Florida: Crist Video Tries to Counter Rival Rubio

Posted January 13, 2010 at 5:56pm

After suffering the embarrassment of losing a straw poll among Republican activists in his home county, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) released a new Web video that attempts to paint his Senate primary opponent as a “flip-flopper— on several key conservative issues.

Former state Speaker Marco Rubio won a straw poll conducted by the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee, and it wasn’t close — 106-54.

On Tuesday, Crist released a two-minute video that points to various votes and comments made before Rubio hit the campaign trail.

“Think you know Marco Rubio? Think again,— the announcer says. “His record shows he’s no pure conservative.—

It depicts Rubio as a state Speaker who was more moderate on issues such as illegal immigration and a politician who was previously open to President Barack Obama’s stimulus money before taking a hard line against it.

While Rubio has fared well in several straw polls in recent months, Monday’s outcome was particularly painful to Crist because it took place in his home county and, according to local news reports, came after Crist’s campaign had tried to rally support for the governor among the county’s executive committee members.

The winner of the GOP primary is expected to face Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) in the general election.