Post-debate spin from Rubio and Crist
“This morning’s debate was a clear victory for Marco Rubio as he showed why he is the only candidate in this Senate race that can be trusted to go to Washington, stand up to the Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Meek agenda and offer a clear alternative,” said Rubio for Senate communications director Alex Burgos.
“Marco won because he talked about big issues and conservative alternatives. On the other hand, Charlie Crist was given numerous opportunities to talk about why he’s running for Senate but instead chose to falsely attack Marco Rubio. Charlie Crist needed a knockout blow, but instead he was blown away by his own record and persistent focus on petty attacks.“In today’s debate, Floridians were able to see the clear policy differences that exist between Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist. Marco is a limited government conservative, while Charlie Crist reaffirmed he would have joined Democrats in voting for the stimulus.
“The record is clear. Whether it’s the stimulus, cap-and-trade, ObamaCare or taxes, Charlie Crist’s unhealthy appetite for bigger government is out of step with mainstream Floridians. And his insistence on distorting Marco Rubio’s record is a disservice to millions of Floridians who are tired of the politics as usual that Charlie Crist insists on peddling.
“On the other hand, Marco Rubio looks forward to continuing his conversation with Floridians about the issues and ideas that will help jumpstart our economy, create jobs and put America back on a limited government track.”
“Speaker Rubio’s shocking admissions that he supports raising the social security retirement age and supported the largest tax increase in Florida history surprised even me,” said Communications Director Andrea Saul. “With each passing day, voters are beginning to see the real Speaker Rubio, a tax raising Miami lobbyist-politician who has used public office for personal gain and political donations as a personal slush fund.
“Instead of answering all of the many questions surrounding his questionable spending habits, Speaker Rubio instead continues to do the Rubio hustle and refuses to release his tax returns in a timely manner. Voters in this primary deserve to know the truth, and they deserve to hear it straight from Speaker Rubio.
“Character and ethics have become a main issue in this campaign, and Charlie Crist demonstrated, yet again, in today’s debate that he is the candidate voters can trust. The Governor was extremely effective this morning, proving he is the clear choice for Republican primary voters this August.”
State Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, said Rubio was not honest about his role in holding up immigration legislation while he was House speaker.
"You know when it comes to ideology the candidates are not that far apart in my opinion but when it comes to trust and character they're miles apart," he told the St. Petersburg Times. "You may not agree with Charlie Crist on every issue but like Reagan he is upfront with the voter and honest with all Florida Citizens'. Marco was not, he truly disappointed me this morning when it dealt with illegal immigration- undocumented workers when he was Speaker - his political committee expenditures and his tax returns. There's a great book by Peggy Noonan, "When Character Was King". It's about Ronald Reagan. Speaker Rubio should get it and read it. I'll be more than willing to loan it to him.
RPOF Chairman John Thrasher:
“I commend Governor Crist and Speaker Rubio for agreeing to participate in today’s debate, and for addressing some of the important issues facing the State of Florida and our nation. Florida Republicans have an important choice to make, and it is critical that we have the information needed to make an informed decision.”
“While I appreciate our candidates’ passion for this race and strong desire to serve, I was disappointed in some instances when they appeared to be moving away from the issues and utilizing personal attacks, which I don’t believe benefit the people of Florida, or our Party. I am looking forward to the next opportunity to hear more about the records and vision of Governor Crist and Speaker Rubio, and hope that moving forward our candidates concentrate solely on discussing the issues that are important to the voters of our state.”
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kendrick Meek:
"This was a debate between two feuding rivals who put their personal, petty disputes ahead of the needs of hardworking Floridians. We didn't hear solutions to Florida's problems today, just more ideological rhetoric that does nothing to reverse the greatest economic meltown to affect Florida families in generations. Our unemployment rate is climbing, while other states are on the road to recovery, and Governor Crist and Speaker Rubio are talking about non-issues of no concern to everyday people. Floridians want leaders to guide our economy from recession to recovery, not status quo politicians who fight with each other instead of fighting to make our state prosper again. In this debate, we witnessed why voters can be turned off by politics, but this campaign will focus on the needs of hardworking people who deserve a serious debate about issues affecting their lives, not more of the same old responses we saw today."
Photos: FOX NEWS SUNDAY/ FREDDIE LEE