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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Charlie Crist to Rubio: Welcome to the big leagues



Gov. Charlie Crist said his rival for the U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio, has no one to blame but himself for double-billing the state and Republican Party of Florida for eight plane tickets when he was House Speaker. Rubio has accused Crist of leaking his party credit card records to The Miami Herald and St. Petersburg Times.

"He is the one who made these charges, not me, not any of my friends,'' Crist said at a road construction event in Broward County. "I mean, you know, when you do something like that you ought to just take personal responsibility...If he wants to find out who to blame for this, he ought to look in the mirror."

Rubio today said it was a "mistake'' to bill the party for the trips and that he would personally repay the GOP about $3,000.

"The people will decide this issue,'' Crist said. "I think it’s pretty clear that they don’t like that kind of double dipping. It’s just like taxpayers money. You ought to treat those funds in a vey sacred way...Like I said yesterday, welcome to the NFL. If you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen."

Asked about the blogosphere chatter that he is considering leaving the Republican party and running as an independent, Crist said, "It’s not going to happen.''

Beth Reinhard

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:23pm]


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