Gov. Charlie Crist dropped new hints about his future Thursday, saying he's in "serious" talks with trial lawyer John Morgan about joining the Morgan & Morgan law firm that backed his failed bid for the U.S. Senate. He said that when his term ends in a few weeks, he'll divide his time between his hometown of St. Petersburg and Miami, where his wife Carole owns a home.
Crist, who will leave office Jan. 4, said he would attend a future New York meeting of the fledgling national political group No Labels, which opposes what it calls "hyper-partisanship" in national politics.
In a half-hour Q-and-A session at the Governor's Mansion, he declined to offer any specific advice to his successor, Republican Rick Scott. "It's a little unfair. He hasn't even been sworn in yet," Crist said.
The governor said he had no regrets about his decision to forgo re-election as governor to seek a U.S. Senate seat -- a move that ended in dramatic defeat for Crist and totally reshaped the statewide political landscape. "It was time," he said.
Crist burst out laughing when a reporter said he has become a "toxic" figure in Florida politics after renouncing the Republican Party. "A defeat doesn't mean that everything went wrong," Crist said. "I think it means that the people made a different choice, and I think we're in a much different climate today than we were four years ago."
Clarifying his views that his former party has moved too far to the right, he said: "Some of it. Some of it. There's still some reasonable Republicans, like my parents, And my wife."
-- Steve Bousquet