Crist on stimulus: ‘I think it’s pretty clear I supported the concept’by George Bennett | November 12th, 2009
Crist’s stimulus stance has been a hot issue in his Republican Senate primary against former House Speaker Marco Rubio.
Crist enraged conservatives in February when he stood with President Obama at a pro-stimulus rally in Fort Myers. But Crist recently told CNN “I didn’t endorse it. I didn’t even have a vote on the darned thing. But I understood that it was going to pass and I wanted to be able to utilize it for the benefit of my fellow Floridians.”
Today, after an appearance at a joint meeting of the state Board of Education and the Board of Governors for the state’s higher education system, Crist was asked about his position on the stimulus.
“I support it. I think it was important to take it. All of my fellow governors did so,” Crist told reporters at The Scripps Research Institute.
“….We would have had to let go 20,000 school teachers if we didn’t have that. My belief always has been that Florida deserves her fair share. And it’s helping our economy. Without those additional funds we would have a much more difficult time maintaining not only our economy but job growth and job retention.”
Asked if he would have voted for stimulus bill if he were a Senator, Crist replied: “I would have voted for a different form. But I think it’s pretty clear I supported the concept.”