Is The GOP Lecturing Charlie Crist?
Dan Quayle, Haley Barbour and other Republicans have felt it necessary to lecture the Tea Party movement about not going third party. Actually, I've heard more talk of it from the establishment GOP, than I have from Tea Party people.
Given Crist's veto today and the fall-out now stemming from it, has anyone bothered to lecture him on what an Independent run might do? If he runs as an Independent and wins, a GOP that would welcome him into the caucus in the Senate will be doomed. If Crist bolts, instead of accepting defeat like a man, and supposed Republican, it will confirm what many people think about the GOP and could kick off a disaster for the party heading into the fall.
Mack wrote a terse, two-paragraph letter to his one-time protege that said Crist was wrong to veto a bill (SB 6) that would have made it easier to fire teachers and tie their pay to student test scores.
"As you know, I strongly disagree with your veto," Mack wrote his fellow Republican. "Your veto I believe undermines our education system in Florida and the principles for which I have always stood."
Mack went on to say that Crist's decision to veto the bill was "unsupportable and wrong."
"As you can understand, I can no longer serve as chairman for your campaign for the United States Senate," Mack wrote.
Mack, who retired in early 2001 after a dozen years in the U.S. Senate, addressed the letter to "Charlie" and said he valued their long friendship.
A phone message left on the governor's cell phone and with campaign officials was not immediately returned.
It was a difficult day for the first-term governor, who was also rebuked by his predecessor, Jeb Bush, for the veto. Crist announced the veto only a few hours after a poll by Quinnipiac (Conn.) University showed him trailing former House Speaker Marco Rubio by 23 points in their race to win the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate.
That poll, however, suggested Crist could win a three-way contest if he chose to leave his party and run as an independent.