At a rally in his hometown, former Gov. Charlie Crist kicked off his campaign Monday to try to topple Republican Gov. Rick Scott.
Crist’s announcement was met with sharp rebukes from Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Florida’s Marco Rubio.
“Charlie Crist was a failure as governor and is a pure political opportunist who is out for himself,” said Jindal, who is the chairman of the Republican Governors Association. “Under Crist, Florida lost over 800,000 jobs, saw their unemployment rate surge from 3.5 percent to 11.1 percent, and experienced a budgetary crisis that left the state sinking faster and faster. And when the going got tough, Charlie dropped his rifle, abandoned his post, and ran away from the people of Florida. If you like losing jobs and are looking for a politician who blows with the wind, Charlie Crist is your guy. Senator Marco Rubio said it best: ‘I don’t know of anyone who in over a decade has run as a Republican, an Independent and a Democrat. He’s running out of parties.”
Rubio didn’t mince words, either.
“Floridians have a clear choice between a governor with a proven record of job creation, and a consummate political opportunist that can’t be trusted,” said Rubio, who defeated Crist in 2010. “Charlie Crist’s governorship was underwhelming to say the least. Rick Scott has proven himself very capable of cleaning up after Charlie’s mess, creating jobs, and restoring Floridians’ hope about the future.”