Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Crist calls Rubio a flip-flopper over stimulus money

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio says that if he had been governor, he would have accepted some of the federal stimulus dollars he so often criticizes. Gov. Charlie Crist says that makes Rubio a flip-flopper and a hypocrite.

The flip-flop charge, at least, is suspect.

Rubio has indeed been a staunch critic of President Barack Obama's $787 billion stimulus package, which he contends has done little to create jobs and much to expand the federal government's debt load. But the Miami Republican has never criticized Crist for accepting stimulus money — only for campaigning for it.

"It's one thing to say you'll accept the funds from the federal government. It's another to actively advocate those policies, which I think are disastrous for America," Rubio told the Weekly Standard in May.

Crist appeared with President Barack Obama in Fort Myers in February to campaign for the stimulus money, but last month he drew heat for saying he didn't endorse the bill.

Rubio has been vague when asked whether he would have accepted stimulus money, as every Republican governor did. But this week, in an interview with WFLA-Ch. 8, the former House speaker acknowledged, "Ultimately, I would have accepted those portions of the money that would not have put Florida in a worse position off in the future than it is right now."

The Crist campaign pounced as soon as the comments appeared on The Buzz, the St. Petersburg Times' politics blog.

"It is incredible that Marco Rubio has based his entire campaign on attacking Charlie Crist for doing exactly what, he now admits, he would have done himself,'' said Crist campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul. "Time and again, voters in Florida will begin to see the real Marco Rubio."

Rubio brushed off the criticism.

"The stimulus was a disaster, and I would have fought it in every way possible," Rubio said. "But once President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Charlie Crist mandated their mountain of debt, I have said I would have handled the stimulus money the same way real conservative governors like Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin and Haley Barbour have."

Adam C. Smith can be reached at asmith@sptimes.com.

Crist calls Rubio a flip-flopper over stimulus money 12/10/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 10, 2009 11:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

    Blogs

    Winner of the week 1: 'Liquor wall’ proponents. Gov. Rick Scott’s veto of a bill to allow Walmart, Target and other big box stores to sell liquor was a victory for an array of groups, from smaller merchants and Publix (which has stand-alone booze shops near its stores) to those who feel the hard stuff …

  2. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival brings Major Lazer, safety upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

    Blogs

    Somewhere beyond the barricades and mountainous LED stages of the Sunset Music Festival, there had to be worry. There had to thousands of parents in parking lots and empty kitchens, anxiously distracting their minds, every now and then checking their phones.

    Major Lazer headlined the Sunset Music Festival on May 27, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
  3. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  4. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title

    Blogs

    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  5. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.