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Florida’s flip-flop governor, Republican turned Independent (because he couldn’t beat Marco Rubio in the primary), Charlie Crist, has acknowledged that former President Bill Clinton was negotiating for Kendrick Meek (D-Fl) to withdraw from the Senate race, and support Charlie Crist.
Rubio, who is now 7 points ahead of Crist in the polls, is the odds-on favorite to win the Seante seat on November 2nd. The Meek campaign has confirmed Clinton’s involvement in the discussions, but has denied that Meek had actually agreed to withdraw. Other sources say that Meek had a change of heart, and decided to stay in the race.
It would appear that the DNC, and the White House, has been trying, behind the scenes, to ensure that the Republicans do not win the Florida seat. However, with four days left in the race, the vote in the Black voter bloc may be in jeopardy, as it is questioned as to why it was Meek they were trying to push out of the race instead of spolier Crist.
Clinton in the Sestak story! Clinton in the Meek-Crist story! Who is making these decisions?
From the Orlando Sentinel:
State Republicans moved the three-way U.S. Senate race to a new level Saturday, with party leaders pointing to an audit of their books they say implies Gov. Charlie Crist — now an independent candidate for U.S. Senate — ran up potentially “hundreds of thousands” of dollars in inappropriate charges.
Party Chairman and state Sen. John Thrasher said the expenses came to light during the just-completed forensic audit by Alston & Bird LLP — which was the examiner in energy giant Enron’s 2002 bankruptcy. He said the party may sue their former standard bearer to get the money back.
The announcement is rife with political implications, given that Crist and Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio are running neck and neck in many polls, with Democrat Kendrick Meek a distant third.
The review, which the party did not make public but may release later, was initiated earlier this year after former state GOP Chairman Jim Greer was forced from office, in part by accusations of extravagant spending. Thrasher, who took Greer’s place, discussed the report’s findings after a three-hour, closed-door meeting with the party’s executive board at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort.
for full article:
Marco Rubio is leading the sitting Governor, Charlie Crist, by nearly 30 points in the polls, positioning him to be the Republican nominee for the US Senate seat. Today, in Central Florida, he began a four day bus tour, which included a stop in The Villages with Sean Hannity.
Tonoght, Rubio is cutting his tour short to return to Miami to be with his family after it was announced that his 83 year old father has had a recurrence of lung cancer. Rubio’s parents are the foundation of his “Americana” background. They are exiles from Cuba who built a life in America instilling in their children the values of this country, and the value of hard work. Contrasted with the bio that Barack Obama, who was raised by his grandparents while his mother pursued her personal agenda, sans children, given an elite education in Hawaii, and so on. IMHO, Rubio’s story is a “Real American” story.
From the “hometown” newspaper of Gov. Charlie Crist:
THE VILLAGES — Six months ago, Marco Rubio had to put up with pundits speculating about when he’d drop his hopeless campaign for U.S. Senate and run instead for attorney general.
On Tuesday, as Rubio launched a high profile bus tour through central Florida, he fended questions about running for president in 2012.
“I have my hands full with this election. I’m not going to be a vice presidential or presidential contender,” he said of the conservative commentators lately touting him as a White House contender. “Just the fact that I’m addressing it embarrasses me.”
It’s been an extraordinary rise for the 38-year former state House speaker, who is leading Gov. Charlie Crist by double digits in every recent poll and on Tuesday capped off the opening of his “Take a Stand Bus Tour” with a Fox News interview by Sean Hannity before cheering crowd of thousands at The Villages retirement community near Leesburg.
“This is a referendum on the very identity of our country,” Rubio said.
Rubio’s planned four-day bus tour was supposed to take him through Pasco County, Sarasota and Lakeland on Thursday and Friday, but he cut it back to two days after his 83-year-old father was diagnosed with a recurrence of lung cancer.
“I’ve got to get back and figure out what’s next,” Rubio said as his campaign motor coach passed through Winter Garden. “Health care is a maze and it has to be navigated.”
The Rubio-Crist race has emerged as one of the hottest contests in the country and a referendum on whether the GOP should embrace Crist’s sunny, pragmatic style of Republicanism, or Rubio’s never compromise core principles tack.
“I think he’s a very strong Republican,” said Cesar Figueredo, among more than 100 people who turned out to see Rubio at a community center in Orlando.
“We need conservatives like him in government. We don’t want people to take away what we worked so hard for.”
“His attitude to the Democrats is too easy. I consider Democrats, communists, and Muslims all the same.”
Behind in the polls and watching Rubio raise more and more money, Crist has launched TV ads attacking Rubio’s integrity and linking him to indicted former state House Speaker Ray Sansom.
“He’s desperate,” said U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, a Rubio supporter who joined him at The Villages Tuesday night. “Charlie’s panicking because he knows he’s behind and see his glow with Floridians fade away. You know the saying: You’ve got to stand for something. Charlie doesn’t stand for anything.”
Rubio himself denounced the Crist’s ads and suggested Crist was violating Ronald Reagan’s famous 11th Commandment — never attack a fellow Republican.
“I would never speak that way about another Republican. I think it is outrageous that he’s doing that,” Rubio said. “I guess he has a right to do with his time and his money as he chooses. We’re 12 months into this campaign and Charlie Crist has failed to make a single meaningful pronouncement on public policy.”
Rubio rarely mentions Crist by name in campaign speeches, but makes veiled references.
“For too long, we’ve elected people to public office where you can’t even tell where they stand on the issues,” he said, casting himself as the candidate of substance willing to tackle the toughest issues.
In a recent televised debate with Crist, Rubio said he could support raising the Social Security retirement age for Americans under 55 — a dicey position in Florida — and he repeated it again Wednesday.
“If my generation doesn’t make changes in Social Security and Medicare, it will not exist for us,” he said. “In fact it will bankrupt us.”
He had avoided taking a firm position on the controversial teacher tenure bill Crist is expected to veto, but on Wednesday he declared his support.
“I support the bill. I think it should be signed, Rubio said. “It helps pay teachers more money, particularly really good teachers.”
Sitting in a lawn chair in the street near Sean Hannity’s TV show taping at The Villages, Swede Sjolund, 64, liked what he saw.
“I think he’ll maintain good conservative values, unlike Charlie Crist, who just likes to spend money. I think we need a fresh face in Congress.”
Miami Herald staff writer Beth Reinhard contributed to this report. Adam Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org