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Crist's nixed business-group talk called Scott 'a bully with a $100 million checkbook''

Charlie Crist's campaign Thursday released a transcript of the speech he planned to deliver to the Florida Council of 100, before the group, without explanation, cancelled his invitation.

In the speech he never delivered, Crist would have called Gov. Rick Scott a bully "with a $100 million checkbook." The prepared text attacks Scott's integrity, priorities and for "flying in his private plane" to promote job growth "that he had nothing to do with."

Crist wanted to tell Florida's business elite that Scott "hid from federal investigators as a businessman, disparaged a good woman, Alex Sink, to win in 2010 and now he's trying to bully me by waving his $100 million checkbook and by running a daily smear campaign about my life and career." 

Crist's speech also was filled with policy proposals such as opening trade with Cuba, starting a high speed rail system, depoliticizing the governance of higher education, creating a new program to encourage students to get master's degrees and investing in renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. Here are excerpts:

"I am running for governor for one simple reason: Tallahassee is broken, and it is time to put the people back in charge. Quite simply, our state needs a governor who will wake up every day thinking about people like you, who will govern honestly and with the state's collective best interests in mind, and who will make this economy more fair for hard working business owners and taxpayers.

"And we need a governor who will refocus the state on things that are important to all Floridians: good schools, affordable health care, respect for our environment and dignity for our seniors. Because that's who I am, that's what I believe in and that's what I'll do if given the honor of returning to the People's house.

Crist went on to defend his record during "the global economic meltdown," for extending early voting in the 2008 presidential election and helping with the cleanup of the Gulf Coast after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

"Here is the reality: Today we have a governor in Governor Scott who leads by embracing the ideological fringes, taking care of his friends, bullying his opponents, hiding from the public and press and running from tough issues ... He's spent roughly $20 million on his re-election, building a campaign that peddles lies to press and runs negative television ads. Why? Because Floridians don't support his record as governor. It's that simple. He has nothing positive or true to say."



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Give em hell Charlie!


Halverson issued his statement via email through a press spokesman, saying:

“The Florida Council of 100 is a non-partisan organization dedicated to sound public policy for a better Florida. As our meeting schedule developed late yesterday, both Governor Scott and former Governor Crist were scheduled for the same morning. We did not want our policy meetings to become a political event so we asked Governor Crist to not address the group. We invited him to participate in our meetings and apologized for any inconvenience we may have caused.”

... The Crist campaign also released the speech he had planned to give. It was a full-fledged campaign speech...

Kudos to the Council for having the foresight to know what Charlie would do.


The Council of 100 may not be partisan in that they don't restrict membership based on political affiliation, but it's chock full of Jeb Bush water carriers. The pres., Susan Pareigis, for example, is on the board of Jeb's Foundation for Florida's Future.

As I was rechecking the info on where I'd run across Pareigis' name before, I was disturbed to also find as a somewhat new appointment to the same board, the name J. David Armstrong , president of Broward College. So when I read above that Crist has policy proposals regarding the depoliticization of Higher Ed, that really struck a chord. It seems a strange thing to mention, but if he's bringing it up, there must be some serious There there.

Bill McCollum

The article forgot to mention how the bully Scott disparaged me and smeared my good name in 2010 with his $100 million checkbook.

Bill Thompson

If this group was truly non-partisan, they would have asked both candidates to not address the group.

Bill McCollum

I am still hurting today about my good name being sullied by that man!

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