U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio ripped into former Gov. Charlie Crist after he faced off against Gov. Rick Scott in a debate on Wednesday, calling Crist a different person than he was four years ago, saying the former governor has changed his mind on virtually every issue Florida confronts.
Charlie Crist is not a theory, Rubio said in the video posted to the Shark Tank's blog Thursday. He was the governor of the state of Florida. He was a reality.
That reality, said Rubio, had terrible consequences for the state.
It was an unmitigated disaster for the state of Florida, said Rubio.
Time and again, in the four years that he was the governor of the state of Florida, he was a disaster because hes all talk, hes all show and no work, said Rubio. Maybe you can afford that in some legislative race somewhere. You cant afford that for governor of the third-largest state in the country.
Rubio is familiar with Crists former policies since the two duked it out for a seat in the U.S. Senate in 2010. Rubio walked away with the win -- and Crist faded into the background of Florida politics until he declared he wanted to make another run for governor in 2013.
Crists claim that the difficulties Floridians faced while he was governor were a result of a global economic downturn garnered a harsh reaction from Rubio, who called the claim the most startling part of the debate.
If youre in the middle of a global economic downturn, why would you abandon your state? he asked.
For Florida, Rubio had a warning:
The state of Florida cannot afford to elect to its highest office someone who is unreliable, whose only interest is in being in office and winning elections.
See the full video of Rubio's comments here.
Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen via email at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen