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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

DGA chair: 'Charlie is a very strong candidate'



UPDATE: RGA weighs in. See jump.

The chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont, is pretty receptive to Democrat Charlie Crist running for governor.

"He was hugely helpful in electing president Obama," Shumlin said Sunday on C-SPAN. "He's an incredibly capable leader. Now, I want to be clear, as DGA chair, we don't take sides before we know that we have one single candidate as opposed to a primary. But having said that, everybody knows he was a great governor, led Florida with tremendous vision and is focused on jobs and job creation. So if he's a candidate, we would welcome him to the club."

Asked if he would recruit Crist to run, Shumlin said, "We will be having conversations with him, certainly. Now I want to say that we're not eliminating other candidates, I want to be clear about that. But Charlie is a very strong candidate."

Shumlin called Rick Scott a "tea party governor" and suggested he hadn't helped with job creation -- a claim Scott and the Florida GOP would take exception with. Video below.

The Republican Governors Association responded in an email to reporters:

Democratic Governors Association Chairman Peter Shumlin began his courtship with “true conservative” Charlie Crist on Sunday, lavishly praising him as a “capable leader” with “tremendous vision.”

While Charlie Crist’s “tremendous vision” always becomes hazier as the political landscape becomes less certain, his record on critical pocketbook issues is clear and cannot be changed:


Charlie Crist

Rick Scott

Unemployment Rate Change



Employment Gains/Losses



Median Home Value Gained/Lost



Sources: BLS, Florida Association of Realtors

Given the way Florida has rebounded under the results-oriented conservative leadership of Governor Scott, perhaps we can expect the Florida Democratic Party to again sponsor ads like the ones they ran in 2010 labeling Charlie Crist “as conservative as you can get” if Crist decides to run for governor?

While the Democrats consider how to reinvent Charlie Crist and their relationship with him, we look forward to being able to support Governor Scott’s reelection on the merits of his record.



[Last modified: Monday, December 10, 2012 1:42pm]


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