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. Josh

    So basically, the ubber conservative right wing nuts cannot stand a moderate conservative that is willing to listen to others? And Michael Steele still asks why the GOP is sliding down hill.

    Obama has been in power for 10 months in a recession that started 3 years ago and the GOP has forgotten about this?

    Wow. Vote Crist for Senate and then for President in 2016! Anyone who is an enemy of my enemy (GOP) is my friend.

    November 5, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  2. TLD

    Someone please take back control of whats' 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 will 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 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  3. Ferick

    Oh oh, Christ is in trouble with the far right. They will fight him to death, and I am not sure he can win in a Republican only primary. He is trying to back paddle now but it may be too late. If the going gets any tougher and Rubio gets further traction, Christ might pull out. All in all, good news for the Dems.

    November 5, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  4. Randy, San Francisco

    Before running as a GOP candidate, you need the blessings from the extreme conservative right wing and Rush Limbaugh.

    November 5, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  5. 7pesos

    conservatives are grasping for straws.

    ha,ha,ha.

    glad to see those folks go down after all their great leader , george

    bush, did to america.

    November 5, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. danthesensibleman

    Are Republicans just completely ignorant about the system they work in? A stimulous bill is any bill that spends more than the government is taking in and is intended to stimulate some sector of the economy! SO...TARP, which was passed during bush's presidency, and had support of both parties and was equally costly wasn't wrong but the stimulous is? the GOP supports TARP because TARP was designed to bailout the banks and insurance groups alike who contribute millions to GOP campaigns and the stimulous to help out every day individuals who the GOP couldn't give a crap about. Not to mention the increase in revenue from the fed, which is a bi-partisan entity, which is also clearly a stimulous program.

    November 5, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    The Republicans are starting to weaken their own party with this infighting. Didn't they see what happened in New York this week? By the way, why did the media cover the two governor races 90% of the time and make them seem so important? It seems pretty obvious that the two Congressional seats that were won by the Democrats actually were much more important because these two people actually get to vote in Washington on important issues and the New York race added one seat to the Democratic tally. It seems the media tried very hard to make a big story for the Republicans out of this when really the governors have no power at all in Washington. Why did they do this?

    November 5, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. Stephan

    RINO hunters at work. Proudly attacking moderate candidates in Republican primary races. Go, baby go. Drill, baby drill. Destroy, baby, destory. Loss, GOP, loss.

    November 5, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  9. LacrosseMom

    Looks like the Republicans are set on removing from their party anyone who is not an extreme-far-right GOPer!

    First Scozzafava, and now Crist!

    Lots of whining and complaining as usual. People do not realize that CHANGE TAKES TIME...... I certainly did not expect Obama to SAVE THE ECONOMY IN 10...... MONTHS.

    The Great Recession began in early 2008, and its ONLY in the 3rd Quarter of THIS YEAR....... that our Economy has begun to GROW!

    The economy is not fast food! People need to read, and educate themselves then perhaps you would all understand the complexities of the recovery.

    Obama inherited the Bush Disaster! It took 8 years for Bush to bring America to its knees.

    November 5, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. Midwest

    I guess all you dems seem to forget the 2 gov positions that you lost yesterday! The new york 23 dist was the same as the pres race. A crap candidate running on the repub side! Why do you think Harry Reid said yesterday "we probally won't have health care legislation by the end of the year" after they said they would and he was pushing his new health bill the week before! It's because there scared to lose come Nov 2010!!

    November 5, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  11. Joan

    The Republicans are starting to weaken their own party with this infighting. Didn't they see what happened in New York this week? By the way, why did the media cover the two governor races 90% of the time and make them seem so important? It seems pretty obvious that the two Congressional seats that were won by the Democrats actually were much more important because these two people actually get to vote in Washington on important issues and the New York race added one seat to the Democratic tally. It seems the media tried very hard to make a big story for the Republicans out of this when really the governors have no power at all in Washington. Why did they do this?

    November 5, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. The nazis had 'Mein Kampf', the wingnuts have 'Going Rogue

    The unpatriotic mob really needs to get away from Fox and their lack of fact checking. Time to embrace common sense.

    November 5, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  13. Tom

    Sounds like the "Swift Boat" folks are alive and well but operating under a "NEW" name !!

    November 5, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. George Bush - Worst President Ever

    They derailed the Republican candidate who they thought was too liberal, and the Democrat ended up winning. How does that make them successful?

    November 5, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. Todd (not the Alaska Separatist)

    Team Hate America continues to devour its own. It just makes one giddy to see the viciousness of the cornered right wing rabid animal. Let me get a stick.

    November 5, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  16. The nazis had 'Mein Kampf', the wingnuts have 'Going Rogue

    The wealthy wingnuts continue their scorched Earth policy of fear and want to purge any intelligent people from their elite white country club political party.

    November 5, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  17. W l Jones

    The Club of Growths did not turn down one military contract stimulus plan for theirs state. What a conservative self serving bunch.

    November 5, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  18. sutton

    Club for Growth pushing right wing candidates and pushing out moderates within the Republican Party only hurts not helps that political party.
    When their candidate lost in the 23rd District in Upstate NY to a Democrat (first time Democrat had won in 100 years) they were still happy because a moderate Republican didn't win.
    Now they are trying the same thing in Florida and are talking about several other states as well.
    They don't seem to realize that in doing this they make the Republican Party a marginal party and no longer a National party when it comes to politics.

    November 5, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  19. Brian

    The Club for Growth should be sued for false advertising. The only growth they promote is the growth of brain tumors inside my skull.

    November 5, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  20. CB!

    I don't get it – their guy LOST in New York State. What's the point of running people your little group might like only to have them defeated by regular voters? These guys are so self destructive. I just don't get it...

    November 5, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  21. Cindy

    Still sounds like a hair implant informercial...

    November 5, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. gl, From Pittsburgh

    This is great news. Please give us Dems more seats in Congress. Hey, Chris there is always room in our tenent.

    November 5, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  23. Beth Sturgiss

    I have lived in FL all my life and during the handing out of stimulus funds, too. Gov Crist never in my view came across as enthusiastic about the stimulus, but he did state that he would take the money for the state because it can be useful, and it has been in some respects.

    November 5, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. Charlotte, NC

    We had 2 tea party people run for city council. We rejected them because they are all nuts.

    November 5, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  25. Moderate Democrat

    Club for Growth organization translates to: Put people out of work so rich people can get richer. SCREW america. Club for Growth is a terrorist cell. Deny it all you want, but it is fact! Their policies would RUIN this country!

    November 5, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
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