Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Democrat Nan Rich rips Charlie Crist for not debating

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich speaks at the Florida Press Association and Florida Society of Newspaper Editors Friday in Coral Gables. [AP photo]

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich speaks at the Florida Press Association and Florida Society of Newspaper Editors Friday in Coral Gables. [AP photo]

MIAMI — Unable so far to goad Charlie Crist into a debate, underdog gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich continued Friday to attack the former governor's credibility as a Democrat while downplaying questions about her chances in a general election.

Rich, a former state senator from Weston and Crist's lone opponent in the Democratic primary, compared Crist to a ghost during a morning forum with the Florida Press Association and Florida Society of Newspaper Editors. Crist himself spoke during their convention Thursday at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables and defended his record as governor, back when he was a Republican.

Whoever wins the primary will face off in November with Gov. Rick Scott, who declined an invitation to speak at the event.

"We need to make sure we don't have two Republicans running in the gubernatorial election," Rich said.

Rich also took shots at Scott, saying he cost the state 122,000 jobs by not pushing the Legislature to approve an expansion of Medicaid. She said the state's economy continues to rely on "lower-paying service industry jobs" tied to an economy based on retirees and tourism, despite Scott's touting of jobs growth.

But she focused most of her attention on her primary opponent, opening by likening him to an "apparition who has no solid substance."

Where Crist touted his record as governor Thursday, Rich tried to savage it. She said he oversaw an expansion of Florida's controversial school voucher program, appointed conservative justices to the Florida Supreme Court and opposed adoption by gay couples. She said Crist also was against the Affordable Care Act during a failed bid for the U.S. Senate.

"I don't think people believe you can change 180 degrees on every single issue and have people trust that," she said.

Rich said she had hoped to debate the former governor in Coral Gables. But ripping Crist's record without him in the room will have to do. The better-funded, better-known Crist has repeatedly declined her challenges to debate, saying Thursday that Scott is expected to raise $100 million and "I really don't have the luxury to take my eye off the ball."

That's a slight to Rich, who has spent more than two years criss-crossing the state on a campaign for governor. But for all her efforts, she's raised just over a half-million dollars between her campaign and a political committee, Citizens for Progressive Florida. Crist, on the other hand, raised $500,000 in a single contribution to his political action committee in June from the Democratic Governors' Association, and has raised more than $13 million total.

Democrat Nan Rich rips Charlie Crist for not debating 07/11/14 [Last modified: Friday, July 11, 2014 9:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Forecast: First day of fall brings more showers, humidity to Tampa Bay

    Weather

    More moisture will filter into the Tampa Bay area on Friday, the official start of fall, allowing for higher rain chances through the day and beginning half of the weekend.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  2. Polk childcare workers who berated autistic child turn themselves in (w/video)

    Crime

    WINTER HAVEN — Two childcare workers are facing child abuse charges after a Snapchat video surfaced of them berating, taunting and throwing a backpack at an 8-year-old autistic child.

    Police are searching for two childcare workers - Kaderrica Smith, 26, and Alexis Henderson, 20 - after a Snapchat video surfaced of them berating, taunting and throwing a backpack at an 8-year-old Autistic child in Winter Haven. [Winter Haven Police Department]
  3. Trigaux: Tampa Bay household income tops $50,000 but still makes us look poor

    Personal Finance

    The good news is Tampa Bay's median household income finally crawled above $50,000 last year. The bad news is that figure — officially $51,115 by new U.S. Census Bureau data — still puts the Tampa Bay region as the poorest of the nation's 25 largest metro areas.

    Tampa Bay still has the lowest median household income among the 25 most populous metro areas, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
[Times]
  4. Oh, Florida! Irma's gone, but she left behind plenty of lessons for us

    Columns

    I don't want to make light of the misery and death that Hurricane Irma inflicted on Florida this month. A lot of it was ugly, and some of it was downright criminal. We saw greed and pettiness on …

    A Fort Myers woman who'd recently undergone a double-organ transplant painted a sign that said, "HOT SINGLE FEMALE SEEKS SEXY LINEMAN TO ELECTRIFY HER LIFE" and sure enough, she got her power turned back on. [Photo from video]
  5. Florida education news: Makeup days, accountability, charter schools and more

    Blogs

    MAKEUP DAYS: The Pasco County school district alters the daily schedule of 11 schools to make up teaching time missed because of Hurricane Irma, avoiding the …

    With students back in school after Hurricane Irma, schools across Florida begin scheduling makeup days for missed classroom time.