Florida Republicans Slam Crist

Tuesday, 20 Nov 2012 12:03 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Florida Republicans are working hard at taking shots at former Governor Charlie Crist, the party-swapper who appears to be headed for a Democratic run for governor two years from now, Politico reports.

When Crist compliments President Barack Obama, the state GOP rips him in a press release. But it’s a methodology that carries risks.

“The more the GOP attacks Crist, who hasn’t even re-registered as a Democrat yet, the more he could look like a sympathetic character to his prospective party,’’ says Politico’s Charlie Mahtesian.

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He notes the track record for well-known party-switchers isn’t great.

“Former Alabama Representative Parker Griffith lost a 2010 GOP primary following his exit as a Democrat, and former Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter was rejected in a 2010 Democratic primary after switching from the GOP.

There is a difference with Crist, however.

“Griffith and Specter both ran for re-election in the same election cycle that they switched parties, leaving them little time or opportunity to establish a trusting relationship with their new parties,’’ Politico’s Mahtesian says.

“Crist . . . will have plenty of distance from the Republican Party by 2014, and lots of time to do the necessary spadework with the Democratic grassroots,’’ he says.

“By then, four years will have passed since he left the GOP.’’


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