Gov. Charlie Crist is running a U.S. Senate ad on AM 1240/1270 in Fort Myers. In fact, it's running ad nauseam in the words of the host of Daybreak with Mandy Connell. She and her callers took little pleasure in hearing Crist’s ad that touts him as a fiscal conservative. Connell basically called the governor a liar.
Crist’s ad, coming 10 months before the primary, suggests he needs to mend fences with conservatives, especially in the Fort Myers-area, which was ground-zero for the man hug with Barack Obama. When Connell went to play the ad just to rip on it, a caller named Ed chimed in: “Please no.”
Connell: “Eventually, I’m going to get a cease and desist on this.” She then played the ad in which Crist says (and she interjects in parentheses):
"Washington is out of control. Yet the President has the same tired answer for every problem: To spend more of your money. I’m Charlie Crist. I’m running for the U.S. Senate because Washington needs a dose of Florida common sense
"In the last two years, federal government spending has grown by over 25 percent (Thanks to you).
"Here in Florida, I’ve slashed government by 10 percent. That’s $7 billion. And we’ve passed the biggest tax cuts in Florida history. Last fall, the conservative Cato Institute graded all 50 governors with a fiscal report card. I’m proud to say that I was ranked Number One in America. Less government. Less taxes. It’s more than a slogan. It’s my commitment and the record I’ll bring from Tallahassee to Washington.
"We can’t spend our way into prosperity or tax or way into growth… (Unless it’s the stimulus plan)
"Let’s cut the size of the federal government and return your family’s money so you can decide how to best spend it. I’m Charlie Crist and I approved this message."
Connell: “To quote one of my favorite congressmen right now: You lie!”
Ed: “I think he’s still a little punch drunk from the TV shows that he went on, what two three weeks ago…
Connell: “After I swallow the vomit that just came up into my mouth listening to that commercial again, let me address a couple of points, Ed. Honestly, for him to say that the president’s answer to everything is to spend more after he stood on a stage during the Isn’t-Fort Myers-Pathetic-Town Hall-Meetings and begged for stimulus money? He supported the stimulus package – the stimulus package, which by the way has really done nothing but save government jobs. That my friends is disingenuous and an out-and-out lie at worst. I’m so angry right now.”
What Connell didn’t mention: Crist didn’t so much as “slash” state spending as he did preside over an economy in which tax collections plummeted by an historic amount. So the economy slashed the budget. Crist's budget recommendations have been consistently higher than the budgets passed by the Legislature. Still, Crist vetoed a record amount of pork from the 07-08 budget that House Speaker Marco Rubio (his Republican primary opponent) helped craft. This year, the state budget has about $5.6 billion in stimulus spending stuffed in it. And while Crist’s property-tax cut plan has yielded savings, sinking property values have saved people even more, according to a fiscal analysis by the Florida Association of Counties. Also, Crist made no mention of the $2.2 billion new taxes and fees (which operated like taxes) he signed into law despite a no-new-taxes pledge.
Listen to the whole thing here