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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Crist's nixed speech called Scott 'bully' running 'smear campaign'

Charlie Crist's campaign Thursday released a transcript of the speech he planned to deliver to the Florida Council of 100, before the group, without explanation, cancelled his invitation.

In the speech he never delivered, Crist would have called Gov. Rick Scott a bully "with a $100 million checkbook." The prepared text attacks Scott's integrity, priorities and for "flying in his private plane" to promote job growth "that he had nothing to do with."

Crist wanted to tell Florida's business elite that Scott "hid from federal investigators as a businessman, disparaged a good woman, Alex Sink, to win in 2010 and now he's trying to bully me by waving his $100 million checkbook and by running a daily smear campaign about my life and career." 

Crist's speech also was filled with policy proposals such as opening trade with Cuba, starting a high speed rail system, depoliticizing the governance of higher education, creating a new program to encourage students to get master's degrees and investing in renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. Here are excerpts:

"I am running for governor for one simple reason: Tallahassee is broken, and it is time to put the people back in charge. Quite simply, our state needs a governor who will wake up every day thinking about people like you, who will govern honestly and with the state's collective best interests in mind, and who will make this economy more fair for hard working business owners and taxpayers.

"And we need a governor who will refocus the state on things that are important to all Floridians: good schools, affordable health care, respect for our environment and dignity for our seniors. Because that's who I am, that's what I believe in and that's what I'll do if given the honor of returning to the People's house.

Crist went on to defend his record during "the global economic meltdown," for extending early voting in the 2008 presidential election and helping with the cleanup of the Gulf Coast after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

"Here is the reality: Today we have a governor in Governor Scott who leads by embracing the ideological fringes, taking care of his friends, bullying his opponents, hiding from the public and press and running from tough issues ... He's spent roughly $20 million on his re-election, building a campaign that peddles lies to press and runs negative television ads. Why? Because Floridians don't support his record as governor. It's that simple. He has nothing positive or true to say."

 

 

[Last modified: Thursday, May 15, 2014 11:46am]

    

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