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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Crist, McCain meet at Capitol



Sen. John McCain met an old friend, Gov. Charlie Crist, in the Capitol Tuesday. The Arizona Republican was in Tallahassee for a breakfast fund-raiser before heading back to Washington to help lead the debate in opposition to the Democrats' plan to set a future date for Iraqi troop withdrawals.

McCain was the graceful guest, recalling for the umpteenth time how as a young Navy pilot he spent part of his "misspent youth" in Pensacola.

He said the plans to move up Florida's presidential primary to one week following New Hampshire were of little concern.

"Florida was always very important," McCain said. "I personally think it's too short a period of time, but that isn't Florida's fault. That's every state that's moving up. But we will compete here."

McCain banked a huge IOU last summer when he endorsed Crist in his primary fight with Tom Gallagher. But for Crist, apparently it's not payback time yet.

Did McCain get the Crist endorsement he covets? "Not quite," the senator said. Is he hoping for one? "I keep hope alive," he said with a smile, disappearing back into the governor's office.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:39pm]


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