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Carlos Beruff to Marco Rubio: 'man up'


A more aggressive Carlos Beruff came out swinging today at U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

Last week Rubio's allies went after Beruff, a Republican from Manatee County, for supporting former Gov. Charlie Crist in 2010 after he left the Republican Party and ran as an independent. But campaign finance records show Beruff never donated any money to Crist after he left the Republican Party. Beruff attended a fundraiser Crist was at in 2010, but Beruff did not donate any money at that event.

"Washington’s candidate Marco Rubio continues to lie about me and about his record, hiding behind his Washington allies of course," Beruff said in a sharply worded press release sent to the media this morning. "It’s no surprise considering integrity is clearly not an important quality to Senator Rubio, who lied to the people of Florida about amnesty, lied about his support for Donald Trump and lied about his promise to not run for reelection."

“And now Marco Rubio is ducking debates, afraid to answer for his record face to face. It’s common in Washington to pass the buck and hide from a challenge, but the people of Florida deserve a Senator who’s not afraid to take a stand. My message to Marco is simple: man up.”

The new more aggressive tone comes just days after Beruff spent nearly $1 million on ads attacking Rubio for his previous support of an immigration reform bill in Washington back in 2013. 

In response to the ads, Rubio's campaign put out a statement from Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Rubio's longtime friend, further trying to link Beruff with Crist.

"His record is clear, just like his good friend Charlie Crist, Carlos Beruff continues to flip-flop to try to be everything to everyone," Lopez-Cantera said. "He’s a Crist insider who values political opportunity over Florida’s conservative principles."

Lopez-Cantera was originally running for the U.S. Senate as well, but quit the race when Rubio changed his mind last month and decided to run for re-election.

Rubio and Beruff are battling in an Aug. 30 Republican Primary.