Sen. Marco Rubio, newly focused on a re-election bid, is facing a political neophyte whose background, beliefs and allies seem to mirror those of Donald Trump – who drove Rubio from the GOP presidential primary
after a decisive Florida win.
Millionaire Carlos Beruff is showing no signs of moving out of the way for the Florida senator, The Hill reports
“The voters of Florida can re-elect Washington’s candidate, who has consistently failed to do the job they hired him to do and won’t commit to serving a full six-year term. Or they can make a change,” Beruff said in a statement Friday, The Hill reports.
"Do you want a senator who puts politics and their own ambition first? Or do you want a senator who puts Florida first?”
Beruff is trumpeting his outsider status, has repeatedly cast Rubio as politically motivated and is proudly blunt in TV ads.
“The experts want me to read a bunch of political crap off this teleprompter," he said in an April ad, The Hill reports. "Here’s what I have to say — Obama is a disaster and Washington politicians are worthless."
“How about we take our country back and put America first?” he added.
He also took Trump’s Muslim immigration ban even further, calling for it to include “anybody from the Middle East” except Israel – and was criticized for calling President Barack Obama an "animal," The Hill reports.
In addition, he's relying on ties to Florida Gov. Rick Scott to help his campaign, The Hill reports.
“This race has been transformed in a matter of days,” Adam Goodman, a Florida GOP strategist who advised former Senate candidate David Jolly, one of the Republicans to step aside for Rubio, tells The Hill.
"Carlos Beruff has been unruffled and Marco is trying to launch his third act. In a year where the unpredictable has become the expected, this scenario plays right to that script."
According to The Hill, Beruff has already spent $4 million on the race, and is willing to spend "whatever is necessary to see this through," an unnamed Beruff aide tells The Hill.
The winner of the GOP primary will face either Florida Reps. Patrick Murphy or Alan Grayson, who are facing off in a Democratic primary.
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