The National Republican Senatorial Committee announced Wednesday that it will spend $2.5 million in advertisements for former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio’s campaign for U.S. Senate.

The amount — the maximum allowed by law, reports the the St. Petersburg Times — represents a massive financial investment in a candidate the GOP deems to be a rising star in the party, as well as an effort to close the gap with Charlie Crist, who had $8 million in cash-on-hand as opposed to Rubio’s $4.5 million as of Aug. 4.

NRSC Spokeswoman Amber Marchand attempted to goad the Democratic Party into spending that kind of money on Meek to the Times: “What remains to be seen is whether the national Democrats will make the same commitment to Congressman Kendrick Meek’s campaign.” The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has spent $93,000 on Meek’s campaign, according to FEC data.

Crist today used the NRSC announcement in a fundraising e-mail sent to supporters, as “another 2.5 million reasons why Marco Rubio will be a lockstep vote for the political party bosses and Washington special interests.”

Luke Johnson covers Florida for The American Independent.

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