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Exclusive: Crist Charges Rubio "Turned his Back" on Hispanic Family

In a bruising Senate debate, independent candidate Gov. Charlie Crist brought up that Republican Marco Rubio has "turned his back" on his Hispanic family.

Crist threw the jab citing a newspaper article about Rubio's stance on immigration. The claim came during a televised between Florida state Speaker Rubio, Crist, and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek, set to air on the FOX Tampa affiliate WTVT at 6:30pm ET Friday.

"These are their [the newspaper's] words, not mine speaker, that you have turned your back on your Hispanic family, and they think that is inexcusable," Crist said.

Rubio, who is of Cuban heritage but was born in Florida, didn't take it that way and fired back, "We're all used to hard knock politics but that's quite frankly governor, offensive and outrageous for you to talk about me turning my back on my Hispanic family. It wasn't me, it was LaGaceta talking about it, a great newspaper. You've already attacked the congressman's [Meek] mom in an ad and now you're attacking my family."

Rubio is currently in a double-digit lead ahead of both Crist and Meek. Republicans are feeling even more confident about Rubio's chances that they've pulled a $4 million ad buy planned and will use the money in bluer states.

Crist, who abandoned the GOP to run as an independent after Rubio started making gains, tried to paint Rubio on the fringe, "The last thing we need to do is any of these things right wing extremist Marco Rubio has talked about. If you elect me, the only thing that's on my table is protecting preserving social security as we know it today. That's what you'll get if you elect me," Crist said.

Meek also wanted to reiterate he has no plans in leaving the race despite rumors that he'd bolt to give Crist a better chance, "Believe this, I will not drop out of this race for any reason. I'm nominated by the Democrats of the state of Florida. I'm running to be the next senator for Florida. And I'm not running for second, I'm running for first," Meek said.

One theme they could agree on was that each one said they were "the only candidate" on hot-button issues like jobs, Social Security and immigration.

"I'm the only candidate who can say Democrats have good ideas and Republicans have good ideas," Crist said.

"Washington is going down a dangerous road," he said, adding that he is the only candidate who would stand up to it," Rubio said.