The Florida Democratic Party unveiled an ad buy Tuesday aimed at reminding voters the Republican incumbent was once the head of HCA/Columbia, the hospital chain which in the 1990s settled what was then the largest Medicare fraud case in U.S. history.
The ad reads in part:
"Maybe you’ve heard about what was the largest Medicare fraud in history, committed when Rick Scott was a CEO. Or that Scott’s company paid record fraud fines of 1.7 billion dollars. And when Scott was deposed in lawsuits about his company, he took the fifth seventy-five times. Meaning, seventy-five times, Scott refused to answer questions because – if he had – he might admit to committing a crime."
Democrats didn't disclose details of the buy, only that it was a "six figure" spend in the Tampa, Orlando and West Palm Beach TV markets. Scott has so far steered more than half of his advertising spending to the crucial Tampa-to-Daytona Interstate-4 corridor.
After the Florida Cabinet meeting, Scott responded to the spot by blaming Democratic challenger Charlie Crist, even though he isn't officially the party nominee yet and still faces former Broward state Sen. Nan Rich of Weston in the primary.
"Charlie Crist doesn't have a record to run on," Scott told reporters. "This is what he's going to do. He's a professional politician. He's a mudslinger."
Scott's own ads have blasted Crist for running for the U.S. Senate instead of re-election in 2010, for signing a tuition-hike bill, and for backing Obamacare.