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. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I'm curious to know who Rubio's political mentor is . Who's his "daddy"? By all accoutns he seems to have come out of political obscurity and thrusted into the limelight.

    Crist is a career politician by comparison. He should be able to hold his own against a relative novice like Rubio who doesn't even know to use his personal credit card for personal purchases vs. the gov't Amex.

    March 4, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. Donatella

    If the people of Florida know like I know they would stick with Charlie Crist, he might be gay but at least you won't stave to death, this guy Rubio, is gonna cut everything he can to prove to these wingnuts that he is one of them, at the same time he will be giving generous tax cuts to the rich. Thats what's going on in NJ, we needed cuts here to balance the budget but the only thing getting cut a are police, firemen, teachers benefits, all the top dogs are not being touched, I lot of people have regrets but it's a done deal. I know people that live in Florida, they are suffering now, if you vote this guy in it will only get worst.

    March 4, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  3. Monkey wrench

    I live in Florida and Crist is my current Governor. Our public schools are a joke, our insurance system is a joke, our property taxes continue to climb, our housing market is a bust and our State and local bureaucracy are out of control. I am voting for Rubio, but for all the liberal progressives puking on here, maybe Marco should get Tim Geithner, Charlie Rangel, or Tom Daschel to help him manage his accounts properly!

    March 4, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. Truth Matters

    Pres. Obama himself opposed the use of reconciliation for HCR.

    March 4, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. Duke

    It's ashame that the tea bag fad has been given the airplay that it has. History has proven time and again that cheap ideologies might get you elected, but lack of ideas will get you booted out. In the meantime people will have to suffer because the trailer trash tea bag lack of agenda will be given 6 years to waste space. Look at how the last 8 years turned out. Crist, I'm with ya brother. Be true to who you are, don't follow the fad.

    March 4, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  6. PK

    CNN's Ticker uses the same photos over and over (and over) again. Surely they have the resources to get a few more to liven up the ticker. Don't get me wrong, I love this one... he looks extra orange in it... but a little variety would be nice.

    March 4, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  7. Ken in Pisgah Forest

    Between the TARP funds, although misused from their intended purpose, and the stimulus, which should have been twice as large to be effective, the US managed to avoid 25% unemployment, high crime associated with that, bread lines, and having to rename the Great Depression the Second Greatest Depression. Anyone who wants to live through another depression should vote for Rubio. Anyone who doesn't should vote for Christ.

    March 4, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. Andrew

    Crist is one of the few remaining pubs, not embracing the extremism that's tearing up the US; he's not an idealogue like Rubio. Crist is a centrist, Rubio's so far right, if he was a car he'd be running people over on the sidewalk.

    March 4, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    We are subjected to the lies of political campaigns because of free speech,but why must we endure lies and deciet as part of the process?
    All these guys seem to twist what they do to suit their needs. Why can't the press just call them out and move on?
    Crist by the way- did what he should have for Florida

    March 4, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. Wisconsonite - It's Not Socialism, It's SANITY

    Rubio's a fake just like the rest of the Tea Party!

    March 4, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  11. Tom in FL

    It used to be easy. A 'conservative' was anyone who loved George W. Bush and a 'liberal' was anybody who supposedly hated him. Now the 'conservatives' claim to hate Bush, if they mention him at all, and a 'liberal' is anybody the 'conservatives' hate. I really have no idea what they're talking about anymore. Who is the 'true' conservative, Charlie or Mario? Who cares?

    March 4, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  12. Clay

    Jesus Crist...How could anyone believe a thing this guy spouts? I never thought anyone could beat the Bush's to new lows, but Crist has managed with flying colors. He's absolutely worthless.

    March 4, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  13. Ken in NC

    I am a Democrat that likes Crist. I think he has taken actions to help the citizens of his state. They may have been actions he would not have wanted to take but had little choice because he had to think about the interest of the citizens of Florida.

    I did not like the idea of the stimilus but money had to get into our economy somehow and the administration did that. I would not have saved AIG but rather smaller local banks first but then I was not incharge of the stimilus funds so we take what we can get.

    March 4, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  14. max

    haha ... 'I won't go negative ... but ...' typical neo-tard

    March 4, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  15. Dennis

    No your current president is the worst president ever. Take from the "have's and give to the have nots , is socialism

    Taking government control over healthcare is socialism

    Taking over gm/chrysler is socialism

    Telling someone how much they can make is socialism

    andy stern(the most frequent visitor in the whitehouse) is a communist

    Anybody else see a pattern here , i guess not from THIS website

    March 4, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  16. Bryan

    Im in FL and voting for Rubiio.

    We don't need another Progressive Republican

    March 4, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  17. John in Tampa

    I am registered Independent (for over 30 years). I tend to the Progressive side, but prefer an honest Republican over a shady Democrat.

    Anyway, my opinion is that Crist is the better choice here, but depending on the Dems side (which I have not researched yet) I could support Rubio in order to put the weaker Republican in the race.

    March 4, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  18. sally

    The loser (Crist) always cries foul

    March 4, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  19. Jdog

    There's really no light between these two clowns. All of these GOP thugs are anti-American, anti-middle class pawns of multinational corporations. Anyone who votes GOP anywhere is complicit in America's decline.

    March 4, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  20. Steve (the real one)

    Obama and Pelosi are asking te dems to sacrifice their poltical careers just so healthcare can pass. IS THIS REALLY THE LEADERSHIP AMERICA WANTS??

    March 4, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  21. Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Crist is not a success as a Governor. He has a likable persona, he does work hard. But Florida is a mess economically. What credibility does he have to fix the U.S. economy when he presides over one of the states with the WORST economy? Furthermore, it is not getting better. Foreigners are buying up real estate like crazy, while locals are still standing on unemployment lines or sitting in underemployment seats. He should be ashamed of himself.

    March 4, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. Victoria

    Did Obama offered Crist the senate seat for supporting the stimulus package?

    March 4, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  23. Pointing Fingers!!!

    "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.***
    McCain voted for for the $787 billion stimulus What's new Burgos*****

    March 4, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  24. Angie in PA

    I love how all these Republicans are coming out now with their Fiscial spending and there worrying about the Debt and the future WHERE THE H– WERE THEY WITH BUSH? Sure could of used them and maybe we wouldnt be in this mess!

    March 4, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. Carmela, Longwood, Florida

    Mr. Crist:: you yourself have no right to point fingers at anyone for any reason. You are a closeted gay, desguised as a 'married man', just to earn points with your party, despite the fact that all of us here in Florida know about you. That makes you a 'fraud' too. Your homosexual dalliances were all over the media at some point! Please!!! First and foremost, come clean with everyone; then you will have earned the right to call someone else a 'fraud'.

    March 4, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
1 2 3