Tags: 2014 Midterm Elections | Exclusive Interviews | Steve Malzberg Show | Rick Scott | Charlie Crist | edge | Michael Barone

Michael Barone: Gov. Scott Has Edge Over Charlie Crist

Tuesday, 22 Apr 2014 06:03 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has the edge over former governor and Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist, who's running for his old post — but the race is a toss-up, says Michael Barone, senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner.

"I guess if I had to bet a thousand dollars, I'd bet on Rick Scott, but I sure wouldn't spend the money," Barone told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"We've got Charlie Crist, who has this eternal tan, but not this eternal party identification," he said Tuesday.

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Crist was elected state attorney general and governor as a Republican and then set out to run for the Senate in the middle of his gubernatorial term.

"He left the Republican Party when Marco Rubio was gaining on him, running ahead of him in the primary for U.S. Senate in 2010," Barone said.

"He ran in the fall as an independent and now he's running for governor as a Democrat and in support of Obamacare. That's a state that Obama carried by one point in 2012."

Barone noted that Scott, who spent about $70 million on his first campaign, is "highly confident" he will win another term and has the fact that he has increased job numbers in the state as one big selling point.

But, Barone added, Scott is "not a personally charismatic person, to put it mildly."

On the Ukraine crisis, Barone said Russia is paying little attention to the threats and sanctions being issued out of Washington.

"[They] don't seem to be paying much attention to Vice President [Joe] Biden or President [Barack] Obama. We've gotten into a situation here where we are speaking loudly and carrying a very small stick," Barone said.

"The real red line that we have to make clear that we're going to observe is the NATO alliance. We've got a treaty obligation and we've entered into it with more than two dozen other countries. But an attack on one is an attack on all."


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