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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Over the hump (barely) but just starting



Gov. Charlie Crist says an internal poll on the property tax amendment shows it reaching the 60 percent approval bar. By .3 percent.

But he says that's better than media polls which had it just under 60.

Crist, en route to Tampa from Orlando, said the poll was taken about 10 days ago, "before we started campaigning." He said he is cautiously optimistic the proposal will pass. "You can never taken anything for granted in life, and obviously we're not."

Click on jump for Crist's views on the gay marriage ban, the presidential race (will he endorse?) and the slots vote in Miami-Dade.

Crist answers reporters' questions on his tour bus. Pictured is the Palm Beach Post's Michael C. Bender.

(1) On the last-minute scramble to get signatures to put the gay marriage ban on the ballot. What do you think of that? "Fine. ... Sounds like they have a challenge on their hands."

"I think more pressing issues in Florida, frankly, are pocketbook issues. I think it was in 1992 that a campaign slogan developed, 'It's the economy stupid.' I think it's the economy right now.' " So you won't lose any sleep if they don't get the signatures? "Probably not. I don't lose much sleep usually anyway. I'm pretty worn out by the end of the day."

(2) On the decision to suspend Allstate. "They’ve been, I think, horrific in their corporate ethic in terms of not responding to the great reform the Legislature passed last year. I’m of the belief that they are probably violating the law. ... I think they’ve completely lost any trust or confidence."

(3) On the race for the GOP presidential nomination: "This thing is fluid. It's exciting to watch. ... This is like watching last fall's college football season. Whoever was up one week seems to be someone else pops up next week." He said John McCain and Rudy Giuliani have called him in recent days seeking his support. He got another call Wednesday while on the bus but missed the ringer. It was Mitt Romney. Crist hasn't decided whether he'll endorse before the primary. "As I said yesterday, I'm running out of time."

(4) On not getting involved in the Miami-Dade slots ballot issue: "I'm focused on this. I've got a lot of energy, thank god. But it is not limitless. I'm trying to keep focused on what is most important for the people."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 2:15pm]


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