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Jeb Bush: Charlie Crist ‘unforgivable’ on stimulus support

in Statewide by
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush made his strongest statement to date on the Republican Senate primary unfolding in his state, telling the conservative publication NewsMax in an on-camera interview that he considers Gov. Charlie Crist’s support for last year’s stimulus bill “unforgivable.”

“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.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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