April 16th, 2010
02:06 PM ET
5 years ago

Crist brushes off top adviser's resignation

Charlie Crist's campaign chairman resigned Thursday evening.
Charlie Crist's campaign chairman resigned Thursday evening.

(CNN) - Gov. Charlie Crist is brushing off news his top political adviser resigned Thursday night after the Florida Republican vetoed a GOP-backed education bill.

"[T]here is always a price to pay for making decisions in life, and in my business, in the political world, you take political hits, and that's OK, that's just part of it. But you have to do what you think is right at the end of the day," Crist said during an event in Miami Friday.

The Associated Press reported Thursday night that Connie Mack, a longtime political ally of Crist, tendered a letter of resignation because the governor had vetoed a bill favored by state Republican lawmakers and grassroots conservatives but largely unpopular among teachers' unions.

"As you know, I strongly disagree with your veto," the former senator wrote. "Your veto I believe undermines our education system in Florida ad the principles for which I have always stood.

Some political watchers say that Crist's veto may be a signal that the governor is positioning himself as a centrist and giving up his bid against Marco Rubio for the Republican Senate nomination. But on Friday, Crist denied that is the case.

"My veto is a signal that I thought the bill was bad. And I though we need to do it better and do it right for the people of state of Florida, especially the children and teachers," Crist said.

Crist's comments were made at a joint appearance on Friday with Alonzo Mourning at a Miami-Dade school named in honor of the former Miami Heat star.

When asked if he was considering a run as an independent in the Florida Senate race, Crist dodged the issue.

"I am trying to come to this great school and honor Alonzo Mourning, and we'll look at that [running as an independent] later on.

Crist has until the end of the month to declare if he'll remain in the GOP primary or run as an independent.

A Quinnipiac University poll indicates that Rubio, the former state house speaker and a darling of conservative activists, leads Crist by 23 points among Republican primary voters. But the survey of Florida voters, released Thursday, also indicates that Crist, if he chose to run as an independent, would hold a narrow edge in a three-way contest with Rubio and Rep. Kendrick Meek, the Democratic candidate in the race.

– Paul Steinhauser and Peter Hamby contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2010 • Charlie Crist • Florida • Marco Rubio
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. JIm,VIRGINIA

    Thank you Connie MACK !!!

    April 16, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  2. Travis

    As a FL citizen who generally votes Democrat, I am viewing Gov Crist in a whole new light. This was the right time to stand up and be counted for the right thing.

    April 16, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  3. t22

    Look at the bright side, if he drops out he can work on his tan!

    April 16, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. Robert Warner

    Memo to all GOP candidates from the Tea Party and all other faux-conservatives; conform or else.

    April 16, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. Grace

    Did Connie Mack really write, "ad" instead of "and"? If so, he must have gone to a private school.

    April 16, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. gramma 73

    you are the worst governor FL has ever had. You are a rubber stamp for obama, a RINO, and a few other things. I even voted for you. Boy was I ever wrong about you. Stay out of politics until such a time as you can be truthful about your beliefs.

    April 16, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. Lori in St Pete

    Not to worry Charlie. You did the right thing by vetoing that disaster of a bill. IMO, if it's all about the teachers the unions should do a shuffle to teachers from "A" schools to "F" schools and vice versa. If it's all about the teachers, thos "A" school teachers should be able to turn around those "F" schools in no time at all!

    That being said, with the stroke of your veto pen, you gained the support of the majority of dems and indies statewide.

    April 16, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  8. fhwilson246

    this guy needs to go back to his rented apartment.
    next he needs to announce that his 'wife' is a beard.

    April 16, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Richard

    Gov. Crist's decision to veto the education reform bill which was put in front of him was both well thought out and in the end wise. Real discussion and level headed thinking did not go into the formation and passage of this bill. Now there is the opportunity, if Florida lawmakers have the will, to make meaningful reform and in the spotlight where the most people can be informed and judge. While not always a supporter of our Govenor, I am pleased that he did not buckle under over this matter.

    April 16, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  10. Dale

    "Your veto I believe undermines our education system in Florida ad the principles for which I have always stood.

    What? The Republican party has been at war with Florida children for decades.

    April 16, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  11. Wally

    You tell 'em, Charlie!!!!

    April 16, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  12. Annie, Atlanta

    According to a Florida teacher's group that organized on Facebook, the measure would have based teacher salaries on how well students do on tests (forcing teachers to teach to tests – we have that here in our county in GA and it doesn't work!). It would have disregarded teachers with higher education. And the most incredible result allegedly would have been making Jeb Bush and his group, who were apparently behind this measure, billions of dollars. If this is truly the case, which is something we had to learn from a blog because the media wasn't reporting it, Charlie Crist did the right thing.

    April 16, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. independent

    Charlie, leave the Dark Side, come the to Force. All are one with the Force. Join us. :-)

    April 16, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Capt. Snarky

    Charlie- dude. It's time to call it a day........

    April 16, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. j Reid

    Huh, well, having attended one junior high and three high schools in Florida from 1957-1962, and comparing the system there with the one in Massachusetts where I went to primary school, I have the impression that it is difficult to "undermine" the Florida secondary educational system much further.
    My view of the relative quality of the Florida system has not changed in the last half-century.

    April 16, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  16. TheTruthForOnce, NOT BS

    I'm beginning to have more respect for Crist than I've had. I still don't like him but if it comes down to him versus Rubio – I'd take Crist. Rubio is a nutcase anyway. This state can't live with someone like him. It would ruin the state for good!

    April 16, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  17. th

    Another Repub that didn't get their way and they quit.

    April 16, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. JES

    Stop pulling votes from someone who has a chance of winning.

    April 16, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. jsilver2th

    Oh boy- Crist will be able to get in the same corner with Lieberman and McCain and have the independent caucus!

    April 16, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. THE TRUTH

    charlie ,

    give it up my man, it is one thing to be defeated and another thing to be a loser

    April 16, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  21. Get Serious

    At least Gov. Crist has a backbone. I would love to see him run as an independent.

    April 16, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. rosslaw

    Crist, make the plunge and go independent. You have absolutely no chance with with the tea party activists who in fact want government to coddle them in all areas of their lives but are outraged that they might have to pay for it. Rubio is yet another clownish conservative whose primary skill is sounding tought and feathering his own nest and yet the tea party sees him as the second coming of Ronald Reagan. Just think about how both the dems and the rethugs will have to cater to you as an independent.

    April 16, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. george from alaska

    ...too bad christ couldn't have been more honorable when it came to firing state dep managers & destroying their careers for just doing their job and pointing out lake okeechobee's water might as well come out of a cow's rear end.

    mack needs the bill he was against since he can't even spell "and".

    April 16, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. Tired Ant

    Stick a fork in him... he's done.

    April 16, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  25. Don

    Crist is exactly the kind of politician we plan to remove from office all over the country. One that stands for his own preservation not values of any particular kind.

    April 16, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
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