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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

In Jeb's Spin Zone



Gov. Jeb Bush gave a detailed analysis Thursday morning of the Democrats' debate of the night before, and he wasn't very impressed with Jim Davis or Rod Smith.

"I don't think they're showing that they have a compelling agenda or a vision for the state," Bush said. "Being the anti-Jeb isn't going to cut it ... I think I know the people of this state pretty well. They want to know what's in these candidates' hearts and they want to know what's on their minds."

Bush said Davis was "wrong" and "short-sighted" in his criticism of Bush's education and economic policies, and he mocked Smith for giving viewers a sense that he had no real idea about a 527 committee that is bashing Davis on TV with $1-million of sugar industry money.   

Bush wouldn't say much about the Republican debate of the previous night, when Tom Gallagher labeled Charlie Crist a "liberal" in the mold of Howard Dean or John Kerry, who's for higher taxes, gay civil unions and amnesty for illegal immigrants.

"He's not a liberal," Bush said of Crist. "But it's good to have a hearty debate about issues and ideas."

It was a rarity for Bush, and possibly a sign of the GOP's level of concern, that he would talk partisan politics in the reception room of the governor's office. He left afterward to attend a GOP fund-raising luncheon at the Four Seasons in Miami, sponsored by former party chairman Al Cardenas.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 3:14pm]


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