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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Words of praise for Charlie Crist -- from Bill McCollum



Republicans have made Charlie Crist-bashing a cottage industry since the one-term governor bolted from the GOP three months ago. But apparently Attorney General Bill McCollum didn't get that memo. In an interview over a soft drink at Jacob's in the Doubletree Hotel in Tallahassee, McCollum was asked to identify something he likes about Crist, after sitting next to him at Cabinet meetings for 3 1/2 years.

"Charlie's very sharp at asking questions in Cabinet meetings," McCollum said. "Now this is not in agreement with him, I want to make this very clear, I do not believe in the automatic restoration of civil rights. But I think his decisionmaking, when he's listening to people, and judging who should be granted ... clemency, his judgment's very good. His judgment process is very good."

Okay, McCollum's not out there stumping for a governor who quit the Republican Party. But he did say nice things about the guy. McCollum said Crist was right to veto the 2010 bill overhauling the Department of Management Services. He praised Crist's selections of former attorneys general Jim Smith and Bob Butterworth to advise him on oil spill-related issues. He faulted Crist for not proposing enough substantive legislation to the House and the Senate and instead too often reacting to what lawmakers propose.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:15am]


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