Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Crist says he's too busy to weigh in on Sotomayor nomination

Republican Charlie Crist says he's been too busy governing Florida to take a stand on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor and other federal issues.

But his leading rivals for the U.S. Senate accused him Thursday of ducking tough questions, noting that the governor makes time to attend out-of-state fundraisers to pump up his record-setting campaign account.

"If you want to serve as U.S. senator, people deserve to know where you stand on the issues," said Republican Marco Rubio, who opposes Sotomayor's confirmation. "I'm prepared to fly up to Washington and New York to debate him … if I have to work around his fundraising schedule."

The front-running Democratic candidate, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami, also called Thursday for Crist to weigh in on the Supreme Court nominee.

"Florida needs a senator who studies the issues of the day and stakes out principled positions rooted in conviction," Meek said in a fundraising appeal that praised Sotomayor. "Our state does not need a fence-sitter who is the last person to formulate opinions about issues of profound importance."

Sitting on a double-digit lead in the polls, Crist has so far limited his campaign activities to attending private fundraisers and heralding endorsements.

Lesser-known candidates such as Rubio and Meek have been traversing the state to speak at political and civic clubs, Fourth of July picnics and other community events.

Last Friday, Crist attended a Florida Society of Newspaper Editors lunch in Palm Beach but declined to stay for a candidate forum with Rubio, the former House speaker from Miami.

Asked about Sotomayor on Thursday in Tallahassee, Crist said, "I haven't decided, and I've got a lot of responsibilities in the job that I hold. Yesterday, I was actually appointing judges."

He added, "I think it's important to note there are members on the Senate judiciary committee that have seen every minute of testimony, and they haven't made an announcement on it."

Crist's official schedule today is blank except for a 10 a.m. phone call with his chief of staff. On Saturday, he is scheduled to attend a reception at the Sag Harbor, N.Y., home of Jill Zarin, a friend of his wife and star of The Real Housewives of New York City.

Crist says he's too busy to weigh in on Sotomayor nomination 07/16/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 16, 2009 10:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida issues school grades: F's down, A's and B's up

    Blogs

    Florida's school grades showed marked improvement in 2016-17, according to the results released Wednesday morning.

    Florida education commissioner Pam Stewart
  2. 'Big Bang Theory' star Johnny Galecki loses home to California wildfire

    Blogs

    Johnny Galecki, star of the Big Bang Theory, lost his ranch to a large California fire.

     

  3. Dali a father? He would need to have sex first

    Opinion

    One of the most influential artists of the 20th century, 28 years dead, is about to be pulled from the grave to settle a paternity claim. The case could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Horst P. Horst's portrait of Salvador Dali from the 1930s. [Image from the Dali Museum.]
  4. Aramis Ayala defends stance against death penalty: 'I did what I believe was proper'

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Aramis Ayala, the elected Orlando prosecutor who refuses to seek the death penalty, defended her actions Wednesday as she faced a flurry of hostile questions from Florida Supreme Court justices.

    Orlando prosecutor Aramis Ayala, far right, said she was "very well pleased" with her lawyer's case. "I violated no laws." [STEVE BOUSQUET | Tampa Bay Times]
  5. With home demolition, Pasco begins effort to alleviate Holiday Hills flooding

    Local Government

    PORT RICHEY — Year after year, from his front porch, Jeff Ward has watched yards flood and rivers form in the streets, carrying canoes instead of cars after heavy rain.

    An excavator clears rubble from a razed home in Holiday Hills.