Yesterday, TPM’s Eric Kleefeld noted that the gloves were coming off in the Florida GOP Senate primary. Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Thomas provided a prime example of this yesterday when he reported that former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio had issued a release “whacking Charlie Crist for not being tough on social issues like abortion,” in which he invoked the infamous case of Terri Schiavo:
Marco Rubio’s campaign has put out a new release, whacking Charlie Crist for not being tough on social issues like abortion.
The release includes this mention of the Terri Schiavo case, “Crist also received criticism on the Terri Schiavo debate about where he really stood on a Congressional bill that would have let Terri’s parents take their lawsuit to save her life to federal courts.”
Thomas interprets the release as evidence that Rubio “seems to favor government intervention in this case.” According to a Nexis search, Rubio hasn’t explicitly commented on the Schiavo incident, in which conservatives brought a personal tragedy to national attention in 2005 to energize their pro-life base. The GOP tried to write legislation forcing doctors to reinsert Schiavo’s feeding tube and taking the “extraordinary step” of subpoenaing the critically brain-damaged woman to testify to Congress. Rubio did vote for the law giving then-Gov. Jeb Bush the authority “to issue a one-time stay to prevent the withholding of nutrition and hydration from” Schiavo. Crist was the attorney general of Florida at the time, but he refused to get involved in the case.