Under attack on television and losing traction in the U.S. Senate race, Gov. Charlie Crist lashed out Thursday at front-runner Marco Rubio for his spending with a Republican party credit card and for trying to stuff "pork" into the state budget.
Rubio periodically used his party-issued American Express card to pick up personal expenses, though he says he later covered them.
The former House Speaker paid the party back about $2,400 earlier this year after he said he mistakenly charged several flights to Tallahassee while also getting reimbursed by state taxpayers.
"To say that you're Mister Fiscal Conservative and have all those kind of financial issues is stunning to me," Crist, a former Republican running without party affiliation, told The Miami Herald editorial board. "It borders on outright hypocrisy."
Rubio has denied any wrongdoing, and party officials say a top-to-bottom audit -- expected to be released Friday -- did not raise any red flags about their much-ballyhooed nominee.
Crist's aggressive tone comes as the latest polls show Rubio with a double-digit lead and the anti-tax Club for Growth began a TV advertising campaign on his behalf. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is airing about $1 million in anti-Crist ads.
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