild mergers spree, Alex Sink was responsible for cutting thousands of Florida jobs, and entering the ethically shady subprime loan market. If that's where Loranne Ausley wants to take the dialogue, so be it, but she'd better clear her next ad with Alex Sink before she does more damage to the Democrat ticket.”

Brian Hughes: "In another sign that her stagnant campaign is completely devoid of a positive vision for Florida, liberal Loranne Ausley has launched a mudslinging attack on the Web that lies about Jeff Atwater's professional experience.

"For months, Jeff Atwater has made it clear to the people of Florida that his campaign is about offering real solutions to the problems facing our state. He will relentlessly fight the fraud and waste that squander taxpayer dollars, he will reduce the regulatory bureaucracy that stifles economic recovery, and he will foster the entrepreneurial spirit that allows small businesses to create jobs.

"Ausley, and the Florida Democrat Party hierarchy, will stop at nothing to hide or obscure the simple truth that Loranne Ausley is a Tallahassee insider and a tax-and-spend liberal. Her legislative history reads like a greatest hits list of tax increases and support for a bigger, more intrusive government. With a voting record like Loranne Ausley it's understandable why she wants to play gutter politics."