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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Is Charlie Crist dissing Jeb Bush's legacy?



Detroit News: Crist said Florida, much like Michigan, was plagued by high unemployment before he took over, cut spending, slashed taxes and focused on job creation. "Less taxing, less spending, less government, more freedom," Crist said. The conference continues through Sunday.

If they didn't know much about Jeb Bush, people listening to Charlie Crist at a GOP conference in Michigan this weekend may have been under the impression the ex-governor was tax and spender ignoring schools:

"We understood we needed to reign in spending. When I got elected governor our state budget was $73 billion. I cut it $8 billion in 2 1/2 years. Now it's down to $66 billion," Crist told the crowd.

"When I got elected governor, out of 50 states, Florida in K-12 education was ranked 31st -- 31st out of 50. Not so good. Last year we went from 31st to 1,4 and this year, top 10. We're very proud of that," Crist said.

Listening to the speech, we didn't hear Crist say Florida was plagued by high unemployment when he entered office, but of course it wasn't. Unemployment, now at 10.7 percent, was 3.3 percent when Crist took office.

Naturally, the Marco Rubio campaign had a reaction: "Unfortunately for Charlie Crist, what happened in Michigan this weekend, didn’t stay in Michigan," said Rubio campaign spokesman Alex Burgos.  "In an effort to hide his own economic record, Charlie Crist even appears to have taken a page out of the Obama playbook by blaming a Bush for what he inherited.  Charlie Crist needs to own up to the fact that he inherited a state with 3.3 percent unemployment that has now soared to 10.7 percent on his watch."


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:19pm]


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