Rep. Tom Rooney weighs in on District 19 attack ads

CREATED Mar 30, 2014

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PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - If you've watched TV for any length of time you've noticed them, those harsh ads. 

Political season is definintely heating up, especially in the District 19 Congressional race. 
FOX 4 asked a current Florida representative about all the hype in our area.
"It's part of the political process," said U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney of Florida's District 17. He's talking about those negative ads we're seeing on the screen.  
Rep. Rooney knows all to well what happens in a campaign. We asked him for his take on these negative ads poppping up in the District 19 race to replace Trey Radel. 
"Certainly when you have a crowded primary, you're going to have people distinguishing themselves," he said.
Rep. Rooney isn't surprised at all with these ads. 
"A general rule of thumb is when something is alleged against you, you have to respond to it," he said.
He believes what we're seeing now is a chain reaction of attack ads and their rebuttals. 
"If you are being attacked and somebody makes an allegation against you and its not true, or if it's muddled, you have to respond," Rep. Rooney said. "If you don't, it's left out there for the people to sit on."
As we near the Republican primary, he offers this advice to candidates: "Really in the end, people have to have a reason to vote for you. And, not just why they don't want to vote for the other guy. So, you have to make sure that you're getting your message out there as well."