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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Charlie Crist: 'Hard right' Marco Rubio out of step with Florida, America



Charlie Crist, the Republican-turned-independent candidate for U.S. Senate, picked up an endorsement from another Democratic officeholder today -- state Rep. Luis Garcia of Miami Beach, the former vice chairman of the Florida Democratic Party. Yesterday, the governor was backed by Democratic state Rep. Yolly Roberson of Miami, who recently lost a primary bid for the congressional seat held by Crist's Democratic rival, Kendrick Meek.

Asked whether the Republican Senate nominee, Marco Rubio, is too conservative for Florida, Crist said, "I think so. We've seen some elections across the country -- another one yesterday -- where you have a certain element of the Republican party that's been hijacked. It happened here in Florida. It happened in Delaware, apparently, yesterday and some other states. I think the reality is you've got the hard-right candidate. You've got the hard-left candidate. Where's the common sense candidate? Well that's what our candidacy represents. I'm trying to give the people a choice to have that on the ballot so they can make that decision for themselves instead of the party bosses giving us two choices that we're stuck with."

Asked whether he was moving to the left to siphon Democratic votes from Meek, Crist gave a classic answer: "I'm leaning more Florida. I'm a fiscal conservative, and I'm socially moderate. That's exactly where Florida is, I know it, and that's where our country is."

Beth Reinhard


[Last modified: Thursday, October 7, 2010 5:29pm]


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