November 5th, 2009
12:37 PM ET
4 years ago

Club for Growth takes aim at Crist

The Club For Growth is taking aim at Crist in a new ad.
The Club For Growth is taking aim at Crist in a new ad.

(CNN) – Fresh off its considerable impact in New York's special congressional race, the Club for Growth is wading into the Republican Senate primary in Florida with a new ad criticizing Gov. Charlie Crist's initial support of President Obama's stimulus package.

"Since Charlie Crist helped pass Barack Obama's spending program, nearly two hundred thousand Floridians have lost their jobs," the ad's narrator states as video is shown of Crist and Obama at a rally in support of the package last February. "Unemployment is the highest in decades. Personal income's down. And the deficit in Washington is three times larger."

The conservative political action committee, which spent upwards of $1 million helping to derail a Republican candidate in New York who many conservatives felt was too liberal in her social and fiscal policies, has yet to determine the specific amount of the Florida ad buy.

But Club For Growth spokesman Mike Connolly said the group was moved to quickly produce the 30-second spot after Crist told CNN's Wolf Blitzer Wednesday on The Situation Room that he never "endorsed" the stimulus plan.

"We wanted to correct the record," Connolly said.

Crist, while maintaining he did not endorse the spending measure, said in the CNN interview that he expressed support for the bill because he knew it was going to pass and his state stood to gain federal dollars from it.

"I was pragmatic, I think, about what we needed to do. Everybody knew the bill was going to pass.," Crist said Wednesday. "I, like all other Republican governors, utilized that money for the benefit of the people in my state. And that's what a pragmatic conservative does."

The Club for Growth has yet to make an endorsement in the race but could come to a determination soon, Connelly also said. Crist - who has the backing of the Republican leadership in Washington - faces a challenge from the more conservative former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio.


Filed under: Charlie Crist • President Obama
soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. Rosa Birmingham, AL

    Let's hope they are as successful as they were in NY23 congressional race.

    November 5, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  2. g

    club for rich , middle class no need to apply

    November 5, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. Jim

    Florida has been one of the hardest hit states. It would be irresponsible for any governor to not accept stimulus money. Whether you agree with ot or not, you can't screw your citizens.

    November 5, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. Hoss Fly

    It's the economy stupid! Remember that from Bill's campaign. Why cannot Obama remember that? This is sooooo furstrating to see Obama focus on his legacy and politics instead of the American people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Let's take America back from Obama's big goverment.

    "We the people." Remember that too...

    November 5, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. Drew

    So let's see if the conservative take the Republicans at bay and over power their careers. Thanks to Sarah Palin who will be running Conservative in 2012.

    November 5, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    These Club For growth guys are going ot marginalize themselves and the Republican Party as a whole. I said it once and I'll say it again.....The GOP is dead!!!

    November 5, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. Maureen

    Wow. That is a shame these repums are fight so hard to derail everyone. These people are history. Dems will take over this country just like the Canada.

    November 5, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  8. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Does the "Club for Growth" know that Crist was never in either house of Congress while the Stimulus was under debate? Members of the state's Congressional caucus can ignore the governor of their state if they wish. They are elected by the people.

    November 5, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  9. The Dude

    Look at that, they are eating their own.

    November 5, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  10. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    so we find out early on that the man can lie and didn't do a good job at it ..
    republicans are going down the toilet and can't figure out how to stop the flush.. its simple support the president and rebuild your party using truth instead of the old lie and threat machine of the cheney rove and puppet Bush years..:)
    CHANGE HAS COME .EITHER GET ON THE MOVEMENT OR FALL BEHIND..

    GARY DAVIS
    HARBOR OREGON
    STAND WITH THE PRESIDENT AND SUPPORT AMERICA

    November 5, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  11. cranky yankee

    Considering that the Club For Growth candidate LOST in New York, this just might be the boost Crist needs. The conservative Republi-cons, those paragons of less goverment intrusion in our lives-you know those folks who want to pass constitutional amendments to say what women can and can't do with their bodies and who can and can't get married-seem to be determined to take us back to the 50s, the 1450s, where the church ruled everything and if you disobeyed you were tortured and thrown in jail. This is the same group that supports spreading democracy and freedom around the world while at the same time undermining democracy and abridging freedoms here at home. The same group that thinks trickle down economics, along with unicorns, is real. The same group that believes the solution to an economic downturn is to start a war so industry can ramp up (not realizing that they made it possible for all of our industries to move offshore by insisting on deregulation. Frankly, I think a thinking Republican (with very few exceptions, but there are a few) has gone the way of the wooly mammouth.

    November 5, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. AEK

    It is my pleasure to introduce the new Democratic Senator from Florida... "you fill in the blank". Thanks Club for Growth, best friend of the intelligent, thoughtful MAJORITY!

    November 5, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  13. David

    While I am no fan of Crist, I know for sure that I would have lost my job if we hadn't received stimulus money here in Florida.

    November 5, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  14. Stacie

    I bet this will turn out as well as the race in New York dist. 23 did! The Democrats will benefit from all this GOP cannibalism.

    November 5, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  15. FEDFL

    I gotta go with those who recognize the "Club for Rich" con job.

    This "political action committee" is nothing but a bunch of Wall Street bootlickers spending Wall Street money to make sure that America stays divided, terrorized and conquered.

    ..

    November 5, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. Dumbasrocks in Syracuse

    A club of growth needs to be used on the Club for Growth. These birth-baggers are worse than infestation by rats.

    November 5, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  17. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    AARP endorses Obamacare? Is that a surprise? If you look closely, you will find that AARP is controlled by the SEIU, the same crooked union that contols ACORN. This is the union Blago wanted a job with for selling the Senate job in Illinois. I wonder how many people have dropped AARP membership this year and how many will before the end of the year. I know CNN won't cover it, but maybe Fox will.

    November 5, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  18. Joanna in PA

    I just love how the conservatives blame this recession on Obama. What selective short term memories.

    November 5, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  19. Judy Mia Fl

    Hope Crist jumps ship – I'd like to vote for him, but I only vote Democratic. I admired his stand in the 2008 elections of opening more poling places and advocating money for Fl under the stimulus pkg. Thanks Crist – why don't you consider running as a Democratic – you'd win for sure.
    Judy Miami Fl

    November 5, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  20. Art Grady

    I heard Rubio interviewed on NPR the other day. Everything that came out of his mouth indicated he's a tough conservative. He might lack experience but his ideals are spot on (Assuming he meant what he said of course.). I hope he gets a shot because Crist, it appears, is simply a career politician opportunist. He's consevative only if and when its suits his himself.

    November 5, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  21. Debbie from CA

    Like it or not the GOP did this to themselves. They courted and supported the far right for the 2004 election. They courted and supported Sarah Palin. So now they are in a debate as to what does it mean to be a member of the Republican party and what their platform will be.

    I think the end result will be two-fold. The mouthpiece of the GOP saying they are middle of the road and those who run the GOP and that will be a very conservative group.

    I think it will produce very un-happy people in the center who will vote on an individual vs a party.

    November 5, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  22. nsmith

    The candidate backed by the Club For Growths (no that's not a typo) in the NY 23rd, Hoffman, took earmark money for the hospital on whose board he serves, even though he opposed earmarks. He justified it with the same rational Crist used for taking stimulus money. So why are those Growths upset about Crist when it was OK for Hoffman?

    November 5, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  23. To Hoss fly

    Your G Dub ruined the economy. Your G Dub let the United States get hit by the worst terrorist attack ever. Your G Dub sent us into two wars- lied to get us there.

    We did take America back. We took it back from W who was out to destroy it. We won- get over it. Sit down and enjoy the ride for the next 7 years!!!

    November 5, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  24. chenna_benna

    Wow...Didn't see this coming. If Crist is smart, he would stand his ground and not change his stance on the stimulus and other issues. Don't cave to these people and the far right of you party Crist. You will for sure lose.

    November 5, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  25. Tommygunn

    Dear INDEPENDENTs,

    Don't be fooled by the REPUBLICANs scam. Pick your true party leaders then MOVE ON, and DUMP the gang that is trying to derail your ideology to their camp.

    REPUBLICANs, make up your mind of who is truly a part of your party. CONSERVATIVE parochial thinkers that enjoys anarchist or RESPONSIBLE reserve practitioners that believe in check and balance.

    INDEPENDENTs Rush, Glen, Dick Arnold and Fox channel are playing you guys....with them in charge definitely you will not know what is going on and your tax money will be taken from you without a care or kiss.

    It's time for the REPUBLICAN party to go one way and the other group of CONSERVATIVE to pick a name and STAND UP. CONSERVATIVEs let the INDEPENDENTs have their true platform and get your own thing.

    hmmm...

    November 5, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
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