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From Hot Line on Call

Republican Rep. Connie Mack’s crusade against the Tampa Bay Times and reporter Adam Smithcontinues.

A Democratic strategist passes along video of the presumptive Florida Senate Republican nominee taking a few more digs after a press availability following a campaign event on Tuesday in Hillsborough County.

In the video, Mack calls Smith and the paper “a mouthpiece for the liberals in this state.”

The Times endorsed Dave Weldon over Mack, prompting Mack’s campaign manager to write an angry letter saying the paper and Smith “should have the decency to admit they are Left Wing Democrats whose circulation is declining because their Left Wing agenda is offensive to so many rational conservative voters.”

At the end of the video, as Mack is getting into his vehicle, Smith asks him whether he charged Brooks Brothers clothes to his campaign. The Times reported on Tuesday that Mack, in an apparent violation of law, charged nearly $470 at Brooks Brothers in Jacksonville.

“When you become a legitimate reporter, we’ll be happy to answer that,” replies Mack.

As I wrote this morning, it’s rarely an encouraging sign when candidates engage in extended movements against specific news outlets.