In the ultimate tribute to his opponent, Charlie Crist is suddenly pretending to be the true-blue conservative in the Florida Senate race.
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Lakeland is a civilized place where visitors are treated graciously. This may be the only reason that no one in the audience yelled out, “You lie!” Crist’s record as governor, the office he was elected to in 2006, cannot be tortured into a conservative mold. Even Crist wasn’t trying to do this in December of 2007 when he was asked by a Sarasota Herald- Tribune reporter if he was a conservative. His answer was, “sure.” Asked what being conservative meant to him, his less than reassuring answer was, “I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter to me. I’m not absorbed much by what labels people put on me.”
But it matters now, when it appears conservatives are deserting him in division-sized units. Crist is spending some of his substantial campaign war chest on radio ads, some of them airing in Ft. Myers, where Crist went on stage to plight his troth to Obama’s stimulus piñata. The ad says:
“Washington is out of control. Yet the president has the same tired answer for every problem: to spend more of your money. I’m Charlie Crist. I’m running for the U.S. Senate because Washington needs a dose of Florida common sense… In the last two years federal government spending has grown by over 25 percent. Here in Florida, I’ve slashed government by 10 percent. That’s $7 billion…. Less government, less taxes. It’s more than a slogan. It’s my commitment and the record I bring from Tallahassee to Washington. We can’t spend our way into prosperity or tax our way into growth. Let’s cut the size of the federal government and return your family’s money so you can decide how best to spend it. I’m Charlie Crist and I approved this message. ”
Even for a political ad this is truly breathtaking in its hypocrisy and dishonesty. In addition to the about-face on Obama’s stimulus, most folks paying even minimal attention know that Florida’s constitution requires a balanced budget. So the $7 billion in reduced spending Crist is claiming credit for came about because the recession reduced the state’s revenues and the Florida Legislature was obliged to cut spending. Newspapers and other media across Florida called Crist on this one.
If Crist had been saying things like he’s saying now in his ads from the start of his governorship, and then following up on his rhetoric, he could now put his Senate campaign on cruise control. It’s doubtful Rubio would even be in the race.
Instead Crist has been a political chameleon, changing colors every time the political winds change direction. More and more Floridians have begun to notice this. So another change from blue back to red may be problematic for Crist. If this is the case, it increases the chance that the U.S. Senate may have another conservative member beginning in 2011, rather than just someone for Olympia Snowe to go to lunch with.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?