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 great job,” Levine is seen saying again and again, as a narrator notes unpopular moments of Trump’s presidency.

That 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.

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.

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.

About The Author

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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