Crist, wearing Obama Hebrew button, joins Deutch to greet early votersby Andrew Abramson | October 31st, 2012
DELRAY BEACH — Republican-turned-independent Charlie Crist continued his Obama Florida tour today, joining Democratic Congressman Ted Deutch for a meet-and-greet with early voters in Delray Beach.
The former governor and congressman had to stay in the “solicitation zone” in the parking lot, greeting voters as they arrived. Crist’s button spelling out Obama in Hebrew was a hit with Democratic voters, and Obama volunteers came with a bag full of extra buttons.
“Isn’t that cute?” said Crist when a voter asked him about the button. “I have another one.”
When asked about “Obama Oy Vey” and other anti-Obama Jewish billboards in Palm Beach County, Deutch said, “They’re wasting their money, that’s what I think.”
County Commissioner Burt Aaronson, who will be term limited next month, joined Crist and Deutch and proclaimed the county library on Hagen Ranch Road as the busiest early voting site in the state.
“These are people who will come out in crutches, wheelchairs whatever it might be,” Aaronson said.
While Crist only smiled when asked about his future plans to possibly run as a Democrat in the 2014 governor’s race, Aaronson hinted at a possible run for Crist.
“After the president is elected, a lot will be coming out about who’s running for what, when and how,” Aaronson said.
At a news conference, Crist and Deutch said it is crucial for Florida voters to come out in droves.
“In 2000 it was 537 votes that made the difference between who the president was, so every vote really does count in Florida,” Crist said. “People getting out to do it early is a real advantage. It’s more convenient. On Election Day, who knows what the weather is going to be like, and how much longer the lines might be.”
Deutch said he’s been seeing long early voting lines across South Florida.
“They understand what’s at stake in this election,” Deutch said. “And that’s why they’re turning out.”
Crist blasted the state legislature for reducing the number of early voting days.
“Why this legislature decided to reduce the number of days that people can early vote is beyond my comprehension,” Crist said. “We should be encouraging more participation and democracy, not less. The notion that they would cut off the last Sunday I think is a real affront to a lot of people in our state.”
When Deutch slightly moved a “Melanie Peterson For State Senate” away from a TV shot, Aaronson joked with Deutch not to move the sign. “You’ll be kicked out of office,” Aaronson said.
“I’m just moving them over a bit,” said Deutch, who put the sign back for the Republican candidate after his TV interview.