Crist Unfriends Obama

October 19, 2009 10:31 a.m.
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There was a time not so long ago when Gov. Charlie Crist (R) and President Obama saw eye-to-eye on economic policy. But that was before Crist announced his bid for Senate.

Crist’s first radio ads slam Obama over his plan to, as Crist says in the script, “spend our way into prosperity.” The popular Florida governor once (literally) embraced the stimulus package and the Obama plan to, well, spend America back into prosperity. But a summer of attacks from the right, led by former state House Speaker Marco Rubio, appear to have brought that bipartisan spirit to an end.The pair of radio spots are actually running in the very same market where Crist’s stimulus-support summit with Obama took place back in February. The rally took place as other GOP governors that, like Crist, were considered on the short list for 2012 presidential runs were fighting the stimulus plan and even promising to refuse the funds. Crist bucked the trend and welcomed the money, a move seen by readers of political tea leaves as an attempt to appeal to a moderate national base. Crist is known for straddling the party lines in Florida and has enjoyed broad bipartisan support through most of his political career. Standing with Obama gave him a chance to put that bipartisan nature on the national stage.

But there’s no mention of the meeting, or Crist’s support for the stimulus, in the ads which debuted on Friday in the Ft. Meyers market. Listen to one here:

From the script:

Enough is enough. That’s my message to President Obama. I’m Charlie Crist. We cant spend our way into prosperity or tax or way into growth. I say its time to take some Florida common sense to Washington. Let’s cut federal spending and let you decide how to spend your own money.

Rubio is already taking credit for the harsh anti-Obama rhetoric in the commercials. Crist is “signaling his growing concern about Marco Rubio’s momentum” with the ads, Rubio adviser Alex Burgos wrote in an email to the press on Friday.

Crist’s campaign has not commented on the ads so far, and did not respond to TPMDC’s request.

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