After Twittering, YouTubing and Facebooking his way to near-celebrity status on the national political scene, U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio is going old school this week with a statewide bus tour.
The trip, which will loop-de-loop around Central Florida from Tuesday to Friday, marks the first bus tour of the 2010 election in the nation's largest battleground state. In an increasingly technology-driven, instantaneous political world, Rubio's trek shows that front-running campaigns still see value in taking a busload of reporters on a 70-mile-per-hour road trip with stops for gas and food.
"Marco is running as if he's 10 points behind, and that's smart," said Tallahassee political consultant Mike Hanna, a Rubio supporter and veteran of former Gov. Jeb Bush's bus tours. "It's a great way to get free media and connect to real Floridians."
Rubio's rival for the Republican nomination, Gov. Charlie Crist, sought to sap the momentum Monday with a new television ad tethering the former House speaker to his disgraced successor, Ray Sansom. The spot is the second attack ad aired by the Crist campaign in the last three weeks.
"Sansom indicted, Rubio subpoenaed," the ad says, referring to the charges against Sansom for falsifying the state budget to steer a $6 million airport hangar to a developer friend. Sansom served as budget chief under Rubio, who was spared from testifying under subpoena when Samsom resigned in February.
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