Rick Scott: How Did Charlie Crist Do On Jobs?

By: Jim Turner | Posted: December 12, 2012 3:55 AM

Charlie Crist

Charlie Crist

Charlie Crist has been making the rounds nationally the past few days about his newfound Democratic Party beliefs, fist-bumping President Obama at the White House and verbally slamming the GOP on CNN.

In Florida, where the reception hasn’t been as enthusiastic, Gov. Rick Scott brushed aside prospects about a 2014 match-up with the prior occupant of the governor’s mansion.

But before reciting to reporters his mantra of being focused on education, jobs and the cost of living, Scott first got in an offhand swipe at the former governor when asked about Crist at long last completing his conversion from Republican to Democrat.

“We’ve had great progress on getting our state back to work,” Scott said while in his Capitol office following the state Cabinet meeting.

“The four years before I became governor the state lost 825,000 jobs, unemployment had gone from 3.5 percent to 11.1 percent. We incurred another $5.2 billion in debt.”

Unemployment in Florida was 8.5 percent when the most recent numbers were released in November.

Crist, for his part, was on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” on Monday night repeating his line that "I didn't leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me."

Twitter pic from Crist

A photo included with Charlie Crist's Twitter statement that he's now a proud Democrat.

Last Friday, Crist -- who left the GOP when U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Miami, overtook him in the 2010 Senate contest -- tweeted that he was now registered as a Democrat.

Crist, who wasn’t asked about running for governor, claimed the GOP has become less tolerant and welcoming. He noted that former Gov. Jeb Bush argued in June that President Ronald Reagan may have had a difficult time succeeding in the party today.

Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, who was Senate president for two years while Crist was governor, laughed when asked about Crist’s change in registration.

"I'm not surprised by it," Atwater said following the state Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Still, Atwater wouldn’t make a prediction on Crist running for governor.

"If you were around my last year as president, he vetoed about everything we sent him that he was for when the session started; in fact, he attended the press conferences that were for them,” Atwater said.

“I was with him when he announced himself as a Reagan Republican, as a Connie Mack Republican, as a Jeb Bush Republican, so I'll let him make his call.

"We always had a fine working relationship; it was always very cordial and I always respected that. We may have had differences of opinion on trying to balance the budget during very difficult fiscal times, and I would have liked to see him make some more difficult decisions that the rest of us had to make."

Meanwhile, Rubio told the Tampa Bay Times on Tuesday that even if Crist’s next step is to run for office, Scott will win.

"Why did (Crist) change parties when he ran against me to run as an independent? Because he couldn't get elected as a Republican, not because his principles changed," Rubio told the Times.

"I'll let him speak to his motives and what he believes in. Voters are going to examine all that and make a decision based on what they think is right for their future. I think Rick Scott's going to have a great story to tell two years from now and I expect he'll be re-elected. I think he'll win convincingly if his general election opponent is Charlie Crist. We'll find out."

Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.

Comments (16)

9:04PM DEC 13TH 2012

"Carpetbagger Scott is the WORST thing to happen to this state"!

He stole the election by assuring the gullible he will create 700.000 NEW jobs...where the jobs?????
7:18PM DEC 12TH 2012
I'm no fan of Crist, but Scott is even worse.
8:56PM DEC 12TH 2012
I'm no fan of Scott, but Crist is even worse.
1:32PM DEC 12TH 2012
The Bushleaguer administration spent its eight years putting us into The Great Bush Recession ... LOSING 10,000,000 JOBS NATIONWIDE in the process ... and it was Crist's misfortune to be govening this state when that horrendous GOP-caused event was occurring. And ... as any fool should be able to see ... the rightwing GOP nutcases ... including Shouldabeenafelon Scott, have been anti-working class since! (The fool cost this state some 25,000, four-years-long construction jobs and 15,000 permanent jobs by NOT taking the $2.8 billion from the federal government to build the high-speed rail system from Tampa to Miami!)

Carpetbagger Scott is the WORST thing to happen to this state since it seceded from the Union some 150 years ago!
11:09AM DEC 12TH 2012
Hey, Rubio . . . remember these other predictions and statements:

ON THE ELECTION - "You look at — you compare what is going on on the ground today to 2008 — it’s not even comparable in terms of the work that we’re doing on the ground here in Florida,” said Rubio, venturing back to the press cabin on Romney’s campaign plane flying from the Pensacola to Orlando for the last three stops on Romney’s Florida campaign swing. “And of course, you’ve seen the public polling — and everything I’ve seen confirms — I think we have enthusiasm on our side, and the best way to put it is, in Florida, I’d rather be us than them.” OCT. 27, 2012

ON CRIST & OBAMA - ""The path to ObamaCare becoming law all started with Charlie Crist supporting President Obama's $787 billion stimulus." POLITIFACT rated "Pants on Fire False" Statement 3/22/2010

ON CRIST - "Gov. Crist's veto also clears the way for taxpayer funding of abortion in Florida." POLITIFACT rated "False" Statement 6/11/2010

ON CRIST - "In addition to that, you worked with ACORN and groups like that to give felons voting rights in Florida." POLITIFACT rated "False" Statement 3/28/2010

Why should ANYONE believe your words, much less your predictions, now?

Someone must be REALLY scared of someone who hasn't even announced they're running two years out . . . . . .

Pathetic . . . . . . just like the previous lies . . . . when do you begin those again?
The UnFrank
5:42PM DEC 12TH 2012
PolitiFact isn't some independent, sit-on-the-fence factory of fair-minded eggheads. It's the good old St. Petersburg ... uh ... Tampa Bay Times. Liberal as the day is long. This is the newspaper that crawled into bed with Alex Sink in 2010, so deep under the covers they need to help Alex pretend to discover the "outrageous" Taj Mahal. Quoting PolitiFact just isn't impressive, Frank.

Love to have seen what you had to say about Crist when he was a Republican. I bet is was pretty "pathetic". Maybe even part of "The Big Lie."
12:30PM DEC 13TH 2012
Another member of my fan club is back . . . . of course, you must be right . . . .but then it seems Republicans don't want to be fact-checked by anyone, now do they . . . . . . . . seems that strategy backfired a little this last election . . . . . how did that work out for you . . . . .

Oh, and as to that Crist thing . . . . I voted for him . . . and many of my friends worked for him in the Governor's Office. . . . back when moderates were allowed in the Republican Party . . . . Jeb was correct . . . neither his dad nor Ronald Reagan would be allowed today . . . . . and based on Rubio's and other Tea Partyiers' attitude about science, evolution and the like, neither may be Jeb Bush if the Party continues to move further to the right . . . .

Pathetic . . . . . . . .
Joanne Walczak
10:31AM DEC 12TH 2012
My only regret is voting for Christ in the first place.I put him in the same
category as Joe Scarbrough. Both of these people care only for themselves,certainly not the citizens who put them into office.Slimey,
slithering repitles,just like their buddy"obamadon"
1:36PM DEC 12TH 2012
I'm not clear on your comment: Did you vote for Jesus back then ... or did you vote for Charlie?
10:46AM DEC 12TH 2012
Maybe your momma should have learned to wash your mouth out with soap a little earlier . . . are "snakes", "Slimey" and now "slithering repitles" (sic) the only words you know to say about those who aren't crazed like yourself?

And now you even attack "Joe Scarbrough", whoever he may be . . . .

Pathetic. . . .
Just wondering
11:26AM DEC 12TH 2012
It is Pathetic. . . ., that Pathetic. . . . is the only word in your vocabulary. Very deep thinker I see! Typical lib....
3:58PM DEC 12TH 2012
There you go again . . . . another first time fan club commentor . . . I must have the record on SSN . . . . . . .come back when you're grown up and have a little more experience commenting . . . .and are over your amateur moment . . . .

Pathetic . . . . .sad and pitiful as always . . . . learn to be otherwise and perhaps I can actually transition to a different descriptive term . . . . if not, then just learn to live with having earned the right through your words and actions to be considered as. . . . . .

Pathetic . . . . .
Don Fanucci
8:35PM DEC 12TH 2012
I just love calling Frank a "stupid leftist" and "Exhibit A on Why Euthanasia Should Be Legal".

Frank's obviously a paid operative trying to intimidate readers from the only news source that breaks the ideological monopoly. Stupid leftist. Keep up the comments, and earning the site its Google hits!
2:23PM DEC 13TH 2012
You know, Fanny, the lowest ... that's LOWEST ... achieving states in this union in terms of the success and efficacy of their public educational systems are Red States ... that's RED STATES ... so ... it would seem to be demonstablely true ... that your use of the phrase "stupid leftist" is entirely wrong ... and that "stupid rightist" would be the factually correct version.

Note that those same Red States also have the highlest levels of unemployment, poverty and receipt of federal aid dollars ... combined with their lowest levels of education ... and they lowest average wages and salaries for working Americans.

What's REALLY "stupid" is that citiznes in those states actually vote for Republicans! The "stupid rightists" acttually VOTE AGAINST THEIR OWN BEST INTERESTS! That's pretty stupid, Fanny, don't you agree?
12:44PM DEC 13TH 2012
Fictional characters can't vote . . . . .nor do their opinions matter . . .

Perhaps readers should just determine for themselves where all these fictional commentors are coming from . . . . .

Oh, and these days, it ain't hard to be "left" of a Party that believes it's God's will to be raped and made pregnant; that the UN is taking over the sovereignty of the U.S. through zoning and comprehensive planning; that 47% of its citizens are to be demonized; that the President is an alien; that the earth is 6,000 years old; and that Congress has more than 80 members of the Communist Party . . . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
1:42PM DEC 12TH 2012
Like all Republicants ... wandering and "wondering"!

(have you ever noticed that all the Red States are those states which rank lowest among the states in all the best things ... like education, jobs, average annual wages and salaries, etc. ... and are you aware that your precious Red States RECIEVE FAR MORE IN GOVERNMENT AID that do the Blue States, e.g., for every $1 the REd States pay in federal taxes ... they receive $2 or $3 back!

If there's anything "pathetic", it's that too many residents in the Red States are sufficiently bamboozle-able to be conned into voting for rightwing Regressives!

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