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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

The Crist-Obama hug worked for Rubio; can it for Rick Scott?



In a sign that Gov. Rick Scott intends campaign against Barack Obama as much as his Democratic challenger, a new fundraising appeal rips the president for "his campaign of destruction in Florida."

"President Obama's reckless agenda is hurting Floridians and I am sick and tired of it," Scott writes.

But as he lashes out at Obama, Scott is trying to create some ill-will toward Charlie Crist as well. The Obama-Crist "hug" is depicted with the words "big deficit spenders."

The hug helped erode then-Republican Gov. Crist's standing with party activists and was used so effectively by Marco Rubio in the 2010 U.S. Senate campaign.

The question now is, will it work for Scott?

The letter barely mentions Crist, blasting the "Obama-Crist" stimulus that "blew a hole in the annual budget." The Republican-led Legislature, despite the backlash about the federal spending, used billions of stimulus to prop up some lean budget years. In 2011, his first year in office, Scott kept nearly $370 million in stimulus in the budget.

[Last modified: Sunday, August 11, 2013 6:52pm]


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