CHARLOTTE — Florida Republicans are planning to undermine former Gov. Charlie Crist’s speech at the Democratic convention Thursday by dredging up his choicest anti-Obama lines.
In particular, they’re focusing on a radio spot the former Republican cut in 2009 while moving to the right in a tough Senate primary against eventual winner Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
“Enough is enough. That’s my message to President Obama,” Crist said in the ad. “I’m Charlie Crist. We cant spend our way into prosperity or tax or way into growth. I say it’s time to take some Florida common sense to Washington. Let’s cut federal spending and let you decide how to spend your own money.”
According to Florida GOP Chairman Lenny Curry, state Republican officials will aggressively push back against Crist’s speech before and after, including by rehashing the radio ad, in order to undermine the former governor’s image as a moderate who was forced from his party.
“We want to make sure that Democrats and the nation understand who the DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schultz have invited to speak at their convention: a very crass political opportunist,” he said.
Crist’s anti-Obama radio ads were a campaign issue at the time as well. Just months before his swing to the right, he broke with his party to support Obama’s stimulus bill and personally joined him at a rally promoting its benefits. That decision sowed the seeds for his eventual primary loss, his unsuccessful run as an independent and now his speech at the Democratic convention.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.