Charlie Crist on Budget & Economy
And let's be honest: Those fancy dinner-dances are almost always a tedious bore.
My decision wasn't too popular inside the campaign office or around Tallahassee. I started getting blowback from some of my biggest donors. "I'm sorry," [I said to those complaining]. "But I'm going with my heart on this one. I'm just not comfortable having some lavish party when Floridians are struggling so hard.
Canceling the governor's ball sent an early signal that this was not going to be your typical Republican administration [and lose touch with the people]. We threw open the gates of the mansion and invited everyone in. It was the People's House.
"There's one thing that he has done that I just find unforgiveable. He is the only statewide political leader that I'm aware of, that embraced the stimulus package when Republicans were fighting to suggest an alternative."
Now, I do believe that some things in life are unforgiveable But accepting money from Washington to save jobs of teachers, police officers, and firefighters and help revive our economy? No, that's not one of them. Besides, almost every governor ended up taking some or all of the money. I was just the only Republican who was so up-front about it.
Jeb kept pounding on the stimulus, which he termed "a massive spending bill that is not related to stimulus. It is related to trying to carry out a liberal agenda."
The state has the second-highest foreclosure rate in the country, behind Nevada, more than twice the national average, according to RealtyTrac, an Irvine, California-based data provider.
"You think government creates jobs," Rubio said to Meek, cutting him off.
"No, I don't," Meek said.
"You do," Rubio said.
"I think tax cuts for small businesses create jobs and incentives for local communities to move forward," Meek said
Crist added, "What you just witnessed is the problem and the reason I'm running as an independent. These two guys are going at each other because one's the Republican right, one's the Democratic left. What's true is there are good things that both parties can present to the future of our country." Crist, who supported the economic stimulus and said he likes some things in the health care law but that it needs to be fixed, portrayed himself as a centrist who backs the best policies of each party.
RUBIO: Well, if it's bad for America, it can't possibly be good for your state. Since February, 211,000 Floridians have lost their jobs.
CRIST: As governor, you've got to make tough decisions. I made the tough decision to utilize these funds to help th people of Florida. I know the unemployment rate is bad. I know the economy is tough. I understand all of that. If we had taken the speaker's approach, we would have had 87,000 more people on top of that 12% that would be unemployed in Florida today.
Q: If you had been a senator in 2009 you would have voted for the stimulus?
CRIST: Yeah, it was the right thing to do at the time. You have to go back and remember what was happening in our economy. It was literally falling off the cliff.
The people who sent us here--their wisdom and their experience in the real world makes up a significant portion of the knowledge base from which we must lead.
NPR summary of HR133:
Argument in opposition: Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV-2) said after voting against H.R. 133: "Congress voted to spend another $2.3 trillion [$900 billion for COVID relief], which will grow our national debt to about $29 trillion. The federal government will again have to borrow money from nations like China. This massive debt is being passed on to our children and grandchildren. With multiple vaccines on the way thanks to President Trump and Operation Warp Speed, we do not need to pile on so much additional debt. Now is the time to safely reopen our schools and our economy. HR133 was another 5593-page bill put together behind closed doors and released moments prior to the vote."
Legislative outcome: Passed House 327-85-18, Roll #250, on Dec. 21. 2020; Passed Senate 92-6-2, Roll #289, on Dec. 21; signed by President Trump on Dec 27 [after asking for an increase from $600 to $2,000 per person, which was introduced as a separate vote].
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Senate races 2021-22:
AK: Incumbent Lisa Murkowski(R)
vs.Challenger Kelly Tshibaka(R)
vs.2020 candidate Al Gross(D)
AL: Incumbent Richard Shelby(R) vs.U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks(R) vs.Ambassador Lynda Blanchard(R) vs.Katie Britt(R) vs.Judge Jessica Taylor(R) vs.Brandaun Dean(D) vs.
AR: Incumbent John Boozman(R)
vs.Candidate Dan Whitfield(D)
AZ: Incumbent Mark Kelly(D)
vs.CEO Jim Lamon(R) vs.Blake Masters(R)
vs.A.G. Mark Brnovich(R) vs.Mick McGuire(R)
CA: Incumbent Alex Padilla(D)
vs.2018 Senate candidate James Bradley(R)
vs.State Rep. Jerome Horton(D)
CO: Incumbent Michael Bennet(D)
CT: Incumbent Richard Blumenthal(D)
vs.Challenger Joe Visconti(R)
vs.2018 & 2020 House candidate John Flynn(R)
FL: Incumbent Marco Rubio(R)
vs.U.S.Rep. Val Demings(D)
vs.U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson(D)
GA: Incumbent Raphael Warnock(D)
vs.Navy vet Latham Saddler(R)
HI: Incumbent Brian Schatz(D)
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IA: Incumbent Chuck Grassley(R)
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vs.Former U.S. Rep IA-1 Abby Finkenauer(D)
ID: Incumbent Mike Crapo(R)
IL: Incumbent Tammy Duckworth(D)
vs.U.S.Rep. Adam Kinzinger(? R)
IN: Incumbent Todd Young(R)
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KS: Incumbent Jerry Moran(R)
KY: Incumbent Rand Paul(R)
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MD: Incumbent Chris Van Hollen(D)
MO: Incumbent Roy Blunt(R)
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vs.Kathy Barnette(R) vs.Sharif Street(D)
vs.Conor Lamb(D) vs.Sean Parnell(R)
vs.Craig Snyder(R) vs.Mehmet Oz(R)
SC: Incumbent Tim Scott(R)
vs.State Rep. Krystle Matthews(D)
SD: Incumbent John Thune(R)
vs.State Rep. Billie Sutton(? D)
UT: Incumbent Mike Lee(R) vs.Allen Glines(D)
vs.Austin Searle(D) vs.Evan McMullin(I)
VT: Incumbent Patrick Leahy(D)
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WA: Incumbent Patty Murray(D)
vs.Challenger Tiffany Smiley(R)
WI: Incumbent Ron Johnson(R) vs.Tom Nelson(D)
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vs.Chris Larson(D) vs.Mandela Barnes(D)
Senate Votes (analysis)