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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Crist: Thrasher hearing things on tenure bill



Sen. John Thrasher, sponsor of the so-called teacher-tenure bill, was clear last week about where Gov. Charlie Crist stood on SB6: “He told me he’s going to sign it. I take him at his word.”

There’s one thing odd about Thrasher’s statement: Crist seldom says anything so clearly. One notable exception was this morning, when we asked if Crist promised Thrasher he’d sign the bill.

“No,” Crist said.

Q: Thrasher said you promised him.

Crist: “I just said no.”

Q: Is Thrasher lying?

Crist: “I said no. Sometimes people hear what they want to hear.”

UPDATE: "I have no response," Thrasher said when asked to respond to Crist's comments. "He said he liked the bill and he couldn't wait to get it."

-- Marc Caputo, Steve Bousquet

Crist also said this morning that he got a voicemail from former Gov. Jeb Bush, asking him to sign the bill. Crist hasn't returned the call to his predecessor, who bashed Crist on Fox a few weeks back by saying that Crist's support of the stimulus was "unforgivable."

It's the same Bush who a few weeks back was saying how he didn't feel the need to opine on the state of affairs in Florida (when we asked about the U.S. Senate race), and the same Jeb Bush who, last year, wouldn't comment about Crist and the stimulus. Apparently, it's an "unforgivable" act to back the stimulus 1) if Neil Cavuto is doing the interview and 2) your protege, Marco Rubio, is leading Crist in the Republican Senate-race polls. By Bush's side at the time he spoke to us last year, John Thrasher.

Thrasher's bill has unleashed a broad-based, teacher-union led lobbying effort that, Crist said, is the most intense he has ever experienced. He said it's more than lobbying, though, because lobbying sounds "pejorative." Wonder what all the lobbyists who helped pony up big cash for his Senate race think about that?

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 11:28am]


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