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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Charlie Crist wantsPresident Obama to campaign for him



With Barack Obama's approval ratings lately barely cracking 40 percent, plenty of Democrats will keep their distance from the president heading into the midterms, just as Alex Sink did she when ran for governor in 2010. Not Charlie Crist, who said today he hopes to be campaigning side by side with the president.

"I hope so," he said when asked about campaigning with Obama. "I hope everybody does."

His comments came as he, Carole Crist, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman left the Supervisor of Elections office in downtown St. Petersburg, after casting their ballots early.

"It's so convenient, it's nice and quiet. You have the opportunity to really think it through," Crist said about voting early. We're not sure how long it took him to think through the Democratic gubernatorial primary choice, but "I voted for Charlie Crist," he said.

The other Democrat running is former state Sen. Nan Rich of Broward County, who has not had any money to air TV ad but has criss-crossed the state visiting Democratic clubs and activists. If Rich receives more than 25  percent of the vote, will that reflect on Crist's strength heading into the general election?

"What matters to me is hopefully being the nominee. That's all I'm focusedc on. I hope to win this primary next Tuesaday,"  responded Crist, saying he "would hope to" campaign with Rich after he primary, but there are no plans for that yet.

A TV reporter asked Crist about his recent campaign bus tour on a yellow school bus:  "Did you know there are rules about using yellow buses for things other than educational purposes?"

"Well,"  Crist said, "it was an educational purpose, no question about that. I think we had an opportunity to educate the public about Rick Scott's cuts to education."

[Last modified: Monday, August 18, 2014 6:55pm]


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