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Politics

Charlie Crist Kicks Off Attacks Against Rick Scott

October 24, 2013 - 6:00pm

With Democrats holding their state convention in Central Florida this weekend, former Gov. Charlie Crist, their partys front-runner to challenge Gov. Rick Scott next year, appears ready to run for his old job.

Despite spending most of his political career selling himself as a conservative Republican, after being overtaken by Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate primary in 2010, Crist left the GOP to run with no party affiliation. After endorsing President Barack Obama for a second term, Crist joined the Democrats at the end of 2012.

Crist relaunched a website where he is asking for comments. In a Web video, Crist makes his opening pitch and takes aim at Scott and his policies.

The past few years have been tough, Crist says in the video. Government on the fringes, donors and politics above you, the people.

Crist looked to throw Scotts its working theme back at the governor.

Its not working, Crist insists in the video. Only you, the people, can end this nonsense and get us back to common sense.

Crist had sold himself as the peoples governor during his time in Tallahassee. Trial attorney firm Morgan & Morgan, Crists current employer, uses for the people as their motto. Crist is featured on billboards advertising Morgan & Morgan across the state.

Looking to solidify voters in his new party behind him, Crist slammed the Republican leadership in Tallahassee on a number of issues. Youve seen attacks against full-time working people and their health care, against women and their doctors, against teachers, public schools, and college affordability and even against the simple act of casting your vote, Crist says in the video.

The Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) fired back at Crist on Friday with spokeswoman Susan Hepworth emailing the media to hit the new Democrat for not focusing on the economy and jobs in the video. Republicans have been vocal in pointing out the number of new jobs created under Scotts watch and the sharp drop of the states unemployment rate, and contrasting that record to Crists who presided over a steep increase in the unemployment rate.

Looks like Charlie is raring to go in his second run for governor this time as a Democrat, Hepworth wrote. He forgot to mention the No. 1 issue most important to Florida voters: jobs and the economy. Its so blatantly obvious why he doesnt want to talk about jobs, and thats because he knows it is working under Rick Scott but under his watch as governor, he was a complete and utter failure. Look for this to be a running theme from Charlie talking about anything other than his failed economic record.

Hepworth also painted Crist as self-centered. Besides his two recent changes in political affiliation, Crist never ran for re-election for any of the three statewide offices he held. This Web video clearly shows Charlie is only about Charlie, insisted Hepworth.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

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