CHICAGO (CBS) — Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner on Tuesday blamed Gov. Pat Quinn for the deaths of children whose families have had contact with the Department of Children and Family Services, an attack the Quinn campaign called a “despicable” smear attempt.

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WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports Rauner released a blunt radio ad on Tuesday, saying, “Pat Quinn failed those who needed him most.”

When Rauner met with reporters later Tuesday morning, he said Quinn ultimately is to blame for 95 deaths of children in the care of DCFS from 2011 through 2013.

“Pat Quinn is, in the end, responsible for the failings at the Department of Children and Family Services. If it was a one-year problem, or a temporary problem, you could say, ‘Okay, maybe … it’s not really his responsibility,’ but he’s been governor for six years,” he said.

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Rauner claimed the DCFS budget has been cut by tens of millions of dollars under Quinn’s administration.

“Pat Quinn; the corruption, the patronage, the cronyism, the failure to run a good system, it’s failing the state, and it has financial costs, but it has real human costs as well,” Rauner said.

Quinn campaign spokeswoman Brooke Anderson called the Rauner ad “a false and malicious attempt to smear the Governor.”

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“To imply the Governor is somehow responsible for the deaths of children in the horrific circumstances that this agency enters into while trying to save lives is despicable and a new low,” Anderson said.