Politics

Governor's Race a Bruiser: Parties Slugging Away at Each Other Like Prizefighters

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: February 11, 2014 3:55 AM
Lenny Curry and Allison Tant

Lenny Curry and Allison Tant

With nine months to go until the gubernatorial election, Florida’s two major parties are like a couple of heavyweights in the 12th round, pounding each other on behalf of their candidates without mercy.

The Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) on Monday looked to link former Gov. Charlie Crist to President Barack Obama, marking the fifth anniversary of the then-governor appearing with the president in Fort Myers to back the federal stimulus. Crist’s support of Obama’s stimulus was a deciding factor in his fall from grace with Republican voters, allowing Marco Rubio to catch him in the Republican primary for the 2010 U.S. Senate race.

After being caught by Rubio, Crist left the GOP to run with no party affiliation. He later joined the Democrats in late 2012. Crist was in Fort Myers on Monday to promote his new political memoir.

"Five years ago today, Charlie Crist, the self-crowned prince of political opportunism, greeted President Obama in Fort Myers with an enthusiastic embrace of his binge-spending policies,” said Lenny Curry, the chairman of the RPOF, on Monday. “It was the 'hug heard round the world.' Five years later, he's come back to Fort Myers to sell his fiction novel in an attempt to run away from his failed record as governor. Now that Crist has embraced Obamacare -- a law that kills jobs, raises the deficit and caused 300,000 Floridians to lose their health insurance plans -- it's becoming more clear to voters that they can't afford another four years of Charlie."

The RPOF is even gathering signatures for a mock card marking the anniversary.

Nor was that the RPOF’s only line of attack against Crist Monday as they also unveiled a new Web video, hitting the former governor for his connections with convicted fraudster Scott Rothstein who said last week that Crist assigned judgeships in exchange for political donations.

“On the fifth anniversary of Charlie Crist's infamous hug of Barack Obama and his failed policies, Floridians should also remember Crist's many embraces of Scott Rothstein,” said Curry on Monday. “Not only was Rothstein convicted of a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme, he also testified under oath that he bought judgeships in return for political contributions. From whom? None other than Charlie Crist."

But the Democrats gave as good as they got, hitting Scott on economics. Despite the state unemployment rate shooting up to more than 11 percent under Crist and dropping to 6.2 percent under Scott, the chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party insisted on Monday the real rate under the governor was higher. Allison Tant, the chairwoman of the Florida Democrats, said so many people were dropping out of the workforce that the real unemployment rate was 8.5 percent.

"Rick Scott can try to wrap his economic message in campaign spin, but Scott's record is clear: he would rather give taxpayer handouts to wealthy special interests and the biggest corporations instead of fighting for Florida's middle class,” Tant said on Monday. “Thousands of Floridians have fallen out of the middle class because of Rick Scott's wrong priorities.”

Tant launched a similar attack on Sunday. Noting that more than half of Florida’s unemployment population were out of work for six months to a year, Tant insisted Scott was failing the middle class.

"Under Rick Scott, the wealthy special interests get handouts while the middle class struggles just to get by," said Tant on Sunday. "For three years, Rick Scott's Florida has had more long-term unemployed than almost any other state. People have cut back until there isn't anything left to cut. Rick Scott just doesn't understand that the middle class must come first."




Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.


Comments (7)

David
9:09AM FEB 12TH 2014
Does the RPOF need reminding that they supported Crist over Rubio early on in the Senate race? Do they need reminded that the Republican Senate Committee supported Crist with money over Rubio? Do they need reminded they said terrible things about Governor Scott in the primary? What was the difference? Why did the elites of the Republican establishment lose both those races?

Tea Party flipped those races. Where is the Tea Party now? Well with a Governor who has embraced amnesty and in state tuition for illegals they will not be pounding the streets and manning the phones as in 2010. Money has replaced the ordinary citizen with passion for good government. Corporate donors and their special interests have replaced the ordinary citizen.

Congratulations RPOF you have won the battle but not the war.
blue
10:05AM FEB 11TH 2014
scott turned out somewhat better than i expected, actuallly doing things that may not have been popular, but were needed. for that, i gained some respect for him.
christ is a weasel. will kiss any ass for a vote, and is pretty much a whore.
blue
10:05AM FEB 11TH 2014
scott turned out somewhat better than i expected, actuallly doing things that may not have been popular, but were needed. for that, i gained some respect for him.
christ is a weasel. will kiss any ass for a vote, and is pretty much a whore.
RC
6:54AM FEB 11TH 2014
The RPOF is going to need a lot more than "mock cards" to overcome the anger now that Adam Hollingsworth, Jeb Bush Rick
Scott Janet Adkins have dismissed the concerns of parents over ObamaCore. By very cynically changing the name, and doing NOTHING in HB 195 over data collection, indeed further citing FERPA as the standard in that regard they are telling the conservative base "we are your local tyrants, you will be made to submit". Just try to get the base out when you treat them that way. All this destructiveness for the cult of Jeb. Get used to the term Governor Nelson.
David
9:11AM FEB 12TH 2014
For over a year Scott touted the greatness of Common Core. Now he will not even speak the words. Flip flopper in training.
blue
10:07AM FEB 11TH 2014
are you on some drugs? totally disjointed
RC
11:53AM FEB 11TH 2014
Read the bill Blue. Or does blue stand for Democrat?

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