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Riptide: Charlie Crist’s Lame Attempt to Distance Himself From Obama

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When Charlie Crist stood on stage with President Obama in February I wonder if Crist had any idea that he’d actually be running for Senate. As a popular incumbent running for re-election the political risk would be lessened. Well, the risk of standing with a popular, newly elected president who won your state while supporting an economic program your state desperately needs is only a risk when you have to come face to face with the hard-liners in your own party.

Read the rest of Kyle Munzenrieder’s post after the break.

Now that he’s an official senate candidate facing a primary and a lack of enthusiasm amongst conservatives with a capital C he’s going to have to do some damage control. Especially since Marco Rubio is running ads that prominently feature a picture of Crist hugging Obama.

So today, our Governor took to the op-ed page of the Tampa Tribune in an attempt to distance himself from the economic policies of Barack Obama.

I oppose the president’s budget proposals, in particular his willingness to increase the top tax rate on personal income from 35 to 39.6 percent. I am publicly asking him to withdraw these tax increase proposals, considering the structural damage higher tax rates will do to the long-term growth potential of our nation’s economy.

In addition, the president’s plan will severely increase our national debt. Even with the increase in federal revenues resulting from higher taxes and a planned military withdrawal from Iraq, the smallest annual deficit we will see in the next 10 years is $533 billion in 2013.

Charlie also touts his own conservative record:

But let there be no doubt – I am a fiscal conservative. Since I took office two years ago, we have cut state spending by $7 billion, lowered property taxes by an estimated $25 billion over five years and created innovative no-cost solutions like the Florida Discount Drug Card and Cover Florida Health Care Plan.

We’re not economics majors by any means, but only cutting spending by $7 billion while cutting property taxes by $25 billion doesn’t exactly add up. Obviously we weren’t left with an $18 billion budget hole, but we were left with a budget hole close to $3 billion this year. One that forced the legislature in to a special session.

And perhaps if Charlie’s economic views work he wouldn’t have needed to stand with Obama supporting a stimulus package that would save his ass in the first place.

At the end of the day, wing-nuts aren’t buying it.

The super-conservatives at National Review’s The Corner blog for one think Charlie’s op-ed has more to do with positioning himself to the right during a primary rather than a true reflection of his actual political values.

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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