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. Chris - MN

    Yup, only obstructionists need apply. The part I don't get is how these extreme groups firmly believe they represent the majority of the populace. I for one am glad they don't know better.

    November 5, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. S M R

    Be greatful people, If it wasn't for President Obama winning the White House on Nov.4th 2008, we would be known as the United States of China.( McCain: "OUR ECONOMY IS FUNDIMENTALLY SOUND").

    November 5, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    I'm confused – why is it called the Club for Growth?

    Looks like all they do is cut people out - maybe it should be called the Club for Fewer.

    November 5, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  4. kate

    Where would the country be without the stimulus money? Obama had to do something about the economy which Bush destroyed. Hope everyone will remember where the bad economy and deficit came from. Apparently the rich want the rich to succeed.

    November 5, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  5. Randolph Carter

    Ahahahahaha!! This is awesome. Keep it up, neoclowns. Have a nice day!

    November 5, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. Nea

    People will say anything to save their behind Yes he did supported the Stimulus package and he know he did now the GOP are saying Where are the jobs??? But its very funny to me that just today that jobless claims are going down and sales are up but the Stimulus Package isnt working they say i told you people will say anything to try to make their self look good but wait and see after the econmoy really recovers and we will see who will benefit then.

    November 5, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. Rob

    Crist should definitely switch parties. He doesn't need to be associated with all of these right wing nut jobs. He was 100% right to take the stimulus money. The Republican screwed up the economy real bad and Florida was one of the harder hit states.

    Had the Republicans had their way and we did nothing, it would have been 1929 all over again times 1,000. The laissez-faire attitude of the Republicans does not work. Trickle down economics DOES NOT work! Big tax cuts for the rich DOES NOT work.

    While it is unfortunate that we had to spend billions to fix the mess made by GWB and his cronies, it was a fix that was needed nonetheless.

    Please, let us vote out every single Republican.

    November 5, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  8. ron

    The CNN crowd seems to be a lot more fueled by the lets hate Palin opportunity story above than the actual political story (half-way) presented here.
    Even the few who notice this story are still in full denial of who they're being led by, somehow thinking that Democrat politicians aren't rich, protecting rich special interests, and that although ALL of government is controlled by Democrats, still nothing is their fault. Is everybody from California now?

    November 5, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. Connie, Indiana

    People need to realize that people started loosing their jobs before Obama was elected or before Crist supported Obama. I love it how the republicans twist things to suit themselves..I guess they forget it was saint"George" that saw the economy tanking and kept with the economy is "strong" and then he and his followers sat with their hands on their butts and watched it fall. Try the truth once in awhile, but then again it wouldn't serve their purpose.

    November 5, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  10. David

    Does Club for Growth ever watch the stock market? Dow is almost 200 points and getting ready for another break of 10,000 points. Seems they have forgotton who brought our economy DOWN in the first place was George W Bush to almost below 6,000 points and now dow is back on the roll again.

    November 5, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  11. Dawn

    Crist isattempting to help the people in the state of Florida by taking the money from the 2nd stimulus package (you remember Bush handed out the first one) but I guess doing your job is wrong now too according to the GOP.

    November 5, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  12. ephraim

    the whole idea of purging for party purity is utterly stalinist and maoist. the xenophobia and party homogeneity will only make the republicans into a freak splinter cell. do they truly believe they will increase enthusiasm and inclusion in their party with solely requiring absolute ideological singularity?
    read history america, they are suckering you into a path that leads
    only to totalitarian states. it is you that has become the greatest threat
    to national security if you won't listen to others ideas, embrace others
    right to opinions, and the integrity equality.

    November 5, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  13. Brian, Albany NY

    I love how these teabaggers scream "WE THE PEOPLE" all the time, while ignoring the fact that at least 83% of Americans don't share their extremely narrow and hateful worldview.

    November 5, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  14. Minnesotan

    More lying conservatives. What a shock.

    November 5, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Today is not a good day to be a Republican. Tomorrow looks worse.

    Your wittle club is not growing anywhere. ooops.

    November 5, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  16. Gerald

    Lets stand corrected, the democrats have controlled congress since 2006, they own all current economic problems, wars ect. ect.

    November 5, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  17. Pam

    Crist is to be commended and not vilified for his commitments to the betterment of his state. My illustrious governor in the state of LA at first spurned the stimulus money in a rigid braggadocios stance that "acceptance would worsen the economy". BUT he quickly felt the hot breath of the rightist as well as the leftist populace and his posturing was quickly reversed. Bobby Jindal and the rest of the self serving public servants (that's a joke) need to be reminded they officiate at the pleasure of all the people.

    November 5, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  18. slipthalo

    If Crist endorsed the Stimulus plan, then he was doing it for the good of the people in FL. This Club for Growth will be using Faux to promote their candidates and since FL is full of retirees who are the mainstay of the Faux audience, they will be blind sheep to the polls as they believe without any evidence. I'm not a Floridian but it doesn't seem as though Crist has done bad for the state – not all jobs could be saved by the stimulus funds but the retirees who will vote enforce aren't the ones who have job worries.

    November 5, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  19. Lori in St Pete

    The company that my husband works for was listed for sale for 3+ years with no takers, and they were laying off employees every other day. Following the economic stimulus, the company is no longer on the market, and they've started recalling laid off workers. I didn't vote for Charlie, but I will send him kudos for accepting the $$$.

    November 5, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  20. New Father

    So 30 days ago nobody even heard of Hoffman and than in the local news he admits he has no clue what the local issues are. So a nobody who admits he has no clue what is going on in the district almost wins. Wow, what a dumb move that was. Crist has not done much here in Florida, go to the recovery site and see all of the money wasted $8+billion 23000 jobs. Hey I'll create more than 1 job with $223,000, send me a check.

    November 5, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  21. Kingssman

    I wonder if charlie Crist is not far right wing looney enough to fit under Reagan's ever shrinking "big Tent". I guess this "purge" to rid the republican party of any moderates and to keep only the 100% right wing will only alienate them. The country is center leaning right. Not far right leaning slightly center.

    November 5, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  22. TLD

    Someone please take back control of what's left of the Republican Party. We as a country need them in order to maintain a "perfect union".; however, the party has been defiled by the currently so-called "party leaders" or spokeperson. (limbaugh,coulter,palin, beck, D. duke, etc.) if someone do not "take this party out of the hands of these bafoons it surely be no more.

    Duke/Palin 2012

    "The Republican/Conservative Party is a disgrace and an abomination. There is something putrid about these guys and gals. The Republican Parties of past decades did not make me want to shower after I hear or see them speak on issues. I think it may have started with the Newt Gingrich Crew a few years back."

    November 5, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  23. Lori in St Pete

    What the club for the rich doesn't state is that the majority of those job losses were in the construction industry. As a fourth generation Floridian, I grew up listening to my elders saying how we can't "develop" out way to prosperity, and predicting that when the $$$ finally dried up things were going to get pretty unpleasant, and here we are!

    November 5, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  24. Zac, Atlanta

    Incomes are down, thus tax revenues are down, thus the the deficit is higher. In other breaking news: 1+1=2.

    November 5, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  25. tee

    They could have took the money they spent....and help out the people of Florida.....oh that wouldn't be republican......they don't fix anything...they tear it down

    November 5, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
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