Reality Check: Scott's latest attack ad goes after Crist's time as governor



The latest poll in Florida's governor's race shows Rick Scott tied with Charlie Crist, erasing what was a double-digit deficit.

Just as the newest poll results are released, Scott is going after Crist in a new attack ad, which Channel 9's Christopher Heath put to the test in his latest "Reality Check" investigation.

The new ad describes the downturn in Florida's economy during Crist's time as governor. Scott is banking on Florida's economic turn-around in the past four years and hoping voters will credit him for the improved situation.

"The numbers tell the story, Florida's unemployment tripled," Scott said of Crist's time in office.

It's not a secret that Florida was in economic distress when Crist left office. Foreclosures, bankruptcy cases and unemployment were all up at the time and now Scott is going after all three.

"I rate this as a very effective ad," WFTV political analyst Dr. Rick Foglesong said.

Foglesong said the ad hits the former governor with numbers that are a matter of public record.

"The facts are indisputable that things went bad in Florida when Charlie Crist was governor," Foglesong said.

"What's worse, he didn't stay to fix the mess," Scott said in the ad.

The ad goes on to mention Crist's failed Senate bid, a fact that's also not disputed.

But Foglesong said the ad leaves credit and blame open to interpretation. It attempts to tie Crist to economic factors, such as widespread sub-prime lending and the housing collapse, which were both national issues and outside of his control.

"On accuracy, I think I would give this ad a 'C' or a 'D' for the implication that Charlie Crist is responsible for the state of the economy," Foglesong said.

The attack ad was released by Scott's political action committee, not his campaign. It's been noted that he has been using his campaign to send out mostly positive ads profiling him as governor.

Christopher Heath will continue to investigate and break down political ads during the 2014 election season as part of Channel 9's "Reality Check" series.