Gov. Charlie Crist, apparently recovered from the man-hug he shared with President Barack Obama last year, is trying to meet with the president tomorrow in Tampa.
Obama will be in Florida to announce the winners of about $8 billion in federal grants for high speed rail projects, and it is almost certain that at least part of the state’s $2.5 billion ask will be granted.
Crist, who is scheduled to be in Tampa tomorrow, said his staff is working on a get-together with the president.
“I would like to see him, yes. It looks like it’s possible, yes,” Crist said after a speech to editors and reporters at the Capitol this morning.
Crist said he has three things to discuss with Obama, including some advice on reaching out across the aisle, a practice that has landed Crist in hot water with his fellow Republicans.
“I hope that what he announceas in Tampa brings a lot of jobs to Florida in the form of high speed rail. Number two, I’d like to talk to him about a more bipartisan approach which means, you know, it’s a two-way street, you know, reaching out more to Republicans and have them involved in the important issues of the day.
And then finally, encourage him on Race to the Top and lobby him a little,” Crist said. Race to the Top is a federal education grant program that could bring about $1 billion to Florida.
GOP critics lambasted Crist, a Republican running for U.S. Senate, for cheerleading for Obama’s $800 billion stimulus package last year. Crist appeared with Obama in Florida last year and a photo of the two embracing was used by critics to embarrass Crist in his GOP primary campaign against former House Speaker Marco Rubio.
Crist later denied he supported the stimulus, saying he did not have the opportunity to vote for it in Congress.
Crist repeated his “let’s-all-get-along” emphasis when asked what he expected from the president’s state of the union address tonight.
“A common sense approach, more bipartisanship, and I hope he delivers,” he said.