March 4th, 2010
12:16 PM ET
5 years ago

Crist says Rubio campaign a 'fraud'

Crist is stepping up his attacks on Senate primary opponent Marco Rubio.
Crist is stepping up his attacks on Senate primary opponent Marco Rubio.

(CNN) – Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is stepping up his attacks on Senate primary opponent Marco Rubio, declaring Rubio's professed conservatism is "the greatest fraud perpetrated on people."

"I won't go negative in this race, that's not my nature, but by the same token, I will not let [Rubio's] façade continue," Crist told the National Review Online in comments published Thursday. "When this guy calls himself the real conservative in the race, I've got to point out that it's the opposite."

Crist, the popular GOP governor who is mounting a bid for Senate and has won the endorsement of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, finds himself locked in a tight race with Rubio, the former Florida House Speaker.

Once little known throughout the state, Rubio steadily climbed in the polls as he embraced the mantle of fiscal conservatism and painted Crist as a moderate too willing to spend taxpayer dollars.

But referencing a recent report that Rubio used a Florida Republican Party credit card for personal expenditures, Crist dubbed him "one of the most irresponsible spenders I've ever seen."

"He talks about how we need to spend less in Washington, but he sure seems to like spending other people's money," he told the Web site.

Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos called Crist's claim of frugality the governor's "latest reinvention."

"When he endorsed and campaigned for the $787 billion stimulus, Floridians saw firsthand how Charlie Crist's personal frugality does not translate into fiscal restraint with taxpayer money," Burgos said.


Filed under: Charlie Crist • Marco Rubio
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Most Republicans - Wrong about everything, Wrong for America (and GW Bush was the worst President ever)

    You're not the real conservative, I am. No I am. No I am. No I am. No I am. I know you are, but what am I. No I am.............

    March 4, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. Christie

    Rubio's questioning of Crist's spending mounts to one question-
    did the stimilus money create jobs? If the answer is yes – then how is that spending not fiscal?

    March 4, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. A different George W.

    In true Republican form, Crist already sounds like the sore loser before he's even lost! The Cons MUST GET OVER THEMSELVES and stop looking to what will benefit them most personally and realize, dude, you're running for PUBLIC OFFICE and a lot of the public are NOT INTERESTED in your Conservative bull.

    March 4, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. Charge it to my Tab Rubio

    If Floridians elect Rubio, you will regret it. He's already proven that he can't be trusted with the PEOPLE'S MONEY. Lock away your credit cards.

    March 4, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  5. Silas Kain - Boston

    Rubio a fraud? Excuse me, Governor, ain't that the pot calling the kettle pink?

    March 4, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  6. Laverne

    Mr. man you are wrong, Mr. Crist vote was about the suffering people of Florida and not his own parties political tactics, ask the people of Florida who lost their jobs and health insurance who they prefer and I guarantee you Mr. Crist will be Florida's next senator!

    March 4, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. Doraine Gordon

    I predicted that if Rubio hung wih DeMint he would turn out to be just like him. And sure enough he has.

    March 4, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  8. GI Joe

    But .. but ... but Rubio went to SC and got purified by the religious wingnuts. Ask Demented. He's one of the purifiers. Ask Sanford.

    March 4, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  9. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    Crist needs to call-out Rubio. However this article is yet more proof of the ongoing Republican Civil War.

    With Hayworth attempting to unseat McCain.... and Rubio attempting to throw Crist under the bus..... IS THIS REALLY THE LEADERSHIP AMERICA WANTS??

    March 4, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  10. Avi Shlomo

    Charlie, perhaps you can bring Sarah Palin to tell him that. you are all fraud both sides!!

    March 4, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  11. Dysfunctional Palin's Malfunctioning "Palm" Pilot

    Nuthin' more fradulent than the teabaggin' Rubio also, too! You bet'cha! Wink, wink!

    March 4, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  12. Votethemallout...

    Rubio will never beat Gov Crist !!!!!!!!!! The people of Florida will not vote against someone who accepted stimilus funds to help the people of Florida. That is his job...helping the people of Florida.

    March 4, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. Nosey Canadians should mind their own business

    I like Crist.

    March 4, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. Fair is Fair

    Before Rubio entered this race, the liberals trashed Crist like he was last night's garbage. Now he's their hero. You just can't beat the entertainment value of this.

    March 4, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  15. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Yes ...however almost ALL Republicans are frauds. It is ridiculous how the lunatic fringe has treated Crist though.

    March 4, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. Chas in Iowa

    And this differs from negative campaining in what way?

    March 4, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  17. CR

    The fraud of "Conservatism" is exposed. Nothing more than phony talking points denigrating government and promoting selfishness. Meanwhile these characters use their political clout to secure special privilege for their corporate interests. Hardly conservative, just their own version of "Big Government" shrouded in hypocrisy.

    March 4, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  18. Mark

    Rubio is nothing but a run-of-the-mill communist who gets graft money from hidden republican donors who wants to push a us (rich people) vs, the less fortunate with no regard for the less affluent.

    March 4, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  19. Dave

    As a true fiscal conservative and one who thinks we need less spending, less taxes, and less government, I will be the first to admit that I do not know alot about Rubio. What I do know is Crist's record, and he is a moderate, big spending Republican like most of them from the Bush Senate. For that reason Crist will not get my vote. His record speaks for itself.

    March 4, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    How much money has FL received from the Stimulus? How much of it has Rubio helped spend from his state legislature position and then taken credit for using it to help FL citizens? And what was that figure again for how much tax payer money Rubio spent ON HIMSELF? Seems to me you can criticize the Stimulus all you want..it's all a valid argument...but the bottom line is that Crist did bring in some of that money to benefit the people of his state. Rubio blew their money on his own personal wants. There is no equivocating the two.

    March 4, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  21. Shelly

    Rubio IS a fraud. If you want the state to return to the dark ages, he is your man!

    March 4, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  22. Kate in SW Fla

    I am a Democrat. However, I am going to go change my registration to Republican so I can vote to nominate Charlie Crist. He is the best thing that has happened to Florida since Bob Graham. Smart, compassionate, hard-working and willing to work for EVERYONE, not just right wingnuts. I want to encourage as many fellow Democrats to do the same thing.

    March 4, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  23. AEK

    Eating their own, AGAIN! Used to love watching the Democrats doing this same thing but I think this is even more amusing.

    March 4, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  24. Angus McDugan

    To: LacrosseMom(the real one)

    Crist and McCain are not consertatives and need to be outted for real consertatives. Read up and educate yourself before you spout off. Lest you look stupid.

    March 4, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  25. HSNP

    Come out of the closet, Gov. Crist. You're the fraud!!

    March 4, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
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