Skip to comments.White House Annoyed With Crist's Snub Of President (FL Governor candidate)
Posted on 11/06/2006 11:35:50 AM PST by Diddle E. Squat
PENSACOLA, Fla. -- The White House did not hide its irritation Monday at Florida GOP gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist for ducking President George W. Bush at a campaign rally in the Republican friendly Panhandle.
Crist said he considered the Pensacola area so firmly in his camp that it made more sense to campaign elsewhere in the state as the race to replace outgoing Gov. Jeb Bush tightened.
On a tarmac in Texas where the president boarded Air Force One for the trip east, Bush political strategist Karl Rove mockingly questioned what kind of alternate rally Crist could put together that would rival the expected 10,000-person crowd that Bush was expected to draw at the Pensacola Civic Center.
The White House already had distributed schedules saying Crist would introduce Bush at the rally.
Crist's opponent, Democratic Rep. Jim Davis, seized on the news.
"Now that the president is so unpopular, Charlie refuses to stand side by side with him," Davis said. "It says when the going gets tough, Charlie won't stand up."
Crist's chief of staff, George LeMieux, said the candidate already has strong support in the heavily Republican Pensacola area and thought his time would be better spent campaigning elsewhere. LeMieux said the decision had nothing to do with the president's job approval ratings.
Jeb Bush will attend the Pensacola event in Crist's place. Rep. Katherine Harris, who is mounting a lukewarm challenge to Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, will also be with the president. Before the September primary, Republican leaders failed to support Harris.
Bush is using the last day of his 10-state campaign swing to flush out GOP and swing voters needed to keep Republicans sitting in the governor's offices of Arkansas and Texas as well.
It is his fifth consecutive day of campaigning, traveling to states where his advisers believe he can best help fend off the Democratic threat to take over Congress and end up with a majority of governorships for the first time in 12 years.
After Florida, Bush is heading to Arkansas where the race for governor pits Democratic Attorney General Mike Beebe against Republican Asa Hutchinson, a former congressman and federal Homeland Security official.
The Beebe-Hutchinson faceoff for the open governership already is the most expensive gubernatorial campaign in state history. Overall, Beebe, who is leading in the polls, has raised $6.3 million and spent $5.7 million in his bid for governor. Hutchinson, a former congressman, has raised nearly $3.3 million and spent about $3.1 million.
Before returning to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, Bush is speaking at a rally in Dallas for Gov. Rick Perry, who is leading the polls in his re-election bid.
On Election Day, Bush plans to vote in Crawford and then fly back to Washington to wait for ballot returns.
FWIW, I'd consider the source here....
Stupid move. If he saw President Bush stumping for Ryun in Kansas yesterday he would have been pleading for his help in FL. W was at his absolute best yesterday.
Yeah, right. As if Davis would have given Crist credit for standing by Bush. Whatabunchahooey.
Actually, excellent strategy. This close to the election. Crist should be working to rally voters in Orlando, St.Pete.
Whilest, the Bushes rally the faithful in Pensacola. And at the same time showing total support for K. Harris.
Now if this was three weeks before the election, I'd be worried. But not today. No way.
W is hot and heavy rallying the troops gathered at the Pensacola Civic Center.
Interesting that W thought it important to be in Pensacola today, Jeb thought it important to be in Pensacola today, Harris thought it important to be in Pensacola today, Martinez thought it important to be in Pensacola today, Miller thought it important to be in Pensacola today, but Crist didn't.
What a dork. If the President came to visit me, I'd get out the best china and vintage wine, and treat the man with the respect he deserves. It is such a shame that the liberal media can have such a chilling effect on America, where Bill Clinton deserves the benefit of the doubt and the respect for being in the highest office in the land, regardless of whether he had sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky, and then lieing under oath about it, but George W. Bush doesn't deserve any respect because he stole the presidency from Al Gore AND John Kerry. I will never subscribe to a newspaper again, I will not register on the NY Times website, and I will not ever watch network news. I also have really cut back on Starbucks because they sell the NYT at their stores.
Crist is too liberal. But not as liberal as Davis.
For the first time in this campaign, I'm questioning Charlie's judgement. A bonehead move in the closing days of the campaign.
Be Seeing You,
If he becomes governor, his attitude will change once the next hurricane hits.
I'm listening to the rally on the radio, they pre-empted Rush.
The panhandle is not a lock for Crist...he was looked at lukewarm at best during his visits here.
He should have been at this rally then flown elsewhere afterwards.
Then Crist shouldn't have agreed to do it at all, rather than agreeing then backing out. With his name on the program, pulling out now just gives the media a chance to spin and make the GOP look divided. Plus how much of the limited time in news broadcasts will be devoted tonight to this story instead of actual issues, plus the soundbite news at the top and bottom of the hour on the radio.
It was an easily avoidable bungle, not good strategy. Sounds like he either panicked or has a sloppy and inept staff.
W: "I'm not questioning their patriotism, they are just wrong!"
W: If you meet a democrat candidate who says he want to protect the US, etc etc, ask them WHAT's YOUR PLAN?
He is a big RINO. I hate him, but I already voted for him. I pretty sure he is gay too.
I expected the new gay republican scandal before the election. I am surprised it did not happen.
I still wouldn't take AP's word for how the WH feels about this.