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. pkb

    This is what Republicans dwell on. Mindless garbage, not the deficit, not job losses, not the economy, not homelessness. Just this crap.

    February 10, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  2. Donkey Party

    Because hugging Tom Tancredo would've been sooo much better.

    February 10, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  3. PALINs PALM PILOT...there lies the clueless solutions

    Charlie Crist just need to go independent to beat these nutwit teabaggers!
    It's a shame to attack a successful governor because of a HUG, and not because he misappropriated the stimulus funds....at least he is doing the best for HIS state to keep it afloat by keeping teachers and nurses employed...even though interim and at a huge cost; at least he is helping to cut down the unemployment rate.

    What is Marco Rubio gonna do differently....Give GW Bush, Palin and Rush Limabugh a big bear HUG; and fire everyone govt workers in Florida and bring back those failed policies of the last 8yrs...by cutting un-paid for taxes for the rich and wealthiest Floridians and leaving medicare and unemployment benefits and govt. programs unfunded to save a buck or two!

    Grow a pair of brains and vote wisely...Charlie Crist for INDEPENDENTS!!!!

    February 10, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  4. ThinkAgain

    What's Rubio got to offer? The same tried-and-failed policies of tax cuts for the wealthy, de-regulation, torture for prisoners, and government interference in our personal lives.

    Been there, done that. The Republicans had 8 years under Bush to show whether these policies work and guess what? THEY DON'T.

    Economically, we've had 30 years of voodoo, tinkle-down Reaganomics and guess what? IT DOESN’T WORK.

    Lastly, where was Mr. Fiscal Conservative when GW Bush was passing irresponsible tax cuts for the wealthy during wartime, turning the Clinton surplus into the Bush deficits?

    Only a fool will get suckered by Rubio and the GOP.

    February 10, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  5. ThinkAgain

    "The Hug": Another example of juvenile Republican politics.

    The GOP wants our president and our country to fail, so they can scare people into voting for them. And do what?

    Finish the job they started of taking our country down the toilet.

    GOP = Party Before Country

    February 10, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    Why is it that the right wingnuts refuse to admit that the stock market is up 25% since Obama took over, durable goods orders are up, homesales are up(at least here in distressed Florida,) foreclosures are down, and the unemployment rate did decline to 9.7%? In 1983, Reagan's unemployment numbers topped 13%, and he did not have to deal with a near depression.

    February 10, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  7. Mr Joshua

    Crist is toast. Thanks to Obama and the Liberal leadership Reagan Conservatives are on the rise. Deny it if you like

    February 10, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  8. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    How are the non union workers at Toyota doing these days? There goes any good report on next months unemployment numbers. Moral of the story, if you want to be safe in an auto, buy only American union made vehicles.

    February 10, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  9. HypocriCNN/FOX Nuisense Are Antichrists Of News!

    At Least HypocriCNN Nor Marco Rubio (The Boobio) Doesn't Engage In Revisionist History?

    February 10, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  10. diridi

    Republican thugs are crazy...simple...that's it...

    February 10, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  11. EC

    Rubio is really showing his TRUE colors as a Republican. Republicans do nothing when it comes to solutions and solving our country's crisis, but when it comes to smear and fear tactics, REPUBLICANS ARE #1 in that arena.

    The Republicans LEADERSHIP would rather vote NO on everything, even policies they THEMSELVES WROTE and SUPPORTED because President Obama states they are "good ideas". Republicans don't care about COUNTRY FIRST, the only thing they are focused on is DESTROYING OUR PRESIDENT and OUR COUNTRY'S SUCCESS. Bottom line.

    What a bunch of turncoats TRAITORS!!

    Americans don't need to worry about TERRORISTS in our country, we have REPUBLICANS doing the same thing right here on American soil.

    February 10, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  12. All the news that is fit to omit

    Owebama has had such a great track record for going to bat for people and policies:

    Health care
    Crap and trade
    losing Gitmo
    Multiple nominees that don't pay taxes or are admitted communists etc

    Hoow could this possibly go wrong?

    Owebama and his house of frauds are going down big time and I LOVE IT, the carnage is so bad they need a "corpse man".

    February 10, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  13. Vic of New York

    "Live by the gun, die by the gun."

    The Republican Party is like a dying star, imploding and destined to consume itself. That may be sad, but it serves them right. How long do you really think this kind of racist, obstructive, childish behavior will sustain itself before a voter backlash?

    How long before the public (forget the right wing nits) figures out that the Republican leadership (McConnell, Boehner, Cantor) are more like: Moe, Larry and Curly of the 3-Stooges?

    Mark my words - the recconing is not long in coming now.

    February 10, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  14. Nevada dude

    Funny how GOP congressmen and governors lambast the stimulus, but were more than happy to take credit for the funds when they arrived at their state.

    what GOP hypocrites and cowards!

    February 10, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  15. Will

    If Southerners have such a problem with their state leadership showing respect for the leader of the United States, then they should rebel again. We have nukes this time around, and I'd love to see us put them to use against them.

    February 10, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  16. Susan

    People have gone absolutely bonkers! What's wrong with two elected officials enjoing a pleasant moment? Have we become so "hateful" that we can't even be nice to one another without having to worry about "political correctness"? Is this the way we plan to recover from our current condition? Get real people ... a little kindness certainly can't hurt any of us.

    February 10, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  17. john in binghamton NY

    Fantastic, elect the other guy because this guy shook hands with the president of the USA. Finally some real issues. Did he catch cooties? How old are these people?

    February 10, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  18. NotFooledTX

    This is sophomoric and nonsensical.

    Obama is still the President, like it or not. Using this as a political tool is ridiculous and juvenile.

    February 10, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  19. Rickster

    Here's a tip to any politician who wants to be elected/re-elected: Don't go anywhere near Barry Soetoro or Barack Obama or whatever he is calling himself these days. Now that anybody with a functioning brain has realized what a complete disaster the guy is your best bet is to stay as far away from him as possible.

    February 10, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  20. Fed Up

    Who cares????? Is there nothing else in this world that is more important now? Get over yourselves!

    February 10, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  21. Loquitor

    Rubio will not work with anyone but conservatives. He opposes compromise with the president and would grind the government to a halt in order to be against any idea the president would be willing to sign. If Rubio is elected bipartianship is more dead then now. I wont vote for him

    February 10, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  22. Frozone

    Yet to see anything but racial animus and hatred from the GOP.

    February 10, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  23. Monster Zero

    Don't tell and join the military...they will both need new jobs soon!

    February 10, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  24. proud mother and sister of soldiers

    The man is dead in the water!

    February 10, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  25. Hannah

    We will all win when we come together for the greater good, the good of the majority of the people in America. But the way it stands now that is not going to happen. Trickle down is in actuality flooding up to the top earners of the country and since resources are limited that leaves the middle class and the poor out in the cold with nothing. And it isn't as if we haven't worked for it. We have, but they've taken our pensions, don't want us to have health care, want to privatize everything, our community services are now being gutted, schools, libraries, police, senior centers and other programs that serve the people most in need. The country will have the few rich with the rest of us on the bottom not able to raise ourselves, higher education is now out of sight for most people. Sad.

    February 10, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
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