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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Waiting on a McCain-Crist alliance?



Now that John McCain has won in South Carolina, the question is how soon Gov. Charlie Crist will end his neutrality and support the Arizona senator's presidential bid. The St. Pete Times' Janet Zink, who was with McCain's Florida campaign, noticed his schedule for Monday lists a stop at the Governor's Mansion, where Crist will hold a 6 p.m. reception for African-American leaders on the Martin Luther King holiday.

UPDATE: A McCain campaign spokeswoman said the schedule showing the MLK visit wasn't official, and McCain has no plans to attend. Nor is any endorsement by Crist imminent, the campaign said Sunday.

Mccaincrist Crist is preoccupied with getting the Amendment 1 property tax plan passed on Jan. 29, but he owes a debt to McCain, who endorsed Crist and traveled with him in the summer of 2006, before the primary in which Crist won the GOP nomination for governor. Back then, McCain said Florida needed Crist "to follow in the footsteps of another great governor, Jeb Bush." McCain also is in dire need of money, which a Crist endorsement could provide.

McCain's rival Rudy Guiliani, asked the value of a Crist endorsement, said:  "Charlie is a very popular governor -- you see his numbers. Charlie's a good man. Charlie's on these lists of vice presidents ... I'm sure everyone would like to have his endorsement."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 2:16pm]


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