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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rep. David Rivera likens Gov. Charlie Crist to Benedict Arnold



Rep. David Rivera, R- Miami, during recent budget negotiations in Tallahassee.  [Scott Keeler, Times]

Rep. David Rivera of Miami is a candidate for Congress, an ally of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio and the House's chief budget-writer.

Is he actually trying to goad Gov. Charlie Crist into vetoing the state budget? It's an obvious question after what Rivera said on Thursday about Crist's decision to seek Florida's open U.S. Senate seat as an independent candidate.

"This is one of the biggest betrayals in American history since Benedict Arnold," Rivera told reporters Thursday, before gleefully repeating the sound bite for a TV cameraman: "the biggest betrayal since Benedict Arnold."

Rivera also said he won't appear in public with Crist at a traditional celebratory post-Sine Die event Friday in the fourth-floor Rotunda of the state Capitol. The event is traditionally for the Legislature's presiding officers to take a bow before TV cameras and a large crowd of lobbyists and staffers. In recent years, Crist showed up to share the limelight with lawmakers.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 11:32am]


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