Jeb Is a Thorn in Any Democrat's Side, Says Nan Rich -- Except Charlie Crist's

By: Kevin Derby and Nancy Smith | Posted: February 15, 2014 3:55 AM
Nan Rich, Jeb Bush, Charlie Crist

Nan Rich, Jeb Bush, Charlie Crist

As a conservative Republican, and a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2016, the merits of former Gov. Jeb Bush make an unlikely topic of debate in the Florida Democratic gubernatorial primary. But Bush, the son of one Republican president and the brother of another, was in the spotlight this week as former Gov. Charlie Crist and former state Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich duke it out for their party’s nomination to challenge Gov. Rick Scott in November.

Crist praised Bush as he made the national media rounds the last two weeks promoting his new memoir. As he attempted to explain why he left the GOP to run for the U.S. Senate with no party affilation in 2010 and joined the Democrats in December 2012, Crist cited Bush.

“Jeb Bush said it better than I can say it,” Crist said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and more than half a dozen national TV talk shows last week. “He said today’s Republican Party is perceived as being anti-women, anti-immigrant, anti-minority, anti-gay couples, anti-environment, anti-education. I mean, pretty soon, there’s nobody left in the room.”

It's the litany the former Republican governor-turned failed independent Senate candidate-turned 2014 Democratic candidate for governor uses to explain why he dumped the Republican Party.

The Bush camp showed no signs of buying Crist’s spin.

“Charlie Crist is a habitual opportunist with zero credibility,” Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told The Daily Caller last week. “Florida voters understood that in 2010 and will once again confirm it in November.”

Bush slammed Crist back in 2012 when the former Republican endorsed President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention, calling him “unique” and insisting “you can’t make up Charlie Crist.”

Talking to the Fox Business Network, Bush went after Crist in very personal terms. “He organized his life around his personal ambition and ran in a primary where he was the odds-on favorite, didn’t offer a compelling reason to be elected to the Senate,” Bush said of Crist. “Marco Rubio cleaned his clock and beat him in the general and now he’s trying to find a way to get back into the political game. It has nothing to do with principles or ideas, it has to do with his ambition.”

Back in November, Bush endorsed Scott’s re-election efforts.

But Crist doubled down on his praise for Bush this week, even though he said he would rather see former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the White House over Bush in 2016.

Crist appeared on Thursday night’s edition of “Politicking with Larry King” on Ora.TV and continued to praise Bush.

“You admired former Gov. Jeb Bush, did you not?” King asked Crist.

“I still do, yes sir, that’s right,” Crist replied.

“If he was running against Hillary, and you were governor of Florida, who would you support?” King asked.

“Well, if I win, I’m going to be a Democrat,” Crist said. “I think that Jeb would make a good president. I think Hillary would make a great president."

“You would support Hillary?” King asked.

“Yes, correct,” Crist replied.

“As a Democrat?” King asked.

“I like great better than good, as a Democrat, as an American, as a Floridian,” Crist said.

Trailing Crist in the polls, Rich ramped up her attacks on the former Republican this week as she tries to appeal to the party base by insisting she is the true Democrat in the race. Reviewing all of Crist’s praise of Bush, on Sunday, Rich asked, “Did Charlie forget that he is now a Democrat?” She followed that up on Friday with an attack on Bush, Crist and Scott on education. “So-called education reforms by Florida's last three Republican governors have failed to deliver a fair accountability system,” she insisted.

Rich called on an old Crist foe to go after the newly minted Democrat -- former Gov. Buddy MacKay, who lost out to Bush in the 1998 gubernatorial election. MacKay, the last Democrat to serve as governor, endorsed Rich earlier this month.

“Did you hear or read what Charlie Crist recently said about Jeb Bush?” MacKay asked Rich supporters in an email sent out this week. “ It’s hard to believe – but, sadly, it’s true. When a radio host asked Charlie Crist if Jeb Bush would be a good president Crist said ‘Yeah, I think he probably would. He made a great governor …’

“I can’t understand how Crist, or any real Democrat, could think that Bush’s policies -- policies that hurt our public schools, the environment, and especially the middle class – made him a ‘great’ governor,” MacKay added. “Frankly, it was frustrating for me to watch Jeb Bush undo so much of the good that Lawton Chiles and I worked to achieve as the last Democratic governors of Florida. I want a real Democrat in Tallahassee because I believe that staying true to Democratic principles is the right path for Florida. That is why I'm standing with Nan Rich.”

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatnews.com. Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at 228-282-2423.

Comments (7)

Sorry Charlie 2014 [dot] com
12:31PM FEB 23RD 2014
Florida Democrats can't believe Charlie said this, but here it is in Charlie's own words: youtube "Sorry, Charlie: FL Democrats & Jeb Bush"
Patti Lynn
11:25PM FEB 16TH 2014
FINALLY!!!!! A political forum which recognizes the great potential of Senator Nan Rich!!! John Ellis Bush's policies, when he was governor of Florida, served to start the ball rolling in the destruction of the middle class. Education was sacrificed, tax breaks were given to multi-national corporations, Big Suigar, and the paper mills continued to pollute FloriDuh's air and water....and Chain Gang Charlie LOVES HIM!!!!
Nan Rich has remained steadfast on her principles...principles designed to: Protect Floridians from environmental destruction; stop the usurption of power from municipalities and local governments and cede it to Tallahassee; accept federal funding to bring JOBS to FloriDuh...mass transit, high speed rail, infra-structure replacement or repair; FUND public education; protect women, children, and other minorities; protect the right to vote; protect neighborhoods from gun violence. I could go on and on. NAN RICH stands with, and for, the people of Florida!!! She is not looking to line her pockets, or step into another, more prestigious position as soon as she achieves the Gubernatorial office. Nan's focus has always been on FLORIDA and its residents....not on using Florida as a stepping stone to federal office, or some corporate chairmanship. NAN RICH would be the best person to occupy the governor's mansion. If you care about the PEOPLE of Florida, and YOUR future in Florida....ELECT NAN RICH as Governor of Florida.
the Awakening
1:01PM FEB 15TH 2014
The all Bush channel Faux had Brit Hume on last night in place of Hannity for one hour of "how great tho Bush Dynasty is." They left out Samuel Bush, Prescott Bush - they did show the Walker Mansion. Barely touched on GHWB's Reagan years. did mention how GHWB's brought brought down the Berlin Wall. (I thought that was Reagan lol) GHWB's was the youngest aviator in WW2 @ age 18 - killed to guys when he dumped the plane he said was on fire - witness told a different story. Prescott Bush lied about his medals during World War I. ... training at Verdun, France, and was briefly assigned to a staff of French officers. GHWB has always lied about his CIA operations including Zapata and the Bay of Pigs form which he and his boys continue to have deep mob and criminal connections to this day.

Maybe just maybe the American people will wake up and see these master criminals for what they are before they can squeeze yet another of their family members in the white house. Accordin to last nights propaganda skitt the family includes Bill Clinton whom the call the black sheep (a Bush by another mother was the exact words) They also had their adopted som Barack Obama on there. Others now claim Obama had help to get his papers forged years ago by the Medellin Cartel and Escobar. If so that fits right in with why they always visit Obama so much. Unannounced white house with GHWB and Jeb - July 2013 Africa with GWB & Obama not to mention the trip on Air Force one to the recent Funeral of Nelson Mandella.
12:36PM FEB 15TH 2014
Jeb Bush said what he said. He beleives it. He is not conservative, he is a progressive. The full evidence for that is his support for the Federal takeover of education all in the guse of "standards". He would be a disaster as President but less of one than Hillary or Christie. Maybe common sense will prevail and we will get a govod conservative candidate like Scott Walker or Mike Pence.
A. Hick
12:33PM FEB 15TH 2014
The article title is a joke perhaps? Jeb Bush would be a dream candidate for Democrats. Hillary consistently thrashes yet another Bush in every national poll, beating him by twenty points in a recent one. Even beats him (by less obviously) in Florida. If Republicans nominate another Bush, the public will assume they are a family rather than a political party, and reject them out of hand. Jeb could cost the GOP the Congress. The Clintons' campaign slogan would be something like, "A second act, or a third Bush. You choose."
11:43AM FEB 17TH 2014
Democrats will desperatley push Jeb for the run against Hillary. He is the only candidate who will lose bigger than Chistie against Hillary.
1:22PM FEB 17TH 2014
Oh that's right . . . your savior for the nation is the likes of Rand Paul or Scott Walker, correct . . . .

Pathetic . . .

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