With two weeks left in the election, U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., looked to claim the middle ground in South Florida where he is engaged in one of the most competitive congressional races in the nation.
Curbelo unveiled a new TV ad on Tuesday. The ad insists that special interests are backing Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.
"Washington special interests - armed with hundreds of millions of dollars raised by dividing the American people - are desperately trying to defeat Carlos Curbelo in order to preserve the hyper-partisanship they profit from," Curbelo spokeswoman Joanna Rodriguez said. "They've labeled Carlos Curbelo their 'personal nemesis' and spent millions against him because his bipartisan approach and sober solutions for South Florida's greatest challenges are a direct threat to their disgusting tactics to stir up political chaos. Our campaign knows the people of Florida's 26th Congressional District want a true leader who isn't beholden to any party or lobby – and that's Carlos Curbelo."
"How did I become the top target for Washington special interests when even the media say things like..." Curbelo says in the ad.
"Curbelo seeks common ground, criticizes both sides for unyielding partisanship," a narrator says.
"I don't take orders from any party or lobby. That's why out-of-state interests are spending millions to help my opponent," Curbelo says.
"Mucarsel-Powell: Sharply partisan, as a liberal, would raise taxes and cut Medicare," another narrator says.
"She'll march lockstep with special interests. I only answer to you. I'm Carlos Curbelo and I approve this message," Curbelo says.
Also on Tuesday, Curbelo showcased being honored by the Small Business Investor Alliance (SBIA) as a “Champion of Small Business” last week.
“Our country is built and driven on the principle of independence and determination, something that our nation’s small business owners embrace on a regular basis,” Curbelo said. “Entrepreneurs play a vital role in our country’s economic success by providing thousands of jobs to local communities across the country. With Miami's small business economy ranking in the top 10 nationwide and making up roughly 90 percent of the South Florida economy, our community knows that those who invest in their success empower growth and job creation across the country. I am honored to be recognized as a Champion of Small Business and look forward to continuing to support South Florida’s entrepreneurs and workers.”
Last week, Mucarsel-Powell released an ad, relating how her father was murdered.
“I never said goodbye. My kids never met their grandfather. And this is the last photo I took with my father because he was killed by a criminal with a gun,” Mucarsel-Powell says in the ad. “So when I tell you I’ll stand up to the NRA to protect our community, you can believe me.”
Pride Fund to End Gun Violence, which defines itself as “an LGBTQ organization created after the Pulse shooting to advocate gun policy reform,” threw its support behind Mucarsel-Powell this week.
“Debbie Mucarsel-Powell has such an amazing opportunity to turn the tide in one of the closest races in the country, while fighting for the safety of Americans and Floridians,” said Jason Lindsay, the executive director of Pride Fund to End Gun Violence, on Monday afternoon. “After losing her father to gun violence, Debbie has been a fierce advocate for common sense gun regulations in this country.
“She has experienced the effects of lax gun policy and knows how personally devastating gun violence is. Debbie will be an essential voice in Congress in the fight for common sense gun reform,” Lindsay added.