February 10th, 2010
11:18 AM ET
12 years ago

A year later, 'The Hug' returns to spotlight in Florida

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/10/art.bocrist0210.gi.jpg caption="Charlie Crist has taken heat for his appearance with President Obama one year ago."](CNN) - Fort Myers, Florida, is home to nearby beach resorts, exotic birds and the spring training facility for the Boston Red Sox.

The Gulf Coast city also happens to be ground zero for the volatile Republican Senate primary between Gov. Charlie Crist and former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio.

One year ago Wednesday, President Obama arrived in Fort Myers to promote his $787 billion stimulus package. It was a piece of legislation, he argued, that would return precious jobs to a state reeling from the implosion of the housing market. Crist, eager to be seen with a president whose approval ratings were soaring at the time, joined Obama for the event.

Appearing on stage at Harborside Event Center during a rally for the Recovery Act, Crist embraced the president before the cameras, a gesture now widely mocked in Florida politics as "The Hug."

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Filed under: Charlie Crist • Marco Rubio • Popular Posts
soundoff (149 Responses)
  1. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "...to promote his $787 billion stimulus package."

    And, a year later, all we have to show for that "stimulus package" is a $787 billion debt and nothing to show for it. The "best" that can be said for Porkulus is that it siphoned money away from those who earned it and into the pockets of useless government drones.

    February 10, 2010 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  2. marlene

    Much ado, about nothing. Just another example how citizens/organizations use events to denegrate the President. And the media uses this to fuel the flames. People are tired of the partisanship and I'm tired of the media writing this type of an article. Marlene in Mich

    February 10, 2010 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  3. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Obama is the kiss of death for the election hopes of anyone, democrat or republican.

    February 10, 2010 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  4. CHUCK

    I don't get it. What's wrong with taking a photo with the president. If Rubio is a good choice for the nomination then the people in the great state of Florida will make the right choice.

    February 10, 2010 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  5. Robert the Man

    And we can all tell that the $787 billion has created those jobs. Well I mean I can't, but someone can right? The only place I'd want to be seen with Obama is the unemployement line in 2012, and that's just cause I'll need a good pic for my facebook status update.

    February 10, 2010 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  6. Angus McDugan

    Crist is one of those kids in high school that tagged along with the popular kids begging to be noticed by them.

    WHAT A TOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 10, 2010 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  7. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    what a bunch of BALONEY about nothing

    February 10, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  8. Tim from Tampa

    Which direction is the wind blowing today, Charley?

    February 10, 2010 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  9. Steph

    At least Crist is honest. Other Republicans took the money they voted against. Yes, they complain about big government, but happily take the checks. Worse yet, some try to hold up appointments to get EXTRA PORK! Is that the small government y'all talk about?

    February 10, 2010 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  10. ran

    So much for bipartisanship. At this point the President and the Democrats and people who want anything of substance to happen are fooling themselves if they think the fear/hate/obstructionist/purist Republicans are going to help at all.

    Until the Republicans change their tactics, we need to either vote for true Democrats or true Independents if we want things to happen. The Republicans have no intention and because of the Ma. election have no incentive to cooperate.

    February 10, 2010 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  11. ANGIE

    Im sure its mocked by the stupid hateful repugs. they are a sad bunch of losers. so full of hate, they can't stand themselves.

    February 10, 2010 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  12. jules sand-perkins

    The mistake was an easy one for Govenor Crist to make then.
    When President Obama was elected, he acted so convincingly that many of us believed he could accomplish what was needed in this country by the methods he proposed.
    We could not foresee the details of his methods, and we certainly could not discern the hidden agendas of this charismatic socialist.
    That Govenor Crist placed his political dipper in the Kool-Aid bowl is understandable, but actions have consequences.
    Fortunately, most of us have sobered up from the Kool-Aid now, in spite of President Obama's theatrical skills.

    February 10, 2010 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  13. Conservative Voice

    If you lie doewn with dogs you get up with fleas.....

    February 10, 2010 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  14. katiec

    I hope Crist does well in the upcoming election as he is the only republican I know of who puts survival of our country over party.
    The remainder are destroying our country with their irresponsible, unAmerican, hypocritical tactics and actions.

    February 10, 2010 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  15. Andi

    It's sad how pathetic and petty we have all become. "Don't vote for this guy because he hugged President Obama". We've turned into the laughingstock of the world the way we hate on each other so much, and for what? Political 'power'? As constituents, we fight bitterly amongst ourselves while politicians grab all they can.

    And when we die, we leave with what we came with. Nothing.

    February 10, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  16. RTB

    What a silly thing to do. Mock an embrace?

    These republicans need some serious therapy.

    Although a republican Charlie Crist is a smart and thoughtful man.

    February 10, 2010 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  17. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Mr. Crist was smart for accepting the money. The conservatives may blast him all they want, but Gov. Crist actually has to govern!!! It's easier said than done. On that note, let's look at all the republicans who voted against the stimulus bill, but they are at ribbon cutting ceremonies for projects funded by stimulus money. Hypocrites!

    February 10, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  18. Mike1952

    Political prostitution is rampant. No one will stand by their principles if it means getting a vote. Sad!

    February 10, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  19. historian

    I hope Crist runs for the Senate – he supports what is appropriate and doesn't appear to be one-sided or malicious. He would be a wonderful senator.

    February 10, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  20. Terry from West Texas

    Obama should hug every Conservative if it will help them lose elections. We need to obliterate Conservatism and chisel its name from every monument so our grandchildren will not even know what it was.

    February 10, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  21. faithful democrat/jacksonville

    Is it against the law or principles to "hug" The President of the United States of America? 🙂 Or is the question in hugging a Democratic President. President Obama is a very charmistic and intelligent person with a very friendly and warm smile...who can resist giving him a hug or even a handshake. You GOP has alot to learn. This is a world of different and unique people and this world does not revolve around your standards of how life is to be or lived according to your principles. Republicans it's time to change your ways of thinking because not everything and/or anything is only about the GOPs. I really do love "our" President. And we are prepared to be ready for you GOPs in 2012.

    February 10, 2010 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  22. Chad from Tampa

    Charlie needs to stop pretending to be a conservative and switch parties. Rubio is the man!

    February 10, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  23. Liberal wing nut

    He signed off on that worthless stimulus and needs to go.

    February 10, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  24. james Miller

    The 8th deadliest sin-– a Repub embracing a Demo. They shall be "dammed" forever. We are in a sad state of affairs, folks

    February 10, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  25. Kevin

    Of COURSE hugging the socialist/sleeper Muslim/terrorist/Kenyan/fascist/deutero-Joker president would be politically damning to the Republicans! Incivility is a critical litmus test for all potential GOP candidates. That's not to say that Democrats are incapable of incivility—they just haven't perfected it as an art form in the singular fashion of their elephantine counterparts.

    Pathetic.

    February 10, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
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