Charlie Crist Launches Book Tour as GOP Goes on the Attack
Around the State
Former Gov. Charlie Crist, the favorite for the Democratic nomination to challenge Gov. Rick Scott despite having spent most of his political career as a Republican, ramped up his campaign activities on Monday, swinging away at the GOP and taking punches back from his old party.
Crist launched a Web ad on Monday pushing back against one from the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) last week.
“Rick Scott is blaming me for the financial crisis? That's ridiculous,” Crist says in the video. “Here's the truth. The recession wasn't caused by me or by you. You know who caused it? Greedy Wall Street bankers and corporate takeover artists. In other words, guys like Rick Scott. His company committed outright fraud. So when you see his ads, remember it was guys like Rick Scott that crashed our economy. I'm Charlie Crist. I work for you, the people. Always have. And always will.”
Scott’s team hit back on Monday, insisting the newly minted Democrat is trying to hide his economic record in Tallahassee. During Crist’s term, the unemployment rate in Florida shot up to 11.2 percent. Under Scott, it has dropped to 6.2 percent.
"Charlie's incompetence is on full display and it's alarming,” said Matt Moon, a spokesman for the Scott campaign. "He continues to take no responsibility for the economic disaster that occurred under his watch, and pretends that as governor he was helpless to fix the situation. Things got so bad he ended up running away but now he wants his job back. To do what? Crist is just another politician who refuses to take any responsibility for anything. It's not every day that a politician admits in his own advertisement that he is incapable."
Crist has a new book entitled “The Party’s Over: How the Extreme Right Hijacked the GOP and I Became a Democrat” being released on Tuesday and he will have a national media blitz to showcase his new memoir. But Crist will also be promoting it in Florida with apperances throughout the month. Next Monday, Crist will be in Fort Myers followed by stops in Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee and Islamorada later that week. Later in the month, Crist hits Miami Beach, Palm Beach and St. Petersburg.
The new book is on the mind of RPOF Chairman Lenny Curry who sent out a memo on Monday bashing Crist, looking to link him to President Barack Obama who remains upside down in Florida according to the polls.
“Charlie Crist's book isn't just an attempt to run away from his record and run toward Barack Obama,” Curry insisted in the memo. “Just as Barack Obama did before seeking federal elected office, Charlie Crist is using this book to build a national brand."
Curry reviewed Crist’s activities out-of-state which included “fundraisers for the Louisiana and Georgia Democratic parties," helping out newly elected Gov. Terry McAuliffe, D-Va., and national media appearances.
“As Charlie basks in the glow of being a national spokesperson for the Barack Obama-led Democratic Party, and with members of Obama's campaign team all coming down to sell him to Floridians all over again, it's clear that Charlie Crist has become Barack Obama's new favorite Democrat,” Curry wrote. “President Obama is famous for attacking and blaming Republicans for his own failed leadership, and it looks like Charlie Crist is using the same playbook with his new publication: attack Republicans to cover up a failed record of massive unemployment, record state debt and an economy that did worse than the rest of the nation.
“Charlie Crist ran away to try to become a creature of Washington instead of fixing the mess he caused,” Curry concluded, citing the ad the RPOF launched last week. “Now, with this upcoming book tour, it looks like Barack Obama's favorite Democrat is only running for governor to use it as a stepping stone for something larger for himself. Floridians beware.”
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.