Crist, Rubio Trade Jabs in Contentious Florida Senate Race

MIAMI -- Gov. Charlie Crist is calling senatorial challenger Marco Rubio’s conservative credentials “the greatest fraud perpetrated," to which Rubio fired back Thursday on Fox News that Crist's criticisms were "silly."

During an interview with the National Review, Crist pointed to Rubio's personal expenses on his GOP credit card while he was Florida House speaker as evidence that Rubio was "not conservative, but one of the most irresponsible spenders I've ever seen."

Rubio countered Crist’s accusations in an interview with Fox News' Neil Cavuto.

"It's silly. When a candidate can't win based on the issues, they got to make it about other things," Rubio said." That is what your seeing in this race. My opponent, at least, for now in the primary, is talking about all these sorts of things that have nothing to do with the central issues of this campaign."

"We have a president and Congress that are trying to force down the throats of the American people this massive intervention into health care market place," Rubio added. "Those are the issues we need to be talking about instead of these silly, and untrue things."

Crist has been trailing in recent primary polls to the insurgent Rubio in the race for the republican nomination for U.S. senate.

“I’m a true-blue Reaganite Republican,” Crist told the National Review. “To think this guy is close to that, if you look at his record, is silly ... The voters deserve to be better informed, to know the facts. My opponent and I are polar opposites when it comes to who is really frugal. His statements are just unbelievable.”

There has been speculation recently that Crist is eyeing a run as an independent because of Rubio's recent rise over the last few months. Rubio shrugged off the chatter.

"I don't think a lot about it," Rubio said. "I mean that his decision to make about whether he wants to run as Republican or anything else. I don’t want to speculate on a decision he needs to make."