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Rubio swipes at Crist, ducks other ?s

Former House Speaker and U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio, with the mojo of a strong fundraising quarter and rising poll numbers behind him, did not shy from swiping at Gov. Charlie Crist, his opponent for the Republican primary, during a speech before reporters this morning.

Rubio, at an AP event in the Capitol, said Crist "cut the legs out from under" the GOP by endorsing President Barack Obama's federal stimulus package last year. Rubio said Crist was not informed enough about the money, and he did a disservice to the rest of the GOP's attempts to limit government.

"When Charlie Crist lined up behind the stimulus package, he cut the legs out from every other Republican who was trying to find an alternative," Rubio said.

Rubio also demurred from offering specifics on what he knew, if anything, about the $6 million for an airport hangar that has gotten his successor, former Speaker Ray Sansom, in trouble. Rubio said it is still an "active case, and I want to respect that."

"I knew what every other member of the Legislature knew, and that is what the line item in the budget said," Rubio said.

He also said the RPOF credit cards and questions of whether they should be released are "an internal party matter." But he said he is "troubled by the party and the direction it has been going."

He said Sen. John Thrasher and Sharon Day are "both qualified people" to succeed longtime RPOF chairman Jim Greer, who recently announced he is resigning.