Charlie Crist, the former governor of Florida who lost a race for U.S. Senate in 2010, has a new ad that looks a lot like a campaign ad. Watch the video below:
"I'm an optimist, but let's face it: The last few years have been tough," says Crist. "Government on the fringes, donors and politics above you the people." Crist says politicians have been attacking against "full-time working people and their health care", "women and their doctors", "teachers, public schools, and college affordability", and "the simple act of casting your vote."
"Tell me how I can help," he adds.
Elected governor in 2006 as a Republican, Crist ran for Senate four years later but left the GOP after it became clear he would lose the primary to Marco Rubio. Running as an independent, Crist lost to Rubio, while Republican Rick Scott succeeded him as governor. Last year, Crist officially joined the Democratic party.
The release video, which coincides with the relaunch of his campaign website, suggests Crist is preparing to run for governor against the now unpopular Scott, though there's no mention of any intent on the website or in the ad.
Scott's approval ratings have improved slightly after a disastrous first couple years as governor, but he is one of the more vulnerable Republican governors running for reelection in 2014.
Update: The Florida GOP has a response to Crist's claim in the ad that the current political system in Florida is "not working." Watch it below:
St. Petersburg, Fla. Tony DiMatteo, a state Republican party committeeman from Pinellas County, introduces to a packed house at the Tick Tock restaurant a number of local GOP activists here to support Newt Gingrich. Included are a few who worked early for Marco Rubio’s 2010 U.S. Senate campaign, back when, DiMatteo points out, Rubio “could not win.”
“Just like Newt could not win a couple of weeks ago,” he adds.
On two occasions over the past week, former president Bill Clinton attempted to persuade Democratic congressman Kendrick Meek to drop out of the Florida Senate race and endorse Republican-turned-Independent Florida governor Charlie Crist in the three-way contest. Clinton, who had campaigned for Meek twice in October, was acting with the knowledge – and presumably the blessing – of the Obama White House.
Another poll shows Marco Rubio sitting pretty with a double digit lead over Charlie Crist. As for the rumors that Meek might drop out and endorse Crist and turn this into a real race? Left-wing blogger Markos Moulitsas, who had been pushing for Meek to do just that, now says that Democrats "are actively boosting" Meek's "pretty much a hopeless candidacy" because Meek will help boost African-American turnout, and thereby help Democrats win the critical Florida's governor's race. Moulitsas's new line is a sign that Democrats don't think they have much of a shot of winning even if Meek endorsed Crist.
Florida GOP Senate candidate Marco Rubio has a comfortable 15-point lead, according to a new Mason-Dixon poll, which shows independent Gov. Charlie Crist and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek are stuck in the 20s, battling for second place. Last night ABC News hosted a Florida Senate debate with the three candidates (you can watch it here), and neither Crist nor Meek appeared to do much to weaken Rubio's standing.