Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Crist now says he might join Obama in Tampa

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Charlie Crist, who has been taking a steady pounding for his "man hug" with President Barack Obama in February, now says he might be with the president again Thursday in Tampa.

"If we can work it out logistically, I'll be with him," Crist said Tuesday.

Asked about the possibility of more backlash from Republicans who don't like the president or his policies, Crist said: "That's not my concern. My concern is fighting for jobs for the people of Florida, and that's my first and foremost duty, and I realize that."

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are hosting a town hall at the University of Tampa, where the president is expected to deliver the much-anticipated news that Florida is getting federal stimulus money for high-speed rail projects. That's money that state officials say will create thousands of new jobs and news any governor would want to celebrate immediately.

But for Crist, locked in a tight battle with Marco Rubio for the Republican Senate nomination, sharing a stage with the Democratic president is not without risk.

The first time Obama paid a visit to Florida as president was in Fort Myers in February. Crist welcomed him with open arms and endorsed the $787 billion federal stimulus package. He has been paying a political price ever since.

For the president's second appearance, at a Navy base in Jacksonville in October, Crist said he wasn't aware of the visit, even though e-mail records showed his office was alerted by the White House.

By coincidence, Crist will be in Tampa on Thursday at the same time as the president, attending a meeting of the board of governors at the University of South Florida, about a dozen miles from the University of Tampa.

A White House e-mail sent Tuesday afternoon to the Governor's Office checked on Crist's availability. "Any word on whether governor will be able to join? We are needing to lock down the preparations," the message said.

Crist said he would like to cajole the president on Florida's application for federal education stimulus funds under the Race to the Top program. "It would be nice to be able to lobby him," Crist said.

Times staff writer Alex Leary in Washington contributed to this report. Steve Bousquet can be reached at bousquet@sptimes.com or (850) 224-7263.

Crist now says he might join Obama in Tampa 01/26/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 8:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Observations from a liberal, gay, Latino, feminist Florida House freshman

    Blogs

    State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando,  rocked the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus dinner at Tallahassee's Hotel Duval Satursday night with his unabashedly liberal and passionate take on the myriad issues he said are key to LGBTQ Floridians. Among them: Access to guns, Reproductive rights, home …

    Carlos G. Smith
  2. Delta Sigma Theta honors outgoing national president

    Human Interest

    During her four years as national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Paulette Walker said she always focused on the comma between "Sorority" and "Inc."

    Paulette Walker, the former director of undergraduate programs and internship in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, will be honored on Saturday for her leadership in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
  3. 10 sailors missing, 5 hurt in collision of USS John S. McCain

    SEOUL —Ten U.S. Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after the USS John S. McCain destroyer collided with an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday morning.

    In this Jan. 22, 2017, photo provided by U.S. Navy, the USS John S. McCain patrols in the South China Sea while supporting security efforts in the region. The guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship on Monday, Aug. 21, in waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. Ten sailors were missing, and five were injured, the Navy said. [James Vazquez/U.S. Navy via AP]
  4. Pasco County Fire Rescue fighting a two-alarm fire started by an explosion

    Fire

    Two houses are on fire and one victim has been critically burned and taken to a trauma center following an explosion at a home at 8652 Velvet Dr, in Port Richey.

  5. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.