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UPDATE: Another Crist pal jumps campaign ship

by Dara Kam | April 20th, 2010

Gov. Charlie Crist‘s campaign says his website hasn’t changed at all now that the U.S. Senate candidate is openly considering dropping out of the GOP primary and running as an independent.

“No Republican references have been scrubbed from our website, period,” Crist’s campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in an e-mail.

Rep. Tom Grady resigned as Crist’s regional campaign chairman today and quit his finance team, citing the website that makes no reference to the governor’s GOP affiliation.

Grady, a Naples Republican who was elected to the House in 2008 at Crist’s urging, is the latest GOP ally to distance himself from Crist and his U.S. Senate campaign after Crist admitted he is considering abandoning the Republican primary race against former House Speaker Marco Rubio and running instead in the general election in November with no party affiliation.

“This evening, as I reviewed your updated campaign website, I noticed a disheartening fact. Your website has eliminated all references to our Republican Party, or as you frequently refer to it, the party of Lincoln,” Grady wrote in a letter to Crist today distributed to the media by Trey Communications.

Once a sure shot to win in the primary against Rubio, recent polls show Crist trailing the Miami Cuban-American by about 20 percentage points.

Yesterday, National Republican Senate Committee Executive Director fueled speculation that Crist would abandon the GOP race saying there was “zero chance” Crist would run against Rubio.

Things change,” Crist told reporters today when asked how he would explain to voters leaving the GOP primary after repeatedly saying he would not do so.

Grady was one of the few Republicans who attended the governor’s press conference at which Crist announced he would veto SB 6, the contentious teacher merit pay measure pushed by GOP leaders in the legislature.

Former U.S. Sen. Connie Mack III, Crist’s mentor whose name the governor frequently invokes, withdrew as Crist’s campaign chairman after the veto Thursday.

Read Grady’s letter after the jump.

Dear Charlie:

This evening, as I reviewed your updated campaign website, I noticed a disheartening fact. Your website has eliminated all references to our Republican Party, or as you frequently refer to it, the party of Lincoln.

As a long-time personal friend, I had suspected you were considering a break from the party when my recent calls went unanswered. This comes at a time when we clearly differ on what it means to be a conservative with a firm belief in less government, less taxing, less spending and more freedom.

That is why it is with sadness that I write this letter to you, my friend and mentor.

In May 2007, as you were leaving for a state visit to Israel, you called and encouraged me to run for the state House of Representatives. You said I should join you in Tallahassee and serve the people of Florida. I accepted the challenge. Like you, I campaigned as a Republican, and a solid fiscal conservative. With your help, I was elected in 2008.

Then, we both agreed with Abraham Lincoln, the founder of our party, who stressed that “Important principles must be inflexible.” Those conservative free market principles we both campaigned on were – and remain – just that.

But more recently, a statement from Peggy Noonan better illustrates what appears to be your guiding principle as Governor. Noonan wrote, “Politics is about policy. It’s not about who’s emotional and who cries or makes you cry.” I agree. Unfortunately, I don’t believe you do, or at least you no longer do. Your recent actions have not been about policy, but about emotion and crying. Policy and people have suffered as a result.

We have always disagreed on some important issues (market based insurance, claims of climate change, judicial appointments), but the list appears to be growing (education excellence, ending entitlements, rail). Thus, it is with sadness that I hereby resign from the Statewide Finance Team and as the Southwest Florida Regional Chairman for the Charlie Crist for U.S. Senate campaign.

Regardless, I continue to value our friendship. Let’s be sure that does not change. Ann and I look forward to that dinner we’ve been planning with you and your lovely bride, Carole, and I hope we can do that soon.

Your friend,

Tom

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11 Responses to “UPDATE: Another Crist pal jumps campaign ship”

  1. OBIWAN Says:

    Tom Grady epitomizes the simplicity of gentlemen able to disagree agreeably – but within the clear bounds of conservative values.

    This is the best crystallization of Charlie Crist current political reasoning we’ve seen anywhere!

    Thank you Tom!

  2. Tom Says:

    The Republican party is fighting wall streets financial reform. The senate banking committee voted for reform, all 10 republicans voted against it. The S.E.C. voted to go after fraud charges against Goldman-Sachs,all republicans on the committee voted to let them off the hook! The American economic meltdown of 2008 was caused by financial institutions playing by loose rules, and was salvaged by the American taxpayers dollars. Yet the very institutions they saved have become bigger and more profitable than ever! Their financial power will become political power, thanks to the Supreme courts decision to treat corporations as individuals. Unlimited funds will flow to republican campaigns. The Republicans will pledge allegiance to these institutions, as we are witnessing now. I respect Charlie Crists bucking the republican agenda. Not moving in lockstep with them. However he runs I will vote for him. As a senator, he might be able to bring the republican party back to the people, from the inside or outside. As far as Rubio goes, being backed by Jeb Bush, means the same old same old.tr

  3. Adios Says:

    1. The Wall Street Reform the Republicans are fighting INCLUDES the fact that $50 billion has been set aside for BAILOUTS!

    2. Sounds like Charlie is going Independent. That’s a mistake for Charlie. Has he been in contact with Rahm or ANYONE in the White House by any chance?

    3. Lousy politicing by Republicans.

    4. Charlie Crist can’t keep his word; he can’t be trusted. That was the whole premise anyway.

    5. Charlie is for Charlie.

    6. Good riddance, clean the entire party out.

  4. Angela Says:

    Good he is nothing but a woos, he proved that with the veto vote. Should get out of politics and stay home with his trophy wife.

  5. da_truth Says:

    Just more proof that the R’s are a bunch of ingrates. They have a practical moderate in Crist who would easily win a general election. Instead, they are hitching their wagon to the tea bagger golden child who will attract a minimal number of independents and be in a very tight race in November. I would love to see Charlie win as an Independent and get his revenge on the wacko wing of the GOP.

  6. True Blue Says:

    Let’s see just what these G. NO P,’ers are proposing???

    Less government – unless you want the State to decide when you should die.

    Less taxes – for the top 10% of people Who cares about the rest!!

    Less spending – if it’s on people, but it’s OK to give billions to our corp. friends.

    More freedon – for us Republicans to do anything we want to screw everybody over

  7. Jeremiah Says:

    It astonishes me that people still think the Repub’s are to blame for the “rich” getting richer. Charlie Crist is an idiot and won’t win any election no matter what party he’s signed on with. Good riddance.
    The current legislations proposed by THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY will work FOR the banks and provide permanent tax payer subsidy to banks and financial institutions that are “too big to fail”. That is what the Repubs are voting against. Stop watching CNN and MSNBC and try reading the actual legislative language. Otherwise you’re just another cow in the pasture waiting to be slaughtered by big gov’t.

  8. TGC Says:

    True Blue & da_Truth aren’t fooling anyone. The thing about liberal douchebags posing as Republicans is that you’re too easy to spot.

  9. Paul Says:

    I really think liberals are acting to much like republicans making it is to pick them out. To tell you the truth they should just stay divided.

  10. Pro-life-Bob Says:

    It is astonishing to read the comments by progressives who comment on republicans. Progressives are all about statist government run everything. As far as the republicans in kahoots with the investment banks, have you seen the report on http://www.opensecrets.org and their tally of who got what from the banks…the democrats ran circles around the republicans regarding campaign contributions….so get your facts straight….oh but you probably got your education from a union teacher and cannot read and so you only listen to CNN or MSNBC….sad I tell you.

  11. da_truth Says:

    If I’m calling R’s “they”, then who am I posing as? Reading comprehension is definitely not a strong suit of TGC.

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