Medal of Honor-winning war hero Col. Bud Day — a Fort Walton Beach, Fla., resident who spent years as a prisoner of war in the Hanoi Hilton with a top Crist supporter, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) — offered a public endorsement of Charlie Crist on Monday. The Northwest Florida Daily News has the details:
“You know, we just got through (electing) a politician who can run his mouth at Mach 1, a black one, and now we have a Hispanic who can run his mouth at Mach 1,” Day said. “You look at their track records and they’re both pretty gritty. Charlie has not got a gritty track record.”
Day confirmed he was speaking of Obama and Rubio.
“You’ve got the black one with the reading thing. He can go as fast as the speed of light and has no idea what he’s saying,” Day said. “I put Rubio in that same category, except I don’t know if he’s using one of those readers.”
Before yesterday, Day was perhaps best known for appearing in a “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” ad opposing 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).
In a press release, Crist said he “could not be more grateful” for Day’s support. We’ll see how his comments go over in Florida’s sizable minority communities.
Update: The Rubio Campaign has not distanced itself from Day’s racially tinged comments: From the New York Times:
The Rubio campaign on Tuesday chose not to criticize Colonel Day for his comments.
“Colonel Bud Day is an American war hero and we’re grateful for his service to our nation,” said Alex Burgos, a Rubio spokesman, in an email. “We hope this race will be focused on the real issues of importance to Florida voters, namely which candidate can be trusted to go to Washington, take on the Obama agenda and offer a clear alternative. We’re not holding our breath, but we hope Charlie Crist will eventually realize this.”
Update – Angelette Aviles asks if Crist has a PR & Ethnicity Problem?