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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Is Scott Brown win in Mass a big loss for Charlie Crist?



Scottbrown Seems a bit of a stretch to say that the election of a Massachussetts Republican who supports civil unions, Mitt Romney's health care program and Roe v. Wade is giant victory for Marco Rubio. Brown is no pure conservative, and arguably underscores the Charlie Crist view that the GOP needs to expand its big tent and embrace all kinds of Republicans.

Here's a Rubio tweet from Oct. 30: "If you live in NY CD 23 vote 4 Hoffman. Send message to those who want GOP to "moderate" that we do not need 2 Democratic Parties." Rubio backer Jim Demint has said he'd rather have 30 pure conservative senators than a majority of centrists.

NY 23 has a far different political climate than Massachusetts, however, so Brown clearly is the more conservative choice in this case. And it may be even harder to argue with a straight face that a Brown win would be great news for Charlie Crist (who called Brown today). It's encouraging news for any outsider and Rubio, despite being a former House Speaker, certainly fits that bill more than the governor.

Here's the take from the Rubio campaign: He considers Scott Brown’s surge in Massachusetts to be encouraging news for true limited government Republicans everywhere.  After all, he’s an anti-stimulus, anti-ObamaCare, anti-tax Republican who has promised to go to Washington to stand up to the Obama-Reid-Pelosi agenda.  His opponent is a once-heavily-favored, former state attorney general who supported the failed Obama stimulus and would be a solid vote for other Obama agenda items like cap-and-trade.
Sound familiar?

That an anti-stimulus, anti-ObamaCare candidate can even compete for – let alone be within striking distance of winning the seat that Ted Kennedy held for decades – is a testament to the power of issues-based campaigns and candidates. Americans all over this country, even in bluer-than-blue states like Massachusetts, are rejecting the radical big government, tax-borrow-and-spend agenda of Washington Democrats and their allies.  This should be a major cause for concern in Charlie Crist’s world.
Already during this election cycle, we have seen candidates promising true reform and a break from Washington’s politics-as-usual win impressive, odds-defying victories. If voters in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts are repudiating the Obama agenda, imagine what voters in Florida will do when given a choice between Barack Obama’s favorite Republican governor versus a principled, limited government Republican.

Win or lose tonight, it’s clear that one year into his big spending, government expanding administration, President Obama and his allies are being rejected by voters who crave a return to America’s bedrock principles of limited government and individual freedom.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:15pm]


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