Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Scott's Next Target: Crist as Governor; Campaign Aide Also Indicates Democratic Convert's Ties to Obama Likely to Be Exploited

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Scott's Next Target: Crist as Governor; Campaign Aide Also Indicates Democratic Convert's Ties to Obama Likely to Be Exploited

Article excerpt

Byline: Brandon Larrabee

TALLAHASSEE | Normally, this would be the point where Gov. Rick Scott would turn his attention to former Gov. Charlie Crist, the newly approved Democratic nominee. After a primary season that was merely a formality for Scott, and only marginally less so for Crist, the incumbent Republican would unleash his financial advantage on his Democratic challenger.

But Scott, the Republican Party of Florida and a committee linked to the governor's bid for re-election already have hammered Crist for months in television ads, email blasts to reporters and sometimes in tours of the state ostensibly meant to promote Scott's policy agenda.

To be fair, Crist has taken his share of swipes at Scott as well. But with Scott's expected financial advantage and the need to focus on building up a campaign infrastructure for November, Crist has been less aggressive on television, at least in some corners of the state.

A statement issued after Tuesday night's primary-election results became official left little doubt that Scott was going to spend more time contrasting his record with Crist's time as a governor.

"The next few months are about talk versus action," Scott said. "That means Florida will have a choice between a governor who sent our state into a tailspin and a governor who gets results. Charlie Crist failed as governor, lost 830,000 jobs, and tried to run off to Washington - and now he wants his job back."

Officially, Scott's campaign says it won't discuss strategy for the general election. But spokesman Greg Blair previewed another potential line of attack against Crist: trying to tie Crist to President Barack Obama.

"Charlie Crist said Obamacare is 'great' and he wants President Obama to come in and campaign with him," Blair said. "The only question on the table now is how many hours will pass after the balloon drop at Crist's primary night party before he reverses his unwavering support of Obamacare. …

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