Crist Rewrites History On Stimulus Support

October 19, 2009 2:49 p.m.

Facing a primary challenge from the right, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is suddenly attacking President Obama for stimulus spending just six months after backing the stimulus package.

Crist defended his new radio ads slamming President Obama over his economic policy this afternoon, claiming that he joined the president at a pro-stimulus rally in February because, “I think it’s the right thing to do to honor the office of President of the United States.”

But video from the event tells a very different story.Critics claim Crist is changing his tune with the new radio ads, in which he claims he disagrees with Obama’s plan to, as Crist puts it, “spend us back into prosperity.” Crist said the rally with Obama was more about Crist minding his manners than endorsing Obama’s economic strategy. From the AP:

“The man’s the President of the United States of America, he’s all our president and you know, when the President comes to your state for the first time after he gets elected, I’m a simple guy and you know I’m gonna try to do what I believe it is right all the time. I don’t agree with him on everything, I mean that’s pretty clear but yea, I think it’s the right thing to do to honor the office of President of the United States.”

Here’s what Crist said on stage with Obama back on February 10:

Marco Rubio has been ripping Crist over the event and his support of Obama all year. Rubio supporters say that it’s Rubio’s surprising momentum in the GOP primary that has led to Crist’s recasting himself away from his old bipartisan image. Spokesperson Alex Burgos offered this take on Crist’s new rhetoric in a statement issued today:

With 1 million Floridians out of work and his poll numbers plummeting, Charlie Crist’s political survival instincts are leading him to run a false and misleading campaign. Echoing his new radio ads, Charlie Crist is using his old football stiff-arm technique to distance himself from President Obama.

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