Carlos Beruff ended his futile campaign for the U.S. Senate by jabbing at former GOP primary rival Marco Rubio and warning that he made a “life mistake” by returning to Washington.
But a Super PAC set up to support Beruff clearly has a different opinion. Newly released Federal Election Commission records show the last act of Lets Clean Up Washington was to donate $5,000 to a PAC supporting Rubio at the end of October. Lets Clean Up Washington is a PAC created to help Beruff’s campaign and was heavily funded by Beruff’s Bradenton-area political allies like developers Pat Neal and the Benderson Development Corporation.
Beruff spent $8.3 million of his own money in a bid to win the GOP nomination. When Beruff first got into the race, it was a field of mostly low profile Republicans like U.S. Reps David Jolly and Ron DeSantis, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and businessman Todd Wilcox. But then national Republicans, concerned none could win the seat, pushed Rubio - who had just finished losing his presidential bid - to get back into the race. Rubio did, forcing the other candidates out of the race. But Beruff refused retreat, promising to spend more than $15 million to win the seat if he had to.
FEC records show he never topped $8.3 million.
After Beruff lost the primary, he posted a letter on his website explaining why he ran and ripped Rubio and most of the other candidates who once had been in the race. He described Jolly and DeSantis as “scurrying for the exits” when Rubio got back into the race. He slammed Lopez-Cantera too, saying the Lt. Governor “went back to doing whatever it is that he does, which is basically nothing except collect a check from the Florida taxpayers.”
But he saved his toughest words for Rubio for re-entering the race after saying he wouldn’t.
“With regard to young Mr. Rubio, in my judgement he made a life mistake. A man’s word is the most important thing he has. Mr. Rubio must live with that decision,” Beruff wrote on his website.
Here’s Beruff’s full farewell letter:
By Carlos Beruff
I’m going to say a few things in here that folks in the political arena know to be true, but that they refuse to say publicly.
Our country is miserably off track; this is something that all but the far left agree on. I personally came to the point where I felt a responsibility to try to do something about it, and I’ve been blessed enough in business to be able to take a shot at running for office.
Here’s the American situation – we have moved from a culture of independence to a culture of dependence. We have moved from capitalism into the direction of socialism. We have moved from being a beacon of strength internationally to a position of weakness. And we have moved from a strong financial base to an unprecedented level of debt beyond description or compare.
Of one thing I am certain – we are foolish if we think we will achieve change by sending the same crowd of people back to run our government again and again. This is the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results.
I got into this race because the Senate seat was open and was underwhelmed by our potential choices to represent the Republican Party. In fact, prior to Marco Rubio going back on his word, our campaign had moved into first place in the Republican primary.
But sometimes life throws you a curveball. I made the miscalculation of taking Mr. Rubio at his word that he wouldn’t seek re-election if he lost the Presidential Primary. Even in March he re-iterated that he has told people “10,000” times that he is not running for re-election. I guess I was silly to believe the words of a Washington politician.
Once Mr. Rubio went back on his word, all the other candidates (being the politicians that they are) ran scurrying for the exits. David Jolly went back to running for Congress, Ron DeSantis went back to running for Congress, and Carlos Lopez-Cantera went back to doing whatever it is that he does, which is basically nothing except collect a check from the Florida taxpayers.
The directive out of Washington was for everyone to kiss the Senator’s ring and bow out of the race. We did not yield to the Washington political establishment, and even though we did not win, I make no apologies.
Herein lies the big problem in America today – the folks in Washington, in both parties, think they can give orders to us. It is supposed to be just the opposite. They are supposed to take orders from us. I do not take orders from Washington, and I suggest that no one else should either.
Critics will say it was a fool’s errand to stay in the Senate race. They will say we had no chance of beating Rubio, and they will say I wasted money. But of course, critics are most often those people who lack the courage and commitment to enter the arena.
I care deeply about the direction of our country. I wanted to go to Washington to say enough is enough and to fight for the American Dream that has been so good to my family, and is clearly slipping through our fingers today with the mindless and naïve liberalism of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
We came up short, but I make no apologies for fighting for what is right.
One last thing – I will vote for both Trump and Rubio in November. With all of his sins, and we all have them, Trump’s primary message is one of change, and of America embracing those values that made us the greatest country in the world.
With regard to young Mr. Rubio, in my judgement he made a life mistake. A man’s word is the most important thing he has. Mr. Rubio must live with that decision. Sadly, he could have learned a lot about America and about himself by leaving politics and spending some time in the real world. Nonetheless, he is the best of the remaining options.
We as a campaign, and I personally, am appreciative of the support of those who sought change for this country. I will never have the right words to show my sincere appreciation to all those friends who gave of their time and resources. Thank you for your efforts and most importantly, your votes of confidence.