“I know I’m supposed to be politically correct and I said I was neutral and all that,” Bush said, but added of Crist’s move: “I got a problem with that.”
Bush has kept a careful distance from the primary contest between Crist and former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, who has hammered Crist for embracing President Barack Obama – and his signature domestic accomplishment – at a rally in Fort Myers last February.
Both Bush’s sons, Jeb Jr. and George P. Bush, have endorsed Rubio’s campaign. And while the former governor called Crist “about the nicest guy I’ve ever met in politics,’ Bush called Crist’s support for the stimulus bill a critical “mistake.”
Two polls this week – one by Rasmussen Reports and another by the Florida Chamber of Commerce – have shown Rubio surging to an 18-point lead over Crist.
During a visit to the White House on Monday for a meeting of the National Governors Association, Crist stood by his decision to endorse the Recovery Act and accept its funding for Florida.
“I don’t apologize for it at all,” he told reporters outside the West Wing. “It was the right thing to do. We needed the money. It saved 87,000 jobs for our state.”