Florida Gov. Charlie Crist plans to begin attacking his Republican rival as soft on immigration:
Buffeted by weeks of negative press and a newly threatening rival from the right, FL Gov. Charlie Crist’s (R) campaign will step up direct engagements with his opponent, insiders tell OnCall.
Crist will attack former FL House Speaker Marco Rubio (R), citing his rival’s failure to advance some conservative causes while leading the state House, for spending excessively while in the Speaker’s office and for dragging his feet on immigration legislation that many Republicans favored.
“We’re now running a campaign, and it’s one where this campaign will aggressively talk about the governor and his record and his vision heading to Washington as a candidate for the Senate, and we will aggressively talk to voters about our opponent’s record, a record that was eight years in the state legislature, a record that has not been discussed to date,” said Eric Eikenberg, Crist’s new campaign manager.
To attack Rubio on immigration might make sense, if Crist were a Tom Tancredo-style hardliner and Rubio were an amnesty supporter like John McCain. In fact, Crist’s own stance on immigration is ambiguous, while Rubio has clearly stated his opposition to amnesty, saying: “Legal immigration has been a great source of strength and prosperity for America, but I believe illegal immigration threatens the foundation of this system. If I had been in the Senate at the time, I would have opposed the McCain-Kennedy bill.”
Why, then, is Crist launching this nonsensical attack on Rubio? Perhaps to distract from the scandal surrounding Crist’s connection to accused Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein.