Rubio attacks Trump with misleading advertisement saying “Trump bans disabled veterans”

Marco Rubio speaking at the 2015 Defending the American Dream Summit at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

A new attack advertisement from the Conservative Solutions PAC has started to air in Marco Rubio’s home state of Florida—where Donald Trump is leading in the polls.

The advertisement states that “he [Trump] bans disabled veterans from his high rises” but this statement is actually false.

The advertisement is referring to Donald Trump lobbying NYC politicians to ban street vendors from operating on Fifth Avenue—where the Trump Tower is located.

The video advertisement implies that Trump bans veterans from his high rise Trump Tower building but in reality it is referring to a statute that dates back to 1894.

According to Factcheck.org, a New York City statute was created to provide “peddling exceptions for disabled veterans of the Civil War.”

In 1991 Trump wrote a letter to John Dearie, then-chairman of the state Assembly Committee on Cities, advocating that the city ban vendors on Fifth Avenue which includes the special exemption for veterans.

In his letter he said, ““While disabled veterans should be given every opportunity to earn a living, is it fair to do so to the detriment of the city as a whole or its tax paying citizens and businesses?”

He continued to say, do we allow Fifth Ave., one of the world’s finest and most luxurious shopping districts, to be turned into an outdoor flea market, clogging and seriously downgrading the area?”

He was not alone in his complaint as many other store owners complained that vendors were clogging the sidewalks and even selling knock-off versions of their products.

FactCheck.org claims the dispute was settled and allowed a certain number of veteran vendors access to midtown Manhattan while prohibiting them from Fifth Avenue and other high-traffic streets.  The Fifth Avenue Association also contributed $400,000 to veteran’ programs and set up jobs for veterans who held peddler’s licenses at that time.

According to Real Clear Politics average of polls, Trump was leading Rubio by almost 20 percentage points last week when the ad began airing. The Florida primary is scheduled to be held on March 15.

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