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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Mel Martinez: Crist still has 'resonance'



Ex-U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez did an interview with WMFE 90.7 FM’s Mark Simpson and touched on numerous subjects including the intense primary between Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist.

"Governor Crist, I think, it was anticipated would cruise to victory in this primary. It's become rather tough. I still wouldn't write Governor Crist out, I think he's a resourceful political figure. I think he still has a lot of resonance around this state. It's just a surprisingly close race."  More excerpts below:

On his reasons for resigning from the U.S. Senate: "My decision to leave had nothing to do with the prospects for re-election.  I really believe that if had been bent on re-election, that I would have ultimately been re-elected."  "I really wasn't cut out to be a legislator.  I always thought of myself more as the executive.  I enjoyed my mayor stint in Orange County and then of course being the chief executive at the Department of HUD, but the legislative career really was not more to my liking."

On his misgivings as Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman and reasons for resigning from that position: "My views within the party were not mainstream at the moment that I was there and so I felt like that was not really a comfortable moment.  But obviously the biggest reason of all was that I found that being a Senator from a large state like Florida was not really compatible with chairing the RNC."

On being pushed into positions Martinez hadn't considered for himself in his political career: "Sure, I think there's an element of that.  I think others had more political ambition for me than I had for myself.  In that respect I think I'm an unusual politician."

To listen to Martinez’s entire interview, click here.

Part two of Martinez’s interview will air Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 9:30 a.m.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:15pm]


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