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Nice-guy Crist thinks little of foreclosure-voting challenges - and his convention speech

With Democrats and liberals making much of the new law making it easier to challenge voters at the polls, Gov. Charlie Crist was asked what he thought of using home foreclosure lists for election day challenges.

"Not much," Crist said tersely.

You don't like the idea?

"I don't understand why it's something we should pursue."

Crist was also asked at length at the press gaggle about his relationship with John McCain, and took issue (in typical Crist-friendly fashion) with the implication from a New York Times article that, had the governor's speech been played at the Republican National Convention before McCain took the stage, Crist would have been more full-throated in backing McCain.

"I thought it was better that it didn't play. I don't think it was that good," Crist said.

Crist also predicted a McCain win in Florida and said the money imbalance between Barack Obama's well-oiled campaign and McCain's camp wasn't that big because of the amount of the campaign's free and intense news coverage. Crist, as is his custom, complimented Obama, saying "so has senator McCain. Obviously, this is a guy who is very talented, works very hard and otherwise wouldn't be where he is right now."

Then there's Medicaid, the federal program accounting for about 60 percent of Florida's $16b program that's supposed to grow by another 100,000 (to 2.4m poor, sick and elderly. What of McCain's talk of reducing federal Medicaid spending?

"I know he wants to cut back on spending. I think what he's talked about is exempting things like health coverage," Crist said.

Not quite, according to this Wall Street Journal article over entitlement spending. McCain's spending reductions are premised on more poor people getting more affordable health coverage (something that hasn't been done in Florida) and on cutting fraud (something that Crist and every attorney general before and after him haven't been able to stop).