Charlie Crist on Budget & Economy
And let's be honest: Those fancy dinner-dances are almost always a tedious bore.
My decision wasn't too popular inside the campaign office or around Tallahassee. I started getting blowback from some of my biggest donors. "I'm sorry," [I said to those complaining]. "But I'm going with my heart on this one. I'm just not comfortable having some lavish party when Floridians are struggling so hard.
Canceling the governor's ball sent an early signal that this was not going to be your typical Republican administration [and lose touch with the people]. We threw open the gates of the mansion and invited everyone in. It was the People's House.
"There's one thing that he has done that I just find unforgiveable. He is the only statewide political leader that I'm aware of, that embraced the stimulus package when Republicans were fighting to suggest an alternative."
Now, I do believe that some things in life are unforgiveable But accepting money from Washington to save jobs of teachers, police officers, and firefighters and help revive our economy? No, that's not one of them. Besides, almost every governor ended up taking some or all of the money. I was just the only Republican who was so up-front about it.
Jeb kept pounding on the stimulus, which he termed "a massive spending bill that is not related to stimulus. It is related to trying to carry out a liberal agenda."
The state has the second-highest foreclosure rate in the country, behind Nevada, more than twice the national average, according to RealtyTrac, an Irvine, California-based data provider.
"You think government creates jobs," Rubio said to Meek, cutting him off.
"No, I don't," Meek said.
"You do," Rubio said.
"I think tax cuts for small businesses create jobs and incentives for local communities to move forward," Meek said
Crist added, "What you just witnessed is the problem and the reason I'm running as an independent. These two guys are going at each other because one's the Republican right, one's the Democratic left. What's true is there are good things that both parties can present to the future of our country." Crist, who supported the economic stimulus and said he likes some things in the health care law but that it needs to be fixed, portrayed himself as a centrist who backs the best policies of each party.
RUBIO: Well, if it's bad for America, it can't possibly be good for your state. Since February, 211,000 Floridians have lost their jobs.
CRIST: As governor, you've got to make tough decisions. I made the tough decision to utilize these funds to help th people of Florida. I know the unemployment rate is bad. I know the economy is tough. I understand all of that. If we had taken the speaker's approach, we would have had 87,000 more people on top of that 12% that would be unemployed in Florida today.
Q: If you had been a senator in 2009 you would have voted for the stimulus?
CRIST: Yeah, it was the right thing to do at the time. You have to go back and remember what was happening in our economy. It was literally falling off the cliff.
The people who sent us here--their wisdom and their experience in the real world makes up a significant portion of the knowledge base from which we must lead.
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