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Crist launches digital media buy attacking Scott and defending Obamacare


The Charlie Crist campaign on Thursday launched a digital media ad that will run exclusively online and in social media that attacks Gov. Rick Scott for his “misleading” ad on Crist and offers up a defense of the Affordable Care Act without ever mentioning Obamacare.

“Rick Scott wants to take us back to the days of insurance companies denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, where women are charged more than men, and lifetime caps limit care even for kids with cancer,’’ says the narrator as it shows pictures of people and ends with a shot of Scott in 1995, from a two-hour-long deposition when he was head of Columbia/HCA health care.

The campaign will spend “thousands of dollars” posting the ad on various online platforms, said Kevin Cate, Crist spokesman. He declined to disclose specific numbers.

Last week, Scott’s campaign launched the second of his $2 million television ad campaign and used it to go after Crist for his support of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. The ads are airing in the state’s 10 media markets. The Florida Democratic Party has asked stations to remove the ad because of its inaccurate content.

Recent polls have shown Scott trailing Crist in a head-to-head matchup, although Crist is just one of a number of Democrats who is seeking the nomination.

In a conference call with reporters, former state Sen. Dan Gelber of Miami called Scott’s latest ad “shameful — not just because it’s mostly false and misleading but it also confirms Rick Scott has no vision.”

He said he didn’t know why the ad didn’t refer to Obamacare, but said Crist will not shy away from defending the benefits of the program.

“We will respond forcefully to these false ads,’’ he said. “On healthcare, for instance, we believe we should be making the law work. He is blocking care for Floridians. He wants to take us back to a time when pre-existing conditions weren’t covered and when things were worse for women.”

Recent polls have shown that while support for the health care reform break along party lines, a narrow majority of independent voters oppose it in Florida. The reforms, however, have the support of blacks and Hispanics. Support for the expansion of Medicaid, which disproportionately enrolls minorities, is also widely popular but the Republican-dominated Legislature has refused to do so.