Monday, August 25, 2014

Charlie Crist says he's taking nothing for granted going into Tuesday's primary election

Posted By on Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 2:28 PM

click to enlarge Charlie Crist meets the press in West Tampa on Monday.
  • Charlie Crist meets the press in West Tampa on Monday.

Although the polls don't close down for good in Florida's Primary Election until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, some GOP strategists have been trotting out the mantra that Charlie Crist must somehow take 80 percent of the vote in his battle with Nan Rich, or else he's in trouble going into his contest against Rick Scott in the fall.

"50 (percent) plus one and I'll be a happy man," Crist responded when asked if he's heard of such talk. 

The one-time former Republican Governor was in an extremely humble mood today, one day before most assuredly he will win the Democratic nomination for governor over former Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich. 

"I'm just working hard to be the nominee for the Democratic Party in Florida," he followed up. "I hope it goes well tomorrow. I don't have any expectation of what the number should or should not be. I just want to be able to defeat Rick Scott and get Florida back on track."

Crist met with reporters and volunteers at his campaign office in West Tampa, one of five stops that he's making today to get maximum media coverage and presumably drive up his vote totals in tomorrow's election. Twice he was asked today if he regretting the one thing that Rich had asked of the first time Democrat this year — that he would submit to at least one televised debate, something that some political observers initially believed that Crist might resign himself to. 

But he never did do that, and risks alienating some hardcore Rich supporters in the process. But he again repeated his statement that going up against Rick Scott's $100 million in campaign spending against him compelled him to essentially blow off his lesser-financed Democratic opponent. 

When asked about the skepticism that statewide Democrats may still foster about him after tomorrow night, he spouted a number of issues that he says should make them more comfortable about himself. "I'm a guy whose always fought for civil rights. Always fought for public education. Always fought for a woman's right to choose and never interfered with that process. Fought for people to have lower property insurance rates, unlike Rick Scott ...lower phone bills. I've always been an advocate for the middle class and for minorities. Fought for an attained automatic restoration of [convicted felons'] rights. Support the minimum wage increase. All these things are natural for me."

All told, Crist was scheduled to make appearances today in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando and West Palm Beach. He'll hold his Election Night party in South Florida, but says if he's in the general election in November he'll back in St. Petersburg to watch election returns.

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