Three days after Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist said he favors ending the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, Senator Marco Rubio said the change of heart is just Charlie being Charlie.
“It’s just the latest in a series of flip-flops that he’s undertaken on public policy,” Rubio said Monday after a speech on higher education at Miami Dade College.
Crist, who lost a senate race to Rubio in 2010 after shedding his Republican tag and running as an independent, announced Friday on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher that he’d changed his mind about the embargo. As Florida’s Republican governor from 2007-2011, Crist backed U.S. sanctions against Cuba.
He is now running as a Democrat against Gov. Rick Scott.
Crist said on Real Time that ending the embargo would be a boon to Florida’s economy. His statements came in a week in which Palm Beach sugar baron Alfonso Fanjul, whose family business was seized by Fidel Castro’s regime in 1959, told the Washington Post relations with Cuba should be eased.
Asked about Crist, Rubio said “my interests in Cuba are about the freedom and liberty of the Cuban people. I wish he’d make that a priority.”
As for Fanjul, Rubio was more measured: “I disagree with his assessment of what we need to do with Cuba policy.”