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Obama camp launches Latino push by calling Romney ‘extreme’ on immigration

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 by George Bennett

As President Obama‘s campaign launched a Spanish-language TV ad blitz in Florida and other swing states with large Hispanic populations, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro painted presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney as “extreme” on immigration.

Republicans, who launched their own Latino outreach program this week, countered by blaming Obama for a sour economy that has been tougher on Hispanics than other groups.

“Mitt Romney would be the most extreme nominee that the Republican Party has ever had on immigration,” said Castro, who joined Messina and Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., on a morning conference call to tout the Latinos for Obama campaign initiative.

Messina also used the word “extreme” to describe Romney’s immigration stance — echoing criticism from Romney Republican rival Newt Gingrich, who called Romney “anti-immigrant” in a January radio ad that was pulled after Sen. Marco Rubio objected.

Romney has called for beefed-up border security and tougher employer verification standards to curb illegal immigration. He also said Arizona’s controversial law cracking down on illegal immigrants was a “model.” And Romney has said he would veto the Dream Act, which would offer a path to citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants who were raised in the U.S. and complete two years of college or military service.

Romney adviser Albert Martinez accused Obama’s allies of trying to divert attention from the president’s “record of failure on the issues most important to Latinos. Hispanics have been hit especially hard as a result of three years of President Obama’s record of high unemployment, soaring debt, and skyrocketing gas prices. President Obama will do everything possible to make this election about anything other than his failed record.”

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Rubio endorses Mitt Romney, says he has ‘earned this nomination’

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 by George Bennett

Neutral no more...

Sen. Marco Rubio, who vouched for Mitt Romney‘s conservative credentials before the Jan. 31 Florida Republican primary but didn’t make an endorsement, ended his neutrality tonight and announced his support for Romney.

“I am going to endorse Mitt Romney and the reason why is not only because he is going to be the Republican nominee but he offers at this point, such a stark contrast to the President’s record,” Rubio told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

Romney, who has struggled to seal the deal with many GOP conservatives, called the endorsement from one of the party’s brightest conservative stars “a major milestone” for his campaign.

Rubio told Hannity that Romney’s Republican rivals “have a lot to be proud of.” But he said scenarios spun by Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich for winning the nomination at the August GOP convention in Tampa are “a recipe to deliver four more years to Barack Obama.”

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Mediscare: Biden to tell seniors GOP wants to ‘end Medicare as we know it’

Friday, March 23rd, 2012 by George Bennett

Biden

Vice President Joe Biden‘s visit to a senior community in Broward County will include accusations that congressional Republicans and their “amen corner” of Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich want to dismantle Medicare, cut Social Security and hold down taxes for the rich.

Biden will speak at the Wynmoor condo community in Coconut Creek around noon.

President Obama‘s reelection campaign has released some excerpts in advance of Biden’s remarks. Read ‘em after the jump…

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Valentine’s Day: When Republicans accuse rivals of loving the left

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012 by George Bennett

In Republican primaries, Valentine’s Day means candidates take a break from proclaiming their love for Ronald Reagan to proclaim their rivals’ love for liberalism and big government.

GOP Senate hopeful George LeMieux‘s campaign weighs in this morning by accusing rival Connie Mack of having a crush on earmarks. And Newt Gingrich offers a mash note from the left to Mitt Romney.

Scott, Rubio, West highlight strong Florida presence at annual conservative blowout in D.C.

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 by George Bennett

Gov. Rick Scott will speak at this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, joining a lineup that includes encore performances by Sen. Marco Rubio and U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation.

CPAC is the conservative movement’s premiere annual showcase. Rubio’s status as a rising star of the right was confirmed when he was booked for a featured 2010 speaking gig while former Gov. Charlie Crist was still the establishment favorite for Florida’s GOP Senate nomination. Tea party megastar West keynoted last year’s conference.

Mitt Romney‘s 2012 presidential bid arguably began four years ago at CPAC when he chose the venue to announce he was dropping out of the 2008 Republican nomination hunt. Romney, who has had his troubles firing up the GOP conservative base this year, was considered the conservative alternative to John McCain in 2008.

Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are all scheduled to speak at this year’s CPAC, which begins Thursday and ends Saturday.

Senate prez Haridopolos – Romney backer – ‘low-keying it’ on election night

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 by Dara Kam

After helping secure the state’s national prominence in selecting the GOP presidential candidate by moving up the primary, Senate President Mike Haridopolos said he’ll be watching the election returns at home with his roommate, Senate budget chief JD Alexander, tonight.

“I’m low-keying it. I’ve been high-key enough in getting this early election,” Haridopolos, a Mitt Romney supporter, said during his weekly Q-and-A with reporters this afternoon. “Despite a lot of anger from some folks even in my own party…I think it clearly has come up aces for us.”

Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney and political groups supporting the candidates have spent about $25 million on campaign ads, Haridopolos said, and the early date has helped fire up Republican voters, more than 600,000 of whom had already cast their ballots before today’s election. Florida Republicans gave up half their delegates in the winner-take-all election by moving the date up and breaking national GOP rules.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the returns tonight, and I expect Mitt Romney to win,” Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, said.

Romney says Newt ‘really can’t whine about negative campaigning’

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 by George Bennett

Romney talks to reporters outside his Florida headquarters in Tampa.

TAMPA — With all signs pointing toward a victory in today’s Florida Republican presidential primary, a confident and casually clad Mitt Romney visited campaign workers at his state headquarters today and said chief rival Newt Gingrich shouldn’t “whine” about attack ads that have dominated Florida airwaves.

“In South Carolina we were vastly outspent with negative ads attacking me and we stood back and talked about President Obama and suffered the consequence of that, plus also I think some good debates from Speaker Gingrich. We came to Florida and Speaker Gingrich didn’t have two good debates — I did,” Romney told reporters.

“We responded to attacks that were coming to us and I’ll tell you, when we’re attacked, I’m not just going to sit back, I’m going to fight back and fight back hard.”

Romney pointed to a Suffolk University poll in which 37 percent of Florida voters said Gingrich ran the most negative campaign, compared to 31 percent who said Romney was the most negative.

“He really can’t whine about negative campaigning when he launched a very negative campaign in South Carolina and when the people in Florida looked at the two campaigns and decided he was the most negative,” Romney said.

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About a dozen early-morning voters cast ballots in Palm Beach as polls open at 7 a.m.

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 by Ana Valdes

Palm Beach – At St. Edward Church in Palm Beach, close to a dozen Republicans have already voted this morning, just a few minutes after polls opened at 7 a.m.

Outside the precinct, a Newt Gingrich supporter placed some campaign signs on the grass, but a precinct worker asked that the signs be removed because the church does not allow signs on the grass.

After a tense exchange with a poll worker, Gingrich’s supporter removed the signs and left.

In Palm Beach this morning, a Gingrich supporter removes his signs outside St. Edward Church after a poll worker told him the church does not allow signs on the grass. (Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post)

Meanwhile, Frank Coniglio, 73 of Palm Beach, was inside voting for Mitt Romney.

“It’s him because he’s capable of doing the job and winning the election,” he said.

Precinct 1196 is located at St. Edward’s Church in Palm Beach.

Rick Scott: Gingrich has to win Florida to stay in the game

Monday, January 30th, 2012 by Dara Kam

Gov. Rick Scott told FOX Business Network today that tomorrow’s Sunshine State GOP primary could be make-or-break for Newt Gingrich, trailing Mitt Romney in recent Florida polls by double digits.

“It looks like Florida is going to choose. It’s going to be tough, I think it will be hard on Newt, if he doesn’t win Florida, to go forward, because Governor Romney has a good campaign going from the standpoint of good organization and he’s raised a lot of money,” Scott told FOX Business Network’s Follow the Money host Eric Bolling in a show to be aired at 10 p.m. tonight.

Scott hasn’t endorsed any of the candidates in the primary, but he’s talked up Romney in recent interviews, praising the former Massachusetts governor’s business acumen and opining that Latino voters prefer Romney to the twice-divorced and admitted former lady’s man Gingrich because Romney is a family man committed to his wife.

Tomorrow’s election defining the GOP nominee is exactly what Republican lawmakers hoped for when the moved Florida’s primary up from its previously scheduled date, incurring the wrath of national GOP leaders. State Republicans are being punished by losing half their delegates to the GOP convention, and because of the early date, Florida is now a winner-take-all-delegates match.

Scott also told FBN that the winner needs to sell his jobs plan – as Scott himself did (with the help of his own $73 million) in his gubernatorial campaign – to Floridians.

Romney, who with Gingrich and “Super-PACs” on both sides have traded nasty ads, has done a better job of getting his message out, Scott told Bolling.

“I hope it has nothing to do with the negative ads. But somebody, one of these two, is going to go out there and really sell that they’ve got a better jobs plan than the other one. That’s who I think is going to win tomorrow,” Scott, who will vote in Leon County tomorrow morning at 8 a.m., said. Unlike most of his predecessors, Scott has registered to vote with his new address at the governor’s mansion.

Asked if he was leaning toward endorsing Romney, Scott remained coy.

“I’m not leaning,” he said.

Romney pressing Freddie Mac attack to the end

Monday, January 30th, 2012 by George Bennett

DUNEDIN — Several polls show Mitt Romney with a big lead over Newt Gingrich heading into Tuesday’s Florida Republican primary, but Romney — who saw his big South Carolina lead turn into a Gingrich victory — isn’t easing up on the former House speaker.

As he has done in almost every opportunity over the last eight days, Romney today criticized Gingrich for working as a consultant for troubled government-backed mortgage giant Freddie Mac. After pounding home the issue all week and in two nationally televised debates, the only change for Romney is that he’s been striking a tone of mockery rather than outrage the last few days.

“I know the speaker’s not real happy, Speaker Gingrich. He’s not feeling very excited these days,” Romney told a crowd of more than 500 that filled a local park here. “I know, it’s sad. He’s been flailing around a bit trying to go after me for one thing or the other and you just watch it, you shake your head. It’s been kind of painfully revealing to watch. I think the reason he isn’t doing so well is because of those last two debates, don’t you think?”

Gingrich’s company received $1.6 million from Freddie Mac for what Gingrich says were his services as consultant and historian; Romney calls it lobbying.

Romney said voters turned on Gingrich when they found out he “made money from Freddie Mac, the very institution that helped stand behind the huge housing crisis. Here in Florida, if you’re part of the housing crisis you’re probably not going to get elected president. So the people here in Florida said we’re not going to get behind Newt Gingrich, we’re going to get behind Mitt Romney.”

Cuban-American ally says Romney will improve on 2008 Hispanic showing

Sunday, January 29th, 2012 by George Bennett

Romney outside the Casa Marin restaurant in Hialeah

HIALEAH — Hispanic voters were a key part of the reason Mitt Romney lost Florida’s 2008 primary, but at a rally here today, a key surrogate said things will be different this time.

Romney lost the Hispanic vote to John McCain by a 53-to-21 percent margin statewide in the 2008 GOP primary and lost Miami-Dade County, where three-quarters of voters are Hispanic, by a 49-to-16 percent margin.

“You’re going to see an overwhelming victory for Romney this year” predicted former U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart. Diaz-Balart backed McCain four years ago. This year, he’s endorsing Romney. So is his brother, U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami, and U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami.

“They trust Ileana, Mario and me, they trust us,” Lincoln Diaz-Balart said of Cuban-American voters. “They know that he (Romney) is listening to us, that he is our friend, and thus that our community will have a friend in the White House. So you’re going to see a very dramatic difference in the vote on Tuesday from four years ago.”

Romney was accompanied today by the Diaz-Balarts and Ros-Lehtinen and U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, R-Cape Coral. He also brought his youngest son, Craig. Speaking in Spanish, Craig Romney told the crowd of a few hundred outside the Casa Marin restaurant that while his father doesn’t speak Spanish, he speaks the language of the economy, prosperity and liberty. The remark got big applause.

As he did in Naples earlier today, Romney bashed chief GOP rival Newt Gingrich for his work for mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

Romney also called President Obama soft on Cuba.

“With Cuba he says, OK, we’re going to open up remittances and we’re going to extend travel to Cuba as a show of kindness and a gift. And of course gifts to people who are fundamentally evil are always accepted and never returned. The right course for America is to stand with strength against despots, to stand with strength against tyranny and to stand with strength for the principles of this great land,” Romney said.

Gov. Scott: Latinos like Romney family values

Sunday, January 29th, 2012 by Dara Kam

Once the anti-establishment candidate, Gov. Rick Scott is full of praise – without officially endorsing – Mitt Romney, who’s garnered the support of some of the Sunshine State’s top GOP insiders.

Scott has defended Romney’s business background and today told CNN‘s Candy Crowley that Hispanic voters prefer the former Massachusetts governor because of his family values.

Scott’s comments come as Romney and Newt Gingrich sweep the state hoping to nail down the all-or-nothing convention delegate prize on Tuesday’s primary, with a lot of the focus on the state’s Latino voters crucial to the GOP primary.

This morning on CNN’s State of the Union, Crowley asked Scott about a recent poll show Romney outstripping Newt Gingrich among Hispanic voters by 49-23 percent.

“Look, the Latino vote cares about family. I mean, if you look at Gov. Romney’s family, he’s been very successful. He’s built a great family, very committed to his wife,” Scott said. “He’s somebody that’s been successful in life. So I think if they look at his background, it’s what they want. They care about their families. They care about, you know, somebody that’s been successful in business. That’s what they care about. So I think that’s part of what his attraction to the Latino vote.”

Gingrich’s campaign recently yanked a Spanish-language ad accusing Romney of being “anti-immigrant” after U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio blasted scolded the former speaker of the House over the ad.

And Romney scored one of his best lines on the thorny immigration issue during Thursday night’s debate in Jacksonville after Gingrich said Romney’s immigration stance would result in rounding up grandmothers who’ve lived for years in the country illegally.

“Our problem isn’t 11 million grandmothers,” Romney said. “Our problem is 11 million people getting jobs that many Americans, legal immigrants, would like to have.”

With recent polls showing Romney surging in the polls on Florida, Scott told Crowley “it sure looks like Gov. Romney’s going to win” and again said the candidates should be discussing their jobs plans instead of trading barbs.

Scott lauded Romney’s business background but did not say whose jobs plan he prefers.

“They all have plans,” he said.

Mitt mocks and socks Newt before big Naples crowd

Sunday, January 29th, 2012 by George Bennett

Romney works the crowd in Naples.

NAPLES — With polls showing him climbing to a commanding lead before Tuesday’s Republican presidential primary, Mitt Romney drew his biggest Sunshine State crowd today and mocked GOP rival Newt Gingrich as “Goldilocks,” then accused the former House speaker of being an accessory to the state’s mortgage meltdown.

The crowd at a downtown retail area topped 2,000, one Naples police officer estimated.

Former U.S. Sen. Connie Mack and his son, U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, R-Cape Coral, introduced Romney at the midday event. Romney campaigns later today in Hialeah and Pompano Beach.

Romney, who dominated a pair of GOP debates last week, accused Gingrich of being “like Goldilocks” because he complained a Monday night debate crowd was ordered to be silent and one of his aides said the Romney camp “packed the room” for a louder Thursday debate.

“He’s now finding excuses everywhere he can. He’s on TV this morning going from station to station complaining about what he thinks are the reasons he’s had difficulty here in Florida,” Romney said.

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Romney opens big polling lead as Tuesday’s primary nears

Sunday, January 29th, 2012 by George Bennett

NAPLES -- Big turnout for Romney's first event today.

NAPLES — A large crowd is here waiting to see Mitt Romney, who has opened up a double-digit lead over Newt Gingrich in three new polls as Tuesday’s Florida Republican presidential primary approaches.

Here’s the latest polling roundup from RealClearPolitics.

Gingrich, who got Herman Cain‘s endorsement Saturday night in West Palm Beach, vowed on ABC News this morning to press his fight for the nomination all the way to the Republican convention in Tampa this summer.

Romney has a campaign stop here around noon, then heads to Hialeah, Pompano Beach and Jacksonville today.

Gingrich attended church in Lutz near Tampa this morning, then heads to The Villages and Jacksonville.

Rick Santorum called off morning appearances in Florida today because his 3-year-old daughter was hospitalized in Pennsylvania. But he may still make it to events later today in Sarasota and PUnta Gorda.

Gingrich woos voters in Martin County today, returns to West Palm Beach tonight

Saturday, January 28th, 2012 by Jane Musgrave

STUART – Before GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich arrived at the Martin County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day brunch this morning, party chairman Susan Auld paraphrased the revered president to warn of the dangers of the negative campaigning that has punctuated the run-up to Tuesday’s primary.

“As Abraham Lincoln said, ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand,” she said. “I would say a party divided against itself cannot win.”

The party faithful who gathered at the Willoughby Country Club gave Gingrich a warm welcome. Some said they had already voted for the former House Speaker or would do on Tuesday after being impressed with his articulate command of the problems facing the country and his proposed solutions.

Still, Auld said, at least two members said they wouldn’t attend the breakfast because of the attacks Gingrich made on his chief rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, during nationally-televised debates. “Newt came on pretty strong,” she said.

Auld said she worries if the infighting among the Republican candidates continues it will weaken the party’s efforts to defeat President Obama in November.

While his Super Pac, Winning Our Future, unleashed a new TV ad in Florida on Friday, accusing Romney of being involved in a massive Medicare fraud scheme in the 1990s, Gingrich stuck to his own accomplishments during his talk and question-and-answer session. In fact, he never mentioned Romney.

His attacks were directed at Obama. “This particular president is so out of touch with reality that he is a fundamental threat to American safety,” he said, decrying defense spending cuts as ill-timed and dangerous.
He focused his talk on his leadership of the House, his close ties with President Ronald Reagan and how he would use his years of experience to turn the country around. He answered a broad range of questions, from education to social security to defense.

He said he would like each state to have a work-study college so young people could graduate from college without going deeply into debt. He proposed to rescue the beleaguered Social Security system by giving young people the option of investing retirement savings in personal accounts instead of being forced to pay into social security. The system, he said, has worked in Chile and would work here.

“Because the money would be in your own account you would no longer have politicians telling you when to retire,” he said.

Afterward, Palm Beach Gardens resident Bob Nager said Gingrich might have won his vote.

“I’ve been dramatically moved by his address today,” said Nager, a retired U.S. Air Force veteran who now runs a defense consulting business. “I’m very impressed with his debating ability, his intellect, his principles.”

Like Auld, Tequesta resident Paul Bodnar said the venom in the campaign has gotten out of control. But, he said, he felt Romney has aimed punches lower than Gingrich, who has his vote. “They both have to stop doing it,” he said. “It’s not beneficial to the Republican Party. Stick to the issues.”

After a day of campaigning, Gingrich will return to the area tonight to speak at the Palm Beach County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day dinner at the Kravis Center. Roughly 700 are expected.

Gingrich appearance forces poll workers to move training

Friday, January 27th, 2012 by Jennifer Sorentrue

Dozens of Palm Beach County poll workers schedule to be trained in advance of Tuesday’s presidential primary were forced move their class to another building after, election officials were told the room they were expecting to meet in would instead be used to host Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.
The Republican Jewish Coalition is scheduled to host Gingrich at 3:30 p.m. today at the South County Civic Center in Delray Beach.
The poll workers’ class was scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. in the same room, Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher said.
Bucher said she was told she could move the poll worker training to smaller meeting room at the civic center, but declined fearing all of the media coverage would prevent the 62 poll workers from being able to reach the building.
Instead, Bucher has moved the class to a building across the street.

Romney pulling ahead in latest Florida Q poll

Friday, January 27th, 2012 by George Bennett

A Quinnipiac University poll conducted Tuesday through Thursday shows Mitt Romney pulling ahead of Newt Gingrich in advance of Tuesday’s Republican presidential primary.

Romney holds a 38-to-29 percent lead over Gingrich, turning back a Gingrich surge after his victory in Saturday’s South Carolina primary. The new poll finds Ron Paul at 14 percent and Rick Santorum at 12 percent.

Quinnipiac’s last poll showed a statistical tie between Romney and Gingrich, with Gingrich leading 40-34 among voters surveyed after the South Carolina vote.

The new survey of 580 likely GOP primary voters has a 4.1 percent margin of error. Check out the complete poll here.

Misery tour: Romney visits shut-down printing business, blames Obama for economic woes

Thursday, January 26th, 2012 by George Bennett

U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, R-Cape Coral, introduces Mitt Romney. Business owner Jon Cummins and wife Maria are at left. Ann Romney and U.S. Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., are at right.

JACKSONVILLE — Mitt Romney visited a recently shut-down printing business this morning, part of a Misery Tour of Florida in which he’s also visited a closed gypsum board factory and a foreclosed home to highlight his contention that President Obama has failed to fix the sour economy.

About 200 people crowded into the parking lot of Paramount Performance Marketing, where an “Obama Isn’t Working” sign was set up. Owner Jon Cummins blamed the demise of his business on a combination of foreign competition, the rise of electronic communications and burdensome federal regulations. Cummins said about 50 people worked at his business four years ago and 24 were left when he closed the business last month.

“I don’t know anybody that has a crystal ball that knows how long this uncertainty is going to last, so we just quit the fight,” Cummins told the crowd.

“Jon asked how long is this going to go on,” Romney said. “The answer is, it’s going to go on until January of 2013 when we take over.”

U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, R-Cape Coral, and his wife, U.S. Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., accompanied Romney, as did Romney’s wife.

Romney didn’t mention any of his Republican rivals, but clearly referred to main rival Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, when he said: “I’ve never lived in Washington, D.C., I’m not part of the culture of Washington, D.C. I’ve spent my life out of Washington, D.C. I’ve lived my life on Main Street and on other streets across this country. I want to use the experience I’ve had working in the real economy to go to Washington, D.C., and fix it.

In Florida, Romney stronger than Gingrich against Obama, Q poll says

Thursday, January 26th, 2012 by George Bennett

Mitt Romney gets more support from Florida’s independent voters than Newt Gingrich and would be a stronger Republican presidential nominee against President Obama in November, a new Quinnipiac University poll says.

Romney and Obama are tied at 45 percent in the poll while the president would defeat Gingrich by a 50-to-39 margin in Florida the poll says.

The big difference between the Republican frontrunners: while Romney and Obama are virtually tied among independent voters, the president would defeat Gingrich by a 50-to-33 percent margin among independents in Florida.

Obama’s approval rating remains underwater in Florida, with 46 percent approving of the way he handles his duties and 52 percent disapproving. Only 43 percent of independents give Obama a positive job approval score, with 53 percent negative.

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Charlie Crist, 2008 GOP primary kingmaker, resurfaces in 2012 race

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 by George Bennett

Crist on renewed attention: "What's up with that?"

Charlie Crist was a rising Republican star whose endorsement was coveted in the run-up to FLorida’s 2008 GOP presidential primary. He threw his support behind John McCain the weekend before the primary, helping McCain win Florida and effectively clinch the GOP nomination.

Four years later, Crist is a GOP pariah — but his name is hot again in the week before the Republican primary. Newt Gingrich suggested GOP establishment favorite Mitt Romney is like Crist, whose moderate brand of Republicanism fell from favor in 2010 and led Crist to bolt the GOP to pursue a failed Senate bid against Florida’s new rising Republican star, Marco Rubio.

PostOnPolitics caught up with Crist today and asked how he feels about having his name bandied about before the primary.

“What’s up with that?” Crist said. “Maybe that matters to some people. It sure doesn’t matter to me. I mean, I can’t even vote in the Republican primary. I’m an independent.”

Crist, who attended Monday night’s GOP debate in Tampa, said the race has been “anything but dull,” but he declined to offer any specific observations on the 2012 candidates or the GOP race.

“You know what? I am going to hesitate to inject myself into the primary,” Crist said. “I’ll let the candidates handle their own campaigns.”

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