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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Protesters disrupt Charlie Crist's field office opening: 'Shame on you!'

Charlie Crist's Plantation field office opening was a smashing success, with amped up crowds of supporters and controlled conditions.

The Little Havana field office opening on Saturday? Not so much.

Any outside event in Miami is prone to be disrupted by protesters. That's the reason Gov. Rick Scott last week campaigned inside a car dealership. The Democrats outside couldn't be heard.

But Crist's staff decided to hold a media event outside. Republican protestors, many fired up over Crist's anti-embargo stance, made him pay for it, as a video from the conservative Shark Tank Blog shows.

"Shame on you! Shame on you!" they chanted, drowning out one speaker.

Crist had to take the mic and lead his supporters to chant back: "We love you! We love you!"

It's a nice message. But that's not Crist's campaign message.

Later, Crist campaign manager Omar Khan, addressed the crowd.

"We're not really going to be distracted by them," Khan said. "They can keep on screaming."

Well, they did. And when you and your candidate stop your speech, that's the definition of getting distracted.

"There's going to be a lot of noise," Khan said. "And the biggest amount of noise -- I wish this was going to be our biggest problem. It's not. It's going to be $100 million they spend on us."

On hand for the Republicans: former Congressman and Cuban exile leader Lincoln Diaz-Balart.

“Charlie Crist should realize that some things need to be above politics,” Diaz-Balart said in a statement. “There is too much human suffering involved for Crist to use Cuba in his search for attention.  His most recent comments about Cuba reveal a shallowness which is truly shocking. His nonchalant attitude on Cuba is callous and embarrassing.” 

 

[Last modified: Saturday, May 17, 2014 5:16pm]

    

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