RPOF Bashes Charlie Crist for Minimum Wage Flip-Flop
Around the State
As they ready for the gubernatorial race in November, former Gov. Charlie Crist is attacking Gov. Rick Scott on the minimum wage and Republicans are wasting no time hitting back.
Despite spending most of his political career as a Republican, including time spent as governor and holding two other state Cabinet offices, Crist is the favorite for the Democratic nomination to challenge Scott in November. Crist has grown increasingly critical of Scott in recent days on a number of issues, not the least of which is the minimum wage.
“The minimum wage is increasing to $7.93 an hour tomorrow,” Crist posted on Facebook at the end of last month. “This is good news. Higher salaries mean more Floridians can provide for their families, buy more essentials, and also try to get ahead. And we should do more ... Rick Scott is wrong to oppose raising the minimum wage.”
Republicans fired back Thursday. The Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) pointed out that Crist opposed raising the minimum wage in 2004, and used the chance to contrast the former governor's record on the economy to Scott’s.
“Isn’t this ironic?" asked Susan Hepworth, a spokeswoman for the RPOF. “Under Charlie Crist the minimum wage fell to $0.00 for 832,000 Floridians who lost their jobs.”
Hepworth also looked to take a poke at Crist -- who left the GOP to run for the U.S. Senate with no party affiliation before joining the Democrats in 2012 -- on his consistency, or lack of it.
“Unlike Charlie, Governor Scott doesn’t tell people what they want to hear,” Hepworth said. “The truth is, raising the minimum wage kills jobs and is bad for the economy. The goal should not be to simply raise the wage, but should be about making sure Floridians have the skills and education to get high-paying jobs and have long-lasting careers.”
Hepworth’s jab wasn’t the only attack on Crist from the RPOF on Thursday. Lenny Curry, chairman of the state party, launched the latest in a series of attacks linking Crist to the federal health-care law backed by President Barack Obama.
"Democrats in Florida and Washington can talk all they want this week about helping the middle class and getting people into the middle class,” Curry said on Thursday. “But as Charlie Crist continues to stand by his buddies in the White House, middle-class families and job creators across Florida and America will suffer from Obamacare's higher taxes. Obamacare isn't working and Florida can't afford a leader like Charlie Crist who doesn't see the harm in this terrible policy."
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.