MIAMI -- In a clear sign that it views Ohio Gov. John Kasich as a rising threat, a super PAC supporting Sen. Marco Rubio's presidential candidacy is launching a major advertising blitz to puncture Kasich in two states holding contests next Tuesday.
The group, Conservative Solutions PAC, on Wednesday purchased $1 million in television ad time here in Florida and $268,000 in Illinois for spots opposing Kasich, according to two sources who track media buys.
Rubio is going all-out to win his home state of Florida in next Tuesday's primary and ensure his longevity in the race, though polls show him trailing Donald Trump.
Jeff Sadosky, a spokesman for the super PAC, confirmed that the group was airing ads against Kasich, though he would not specify the size of the buys.
The ad hits Kasich for a series of tax increases instituted under his watch in Ohio, as well as for expanding Medicaid in the state under President Obama's health law. A narrator says, "More spending, more taxes. That's the basic on Kasich."
The Basics on John Kasich: More Spending, More Taxes.https://t.co/Pe6z7el8I8
— ConservativeSolution (@cspac) March 9, 2016
Explaining the offensive, Sadosky said, "As voters learn about John Kasich's record, including a long list of tax increases and his love of President Obama's Medicaid expansion, it becomes quite clear that he's far from a conservative alternative to Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump."
Responding to the Rubio super PAC's ad, Kasich spokesman Mike Schrimpf said: "After his attacks against Trump failed, it's sad to see the Rubio team now resort to attacking John Kasich, the one candidate who has run a positive campaign. If history is any guide, these negative ads will backfire and Gov. Kasich will only climb higher in the polls. One would assume Senator Rubio has learned his lesson about participating in gutter politics."