Five years ago today, May 15, 2009, wasn't really a very significant moment in U.S. or Florida history. Or was it?
Well, it was the day when Charlie Crist announced he was running for the U.S. Senate in 2010, and that same day the Florida Democratic Party launched an anti-Charlie Crist website called "CutandRunCrist.com
" that included selected slams at the then-Republican governor.
Today, the Republican Party of Florida revived that site, with new blasts at their arch-nemesis.
"It's no surprise that Charlie ran away," Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera told reporters on a conference call this morning. "Florida's unemployment tripled, our state lost over 832,000 jobs, home values plummeted by almost 60 percent, and Florida was on its way to leading the nation in foreclosures."
Of course, that was during the worst recession since the Great Depression, but with the Scott/Lopez-Cantera team prepared to use whatever they can against Crist, it will certainly suffice in terms of accurate numbers, even if the context might be missing.
New features on the sight include a video of Democratic Party consultant Steve Schale (who now supports the governor) blasting Crist for "double-digit unemployment" that had provided for "basically no growth" in the state during his tenure leading Florida. He ends his short comment by saying that this country "deserves real leadership" and that Crist wasn't the man to provide it. It also includes a "throwback blog," complete with plenty of negative stories about the governor from 2009.
Meanwhile, the Crist camp was milking the fact that a business organization known as the Council of 100 canceled the former governor's scheduled speech this morning, with no explanation given. The Miami Herald
's Marc Caputo did report
that one official with the group said it was done to not offend Rick Scott, who was also speaking at the event. That led Crist spokesman Kevin Cate to say, "It’s unfortunate that Rick Scott is apparently using every ounce of political pressure he has left to stifle healthy dialogue about the future of our state. He is clearly scared of the People’s Governor and the people’s will coming in November."
Later, the Crist team emailed the contents of his planned speech to reporters. It did include some bashing of Scott.
Right now, we have an economic plan led by Governor Scott that consists of flying in his private plane to hold press conferences to tout job growth that he had literally nothing to do with... It might be a good plan for getting re-elected, but it’s not a road map for long term economic growth.
And Florida’s economy has suffered as a result. Many economists say that Florida is lagging behind where we should be. And we are certainly lagging way behind the 1.7 million jobs Rick Scott promised to create.
We should be investing in home grown businesses, embracing the unique creative nature of our state, building opportunities for today's Florida entrepreneurs to be tomorrow's Fortune 500 leaders, and constantly working towards having the world's most talented workforce.
Our diversity. Our geography. Our climate. Our environment. And our love for life are the reasons why Florida should be a leader, not a frequent late night joke. We've allowed mediocrity to become the norm. It's time to embrace our greatness
During the conference call, Lopez-Cantera said he couldn't respond as to why the Council of 100 canceled Crist's speech. "Frankly, it's all talk. If he wants to talk, we welcome him talking, because that's all he is, is talk, talk, talk. He can talk out of both sides of his mouth like he always does, and he's welcome to it."
In Tampa this morning, Scott said he knew nothing about why Crist's speech was canceled.