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. Free Thinker

    vote Rubio!!!

    February 10, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. Independent_me

    Crist should dump the Rethuglicans and run as an Independent...

    February 10, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. Carl in Las Vegas

    Amazing how people can make such a big deal out of NOTHING!

    February 10, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  4. Otter

    The hug wasn't exactly a "hug". It was an exchange of a fraternal "grip". Crist and Obama are actually brothers from the same fraternity – Delta Tau Chi.

    February 10, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  5. Frances

    I'm so tired of the bickering and senseless politic that the republicans are conducting in Washington when people are out of work, losing their homes and their retirement funds.

    GROW UP and do the job that you were hired to do. Work for the people. Yes, work with the president even if it's the last thing you want to do. You need to do it because you were sent to Washington to represent the common folks, be their voice and not play politic to gain points.

    Freaking STOP IT

    February 10, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  6. LG

    How stupid has our partisanship become that a hug disqualifies someone for elected office.

    What's next? Is it wrong to shake hands or smile at anyone of the opposite party!

    Let's all chill a little and get back to normal civility.

    February 10, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  7. JonDie

    It's just highlights what uncivil jerks MOST Republicans are. Crist is to be commended.

    February 10, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  8. dale

    Since Crist can't pass the Purity Test, he won't make it out of the primary. Do I smell another Party Flip?

    February 10, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  9. Larry

    FACT – The Federal Government = The worlds largest employer

    FACT – The USA has the second highest corporate tax in the world trailing Japan by less than 1%.

    We are a country of roughly 300 million, how do we justify having the largest employer in "THE WORLD"? and that employer doesn't make a dime. This employer operates soley from taxes "Yours and mine" something is bad wrong here.

    The liberals want MORE government = more tax dollars, = the worlds largest employer just gets bigger, = bad for Americans.

    Cut government by 1/2, cut gov spending by 1/2, cut corporate taxes by 1/2 and get Americans BACK TO WORK.

    February 10, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. NVa Native

    Check out the Utube clip of Rachael Maddow last night when she outed all the repub hypocrites (and there are many) who negotiated policy of the stimulus bill – and then voted against the stimulus bill – and then went around pimping their so called "efforts" to secure the (stimulus) money their states received as part of the stimulus bill that it is a great thing they did.
    The Repubs and tea baggers have made a "mockery" of the Republican Party.
    I hope the Rubio wins as he is a poster boy for the self-righteous hypocrite movement of lies and deception that is destroying the Republican Party and damaging our society.

    February 10, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. Sue

    If you look at Obama's approval/support numbers, I find it hilarious that the Democratic candidates running in 2010 are planning on letting Obama campaign for them.

    When Obama went to Massachusetts to campaign for Coakley, only 2000 people showed up, when the building had the capacity to seat 3000 people. Scott Brown had a campaign the same day-–where 3000 people showed up (maxed capacity)-–with hundreds placed in overflow locations.

    The Democrats should pick 3 great songs for their campaign in 2010--"the thrill is goine", "Waterloo", and "I have Friends in Low Places".

    February 10, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |

    The Hug of Death

    February 10, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. kim

    I saw the "hug" differently. I felt that this was a man who deserved my respect. He saw the people of his state suffering and decided that no political party would get in the way of him being able to provide them help. He did good thing.

    February 10, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  14. stevetall

    Only a confused Republican would consider a 'hug' to be bad.

    Sheesh. Grow up and get some lives!

    February 10, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  15. J.Williams san diego

    Cry me a river Charlie. Barry is in the business of buying people, Chicago style business deals.

    February 10, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  16. Diane

    People, people, people – GROW UP AND GET OVER IT!

    February 10, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  17. Fancysmiley from Conyers, GA

    Seriously? Is this all they have to go on? People are becoming more and more trivial.

    February 10, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  18. Gale

    So???????????? Your point?

    February 10, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  19. Viet.Vet

    It's amazing the hypocracy of the Rpugs, Gov. Christ although I am not a republican dealt in reality and was more concern for the citizens,yet recently release information indicated at least 14 Republicans who voted against the recovery stimulus and rail on TV and Flux Noise about how misguided this was however, know they have sent letters to the Obama administration trying to obtain stimulus funds for their states as usual they were outed by the real media not flax noise.

    February 10, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  20. Danny

    While I'm not fond of either of these guys, I have to agree with Crist's actions last year. As Governor, he had to act on behalf of the entire state of Florida, whereas Rubio is only acting on his own behalf trying to get himself elected. The stimulus money Florida received did indeed save jobs and staved off draconian cuts to social services at a time they were sorely needed by injecting money into our troubled economy. Unfortunately Florida's economy is based on the tourism and housing industries, both of which took a severe hit and aren't likely to rebound for several more years, so the outlook for this year's budget is pretty bleak.

    February 10, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  21. honest abe

    republicans focus on the dumbest things, no wonder Palin is so popular with them...

    February 10, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  22. linda

    Stupid members of the GOP – not enough class to accept a good gesture.

    May all GOP candidates be sent out to pasture – bring in some new blood that will get things done, instead of destroying our country
    by doing NOTHING.

    What a bunch of hypocrites.

    February 10, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. Too True For You

    Heaven forbid a republican should express anything other than hate and vitriol for a democrat.

    Republicans demonstrate yet again that if you don't at all times exhibit sufficiently abject prostration to the Conservative Reich-wing then you will be thrown under the bus by the zealots claiming to be farther to the right and ideologically purer than thou.

    He'll have to do three tea bagger appearances, two Hail Palins , and a general purpose apology to Rush to erase that particular transgression.

    " a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

    February 10, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  24. MikeMazzla

    If this is what the Republicans consider an issue, then they are a sadder group than what appears on TV. People want to see politicians from different parties getting along and working together. To criticize this is pretty sad

    February 10, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  25. James

    You've got to be kidding me. So if I wanted to hug a republican, are all my fellow democrats going to hate me? I guess I shouldn't hug my dad then. Ridiculous.

    February 10, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
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