Florida Gov. Crist Stands His Ground In Support Of Stimulus Plan
So far, it seems that the $787 billion economic stimulus bill signed into law by Democratic US President Barack Obama has caused a possible internal rift within the ranks of the Republican Party. For those that have kept track of the economic stimulus, one could say that it was Obama’s first major domestic challenge. It was also Obama’s first challenge with the Republicans in Congress.
The final draft of the stimulus was passed by the US Senate floor with the help of a few moderate Republicans. So far, the GOP Governors seem to be at odds with each other in regards to taking the stimulus money for the states.
As Obama had engaged in political battle with Republicans in Congress, GOP Governors were urging their Congressional colleagues to support the bill. One of the GOP Governors giving support is Charlie Crist of Florida.
However, it seems that some of the Republican Governors are contemplating making an “about face” and rejecting the stimulus money for their respective states. But nothing is confirmed yet. This is purely contemplation on the matter on part of the governors.
But, Crist remains consistent. He still supports the stimulus. Crist says that he still plans to accept the stimulus money for Florida. However, that puts Crist on the firing line against his own party colleagues. So far, many Republicans are angered at Crist for supporting the economic stimulus.
Regardless of the criticism and backlash, Crist brushed it all off. So far, Crist is also supported by GOP Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California.
Crist stated his reasons for supporting the stimulus. He said that the money is needed. In that respect, Crist said: “Florida sends an awful lot of tax dollars to D.C., and we ought to get some of it back.”
So far, Crist and GOP Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina do not see eye-to-eye in this respect. Sanford calls the stimulus a mess-up while Crist says that the stimulus is something that is needed.
Phil Mussur, a Republican consultant, said that Sanford and Crist are driven by different reasons. He said that Sanford is driven by party ideology and that Crist is driven by Florida’s economic situation. So far, Sanford is compared to leaning towards Conservative principles while Crist is compared to leaning towards moderate principles of the GOP.
Still, the political odds may seem to be against Crist. However, a new poll by Quinnipiac University gives results that tell a different story. Despite the Republican backlash against Crist, he still remains popular.
So far, Crist’s job rating approval is at sixty-seven percent. They feel that Crist does have a good political future. This poll was conducted statewide. So far, it is unknown if Crist will run for reelection as Florida Governor or run for the United States Senate.
“Gov. Crist has effectively frozen both the governor’s race and the Senate race. All Republicans are standing back and waiting to see which office he will seek before deciding about their candidacies since no one in their right mind will want to take him on,” said Peter A. Brown of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
In Florida, Crist has both Republicans and Democrats nervous. So far, Crist said that he is focusing on Florida. Overall, it is unknown on what Crist really plans to do once his first term of governor is over. On top of that, Crist is popular amongst Republicans and Democrats.
Despite the GOP backlash against Crist, it seems that angry Republicans are not really in the position to mess with him.
While the Quinnipiac University Poll gives Crist a 67 percent approval rating, the Florida Chamber of Commerce poll gives Crist a 73 percent approval rating. In a nutshell, it looks as if angry Republicans cannot do much against Crist.
So far, there is speculation that it could be a showdown between Crist and GOP Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. Jindal is set to give the Republican response to Obama’s State of the Union Address. Also, there is speculation that Jindal could be considered a possibility as GOP nominee for the 2012 US President Elections.
The poll adds that Crist’s popularity matches that of Obama’s popularity. Despite the backlash, Crist is still standing strong.
Tags: Obama , Democrats , Gop , Republicans , Economic Stimulus , Stimulus Bill , Charlie Crist , Crist
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