Smith Now Attacking Rubio as ‘No Show Marco’
Smith's beef with Rubio comes from the Former House Speaker's failure to attend a planned candidates’ forum sponsored by the West Charlotte Republican Club last week. Rubio, it seems, had initially agreed to appear alongside Smith at the forum, but later backed out.
“If Marco cannot stand up to his own primary opponents in a debate, how in the world can he face the Democratic majority in the US Senate? Timid people are not successful in that arena," declared Smith. "Those who succeed firmly embrace their convictions and aggressively challenge their opponents. You cannot represent our state by hiding in a corner or ducking the tough issues and debates with Senator Harry Reid, the liberal majority and the meat grinder that is Washington politics.”
"Any true leader knows that the most disrespectful thing you can do to a person is to show no consideration for their time, and over 200 Southwest Florida Republicans gave up a Tuesday evening to see this debate,” added Smith Campaign Director Chuck Winn.
The Smith campaign is also circulating a YouTube video from the event in which an upset club leader details his back-and-forth with the Rubio campaign.
Smith, who officially launched his campaign on October 1st, is seen by some as a bit of a wildcard in this race. A former Senator from New Hampshire, he's lived in Florida for the last five years and is running to the right of both leading candidates.
Smith's campaign so far has focused very heavily on the issue of illegal immigration. The former Senator charges that rivals Crist and Rubio are too far to the left on the issue of amnesty for illegals.
Standard political practice is that the person trailing in the polls is the one demanding more debates. Governor Crist doesn't want to debate Marco Rubio and Rubio, likewise, probably doesn't want to be seen debating Smith.
For his part, Rubio is maintaining a very dense campaign schedule that will see him traveling all over the state. This week alone he'll appear at the Broward County Republican Executive Committee on Monday, followed by the the Santa Rosa Federated Republican Women's Club on Tuesday and the Walton County Federated Republican Women's Club on Wednesday.