Democratic gubernatorial candidates Jeff Greene and Philip Levine exchanged blows over the airwaves with attacks challenging, among other things, friendly remarks both men have made about President Donald Trump.
Greene, a Palm Beach billionaire, pushed back on accusations by Levine that he’s too comfy with Trump. Instead he released a new ad suggesting the Miami Beach mayor was the one kissing up to the unpopular president.
Greene’s campaign on Saturday started playing statewide the included video of the remarks that repeatedly used a clip of Levine from a Fox News Radio interview in mid-2017, six months into the Trump administration. “So far the President has done a very good job,” Levine is seen saying again and again, as a narrator notes unpopular moments of Trump’s presidency.
For the record, Levine’s camp says that isolated quote is taken out of context, and that Levine only said the president had done well during a particular trip to Warsaw.
The Greene attack came the same day a new statewide television ad from the Greene campaign attacked Levine for “turning Biscayne Bay into a cesspool” with the city sewer system.
But folks in Levine camp were quick to note some of the footage used in the ad actually showed sewage systems in other countries, not Biscayne Bay.
Levine fired back pinging Greene for a tightness to Trump and for profiting off the housing bust, and responding to the new ads with footage of the one-time Mar-A-Lago member praising Trump the day after the election. “I know Donald Trump. He’s a great guy,” Greene said in an interview on Fox Business.
A billionaire who bet against the middle class is attacking me and the city I love for fighting back against sea level rise.
— Mayor Philip Levine (@MayorLevine) August 10, 2018
Greene previously said his comments on Fox Business were in the same spirit as calls for unity after the election made by former President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Levine in an ad pushing back on Greene today defended his environmental record as mayor of Miami Beach. “We took on sea level rise like no other city in the world,” Levine says in the ad, “and we’ve been honored like no other city in the world.”
Incidentally, the back-and-forth between Levine and Green comes as the men seemingly fight for second place in the Democratic primary for governor.
Even an internal poll released this week by the Levine campaign shows him trailing former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham by four points. But the day that poll came out, Graham released a poll showing her beating Levine by 16 points. Greene came in third place in a five-man field in both instances.