With the launch of a new Spanish-language ad (see video above), Florida Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio hopes that his endorsement for English-only policies will be lost in translation with Latino voters.
With five weeks left until election day, the 30-second spot is one of Rubio's last efforts to extend his lead in the race. Polls show Rubio with a 12 point lead over Republican-turned-Independent Gov. Charlie Crist, while Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek trailed Crist by a narrow five points. Polls show that Rubio's, who Cuban-American, has almost three-quarters of the Latino vote.
The Crist campaign dubbed Rubio's ad an act of damage control, pointing to the Republican's initial support for Arizona's controversial illegal immigration law, and his characterization of the DREAM Act as "amnesty."
"No fluffy ad can cover up Marco Rubio's support for discriminatory immigration laws or hostile policies that target law-abiding immigrants. Florida needs an independent senator who will fight for working people of all backgrounds, not one who's only concern is fighting for the far-right wing of the Republican Party," said Crist spokesman Danny Kanner.
Meanwhile, Rubio's spokesperson Alex Burgos told Politico that the ad was purposely saved for last so that it would assure voters that Rubio was the best candidate for the job. Without stating specifically what Rubio has done in the interests of the Latino community, Burgos said of the former Tea Party darling:
"[Marco] has relentlessly focused on what he sees as the top issue in the Hispanic community: economic empowerment and how Washington's current agenda threatens the free enterprise system that enables parents to work hard and leave their children with a better future."