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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Marco Rubio blames Crist and Republican senators for job losses



Marco Rubio brought his bus tour and family through Tampa Bay today, including a stop at Ferg's in St. Pete. Turns out he remains unwavering in his belief that America is an exceptional nation. But he added to the standard stump speech some sharp digs at Gov. Charlie Crist's record presiding over the worst economy Florida and the country have experienced since the Great Depression.

"One of my opponent's voting record is identical to nancy Pelosi's. And if I know one thing I know that tthe people of Florida do not want nancy Pelosi as their next senator,'' Rubio said, referring to Democrat Kendrick Meek. "My other opponent can't campaign on his record because the last four years in Florida have been abysmal. When he took over as governor Florida was one of the top two or three economies in the country. Today only California and Nevada are worse off. Eight hundred thousand jobs have been destroyed since he took over as governor since 2006 - a quarter of them since the stimulus plan passed."

Marco Rubio was speaker of the Florida House for two of those years, so we asked if he also bears responsibility for economic collapse: "We tried to change that. If you recall, we led an effort to reform the property tax system in Florida. We warned that the economy would collapse if we didn't do something meaningful. I had to fight the senate and the governor on that. Had they done any of the ideas we tried to do things would be better,'' Rubio said, referring to his proposal to end the tax on homesteads and raise sales taxes. "We could never get the governor and the senate to have leadership on that issue."

Danny Kanner, Crist's campaign spokesman, scoffed at Rubio. "The speaker voted for a property tax increase (as a city commissioner), and he said publicly he would have accepted stimulus money. We understand that he has to appeal to the far right fringe, but common sense Democrats, Republicans and independents know that Charlie Crist has led this state through extraordinarily difficult times and done it well."

[Last modified: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 5:45am]


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