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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Jack Latvala, longtime Charlie Crist friend and successor to his Fla senate seat rips Charlie Crist



State Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater responds to Charlie Crist's endorsement of Barck Obama:

As someone who has known Charlie Crist for about 25 years and served with him in the
Florida Senate from 1994-98, I believe his endorsement of President Obama today is
vintage Charlie Crist: “think of yourself first.”

There is no other explanation for the fact that the Charlie Crist who I served with, who
used to routinely stand on the floor of the Senate and ask if there was a new tax or fee
increase hidden in a bill would now endorse the President responsible for the single
largest tax increase in our nation’s history. I believe that philosophies can change over a
lifetime but someone who has any kind of core philosophy to start with doesn’t change
180 degrees. Today’s statement by Charlie Crist was nothing but the first step on his next
campaign. The stage was set and he is trying to walk onto it like the opportunist that he

Today I am proud to represent the Senate District that Charlie Crist used to represent. It
is because of my high regard for the people I represent that I am wading into this issue. I
believe the timing of Charlie Crist’s statement today is particularly insulting to the men
and women in the Tampa Bay area that Charlie Crist used to represent, who gave him
their time and money in his multiple campaigns.

Once again, in keeping with his motto “think of yourself first,” Charlie has chosen to
make this statement today when the eyes of the world are on our area, specifically the
old Senate District he used to represent. In that district are thousands of Republicans who
are very proud the day has finally come that our area can host the Republican National
Convention. One of those people is Al Austin, the Chair of the Host Committee, whose
dream and perseverance led to the opportunity that our region has this week.

He is the same Al Austin who steadfastly supported Charlie Crist in each of his
campaigns, didn’t turn his back on him when he became an independent, and has in many
ways treated Charlie Crist like a son. What Charlie Crist has done today is an affront to
Al, Governor Bob Martinez, and others like him who have been friends and supporters
of Charlie’s through the years but who worked their hearts out to get this convention to

Once again Charlie Crist has proven that, to him, no friend or philosophy is as important
as the next political office. On behalf of my constituents in Tampa Bay, I resent his
attempt to steal the spotlight from our convention and the many men and women who
made this day possible.

[Last modified: Sunday, August 26, 2012 12:04pm]


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