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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Crist ends RGA session on bipartisan note



The two-day meeting of the Republican Governors Association ended Thursday night with choice cuts of filet mignon and a speech by Gov. Charlie Crist that struck such a bipartisan tone, it could have been delivered to the Democratic Governors Association. The only red meat in the hotel ballroom was on dinner plates.

As Floridians have come to expect, Crist avoided social issues and did not directly criticize Democrats. He focused instead on bread-and-butter topics like health care, the environment, property taxes and property insurance. A few excerpts:

* On Barack Obama: "There is far more that unites us than divides us."

* On the Republican Party's future: "We must work, and I mean work, our way back to gain the confidence of the people. We must be results and idea driven."

* On bipartisanship in Tallahassee: "I have been privileged to work alongside both Republicans and Democrats. Together we have accomplished much for the people of Florida... We ended the tragic cycle of politicizing issues that impact real people." (Was that tragic cycle perpetuated by a former governor by the name of Jeb Bush?)

The only downside for Crist: Much of the national media had cleared out by the time he went on stage at about 8:15 p.m. When Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin left town, they did too.    

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 4:47pm]


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