After the Ron DeSantis campaign went after the newest entry in the Senate race, Carlos Beruff, as a "Charlie Crist Republican" this week, Beruff is fighting back.
Friday morning, his campaign released emails showing that DeSantis tried to meet with Beruff in January, which the latter's campaign says was to ask for money from the millionaire Manatee County homebuilder. What's more, they released an email in which DeSantis claimed the support of casino-magnate Steve Wynn.
That's the problem, Beruff says. It proves DeSantis is a political "insider."
"While Congressman Ron DeSantis claims to be an outsider who hasn’t been changed by Washington, his actions speak louder than his words," campaign spokesman Chris Hartline said in a statement.
But the DeSantis campaign insists that's not the case.
The emails released by Beruff refer to the meeting as a "courtesy visit," and it came in January, just as rumors were swirling about Beruff's candidacy.
“Ron DeSantis has never met or had a conversation with Charlie Crist Republican, Carlos Beruff," DeSantis campaign manager Brad Herold said. "But if Mr. Beruff would like to change his mind and support our campaign to help us fight his brand of crony capitalism in Washington, we’d gladly take it."
DeSantis and Beruff are two of five Republicans running to replace Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate. The others are Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Congressman David Jolly and businessman Todd Wilcox.