[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/25/art.getty.crist.jpg caption="His campaign rhetoric has been ramping all week, and now it appears that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is in full gloves-off mode."]
Washington (CNN) - His campaign rhetoric has been ramping all week, and now it appears that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is in full gloves-off mode.
Marco Rubio, his rival for the Republican Senate nomination, is on defense and crying foul over credit card records leaked to the Miami Herald and St. Petersburg Times that show he charged personal expenses to the Republican Party of Florida while serving as House speaker, documents that undercut Rubio's image as a fiscal conservative. Rubio claims a Crist loyalist leaked the records.
But Crist's response Thursday was pretty simple: Welcome to the big time.
"The people have a right to know how people spend their money, how they comport themselves, how they conduct themselves before they put themselves up for public office," Crist said Thursday in Tallahassee when asked about Rubio's gripes, according to Florida's Capitol News Service. "That's happened to the speaker. He apparently doesn't like it. That's too bad. Welcome to the NFL."
While Crist was at the state capitol complex on Thursday, Rubio was in Arizona at a fundraiser.
But Rubio's campaign hit back at Crist's hypocrisy charges, blasting out a research document to reporters with a not-so-subtle title - "Lifestyle of the Crist & Famous: Crist's Hypocrisy, Desperation on Full Display in Latest Attack on Marco Rubio" - detailing instances of Crist's expensive habits while traveling out the country on the taxpayers' dime.