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Charlie Crist on Budget & Economy

Republican

 


Worked to pass the American Rescue Plan

He worked with the Biden Administration to pass the American Rescue Plan, delivering billions of dollars to Floridians to rebuild from the pandemic.
Source: 2021 Florida Gubernatorial campaign website CharlieCrist.com , May 5, 2021

2006: canceled high-priced Governor's Inaugural Ball

I did something I don't think anyone really expected, something I instinctively knew was right: Three weeks before Inauguration Day, I canceled the Governor's Inaugural Ball. It wouldn't be right, I said, to put on this high-priced party, paid for by a bunch of trade associations and lobbyists, while so many Floridians were suffering as badly as they were.

And let's be honest: Those fancy dinner-dances are almost always a tedious bore.

My decision wasn't too popular inside the campaign office or around Tallahassee. I started getting blowback from some of my biggest donors. "I'm sorry," [I said to those complaining]. "But I'm going with my heart on this one. I'm just not comfortable having some lavish party when Floridians are struggling so hard.

Canceling the governor's ball sent an early signal that this was not going to be your typical Republican administration [and lose touch with the people]. We threw open the gates of the mansion and invited everyone in. It was the People's House.

Source: The Party's Over, by Charlie Crist, p. 80-83 , Feb 4, 2014

2009 stimulus saved teacher & cop jobs; and revived economy

On Feb. 23, Jeb Bush called my support for the president's economic stimulus "unforgiveable." Jeb started sweetly. I was a "talented guy," he said, "about the nicest guy I've ever met in politics." Then he let loose.

"There's one thing that he has done that I just find unforgiveable. He is the only statewide political leader that I'm aware of, that embraced the stimulus package when Republicans were fighting to suggest an alternative."

Now, I do believe that some things in life are unforgiveable But accepting money from Washington to save jobs of teachers, police officers, and firefighters and help revive our economy? No, that's not one of them. Besides, almost every governor ended up taking some or all of the money. I was just the only Republican who was so up-front about it.

Jeb kept pounding on the stimulus, which he termed "a massive spending bill that is not related to stimulus. It is related to trying to carry out a liberal agenda."

Source: The Party's Over, by Charlie Crist, p.218-219 , Feb 4, 2014

OpEd: As incumbent, blamed for Florida's weak economy

Like other incumbents across the U.S., Crist has been blamed by voters for the weak economy. Florida was one of only two states, along with Maryland, to see its unemployment rate rise in August, reaching 11.7%, compared with the 9.6% national rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state has the second-highest foreclosure rate in the country, behind Nevada, more than twice the national average, according to RealtyTrac, an Irvine, California-based data provider.

Source: Business Week coverage of 2010 Florida Senate debate , Oct 25, 2010

Supports economic stimulus and some parts of ObamaCare

Meek supported the economic stimulus package and said it kept the country from going into a depression; Rubio said it was a failure. Meek wants to continue Bush's tax cuts for all except those who make more than $250,000, Rubio wants them extended for al earners.

"You think government creates jobs," Rubio said to Meek, cutting him off.

"No, I don't," Meek said.

"You do," Rubio said.

"I think tax cuts for small businesses create jobs and incentives for local communities to move forward," Meek said

Crist added, "What you just witnessed is the problem and the reason I'm running as an independent. These two guys are going at each other because one's the Republican right, one's the Democratic left. What's true is there are good things that both parties can present to the future of our country." Crist, who supported the economic stimulus and said he likes some things in the health care law but that it needs to be fixed, portrayed himself as a centrist who backs the best policies of each party.

Source: Associated Press coverage of 2010 Florida Senate Debate , Oct 6, 2010

$8B stimulus funds saved or created 87,000 jobs in Florida

Q: From the Obama stimulus package, by the start of 2010, Florida had received $8.2 billion in stimulus funds. Gov. Crist says that has created or saved 87,000 jobs. Mr. Rubio, why is $8 billion & 87,000 jobs bad for a state that has 12% unemployment?

RUBIO: Well, if it's bad for America, it can't possibly be good for your state. Since February, 211,000 Floridians have lost their jobs.

CRIST: As governor, you've got to make tough decisions. I made the tough decision to utilize these funds to help th people of Florida. I know the unemployment rate is bad. I know the economy is tough. I understand all of that. If we had taken the speaker's approach, we would have had 87,000 more people on top of that 12% that would be unemployed in Florida today.

Q: If you had been a senator in 2009 you would have voted for the stimulus?

CRIST: Yeah, it was the right thing to do at the time. You have to go back and remember what was happening in our economy. It was literally falling off the cliff.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2010 Florida primary Senate debate , Mar 28, 2010

Florida HOPE taskforce to help victims of housing crisis

For families to feel truly safe, they cannot be worried about losing their home to foreclosure. Thatís why I recently announced the Florida HOPE taskforce charged with making recommendations to help families who have found themselves victims of the housing crisis.

The people who sent us here--their wisdom and their experience in the real world makes up a significant portion of the knowledge base from which we must lead.

Source: 2008 State of the State Address to Florida legislature , Mar 4, 2008

Voted YES on $900 billion COVID relief package.

Crist voted YEA Consolidated Appropriations Act (COVID Relief bill)

NPR summary of HR133:

Argument in opposition: Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV-2) said after voting against H.R. 133: "Congress voted to spend another $2.3 trillion [$900 billion for COVID relief], which will grow our national debt to about $29 trillion. The federal government will again have to borrow money from nations like China. This massive debt is being passed on to our children and grandchildren. With multiple vaccines on the way thanks to President Trump and Operation Warp Speed, we do not need to pile on so much additional debt. Now is the time to safely reopen our schools and our economy. HR133 was another 5593-page bill put together behind closed doors and released moments prior to the vote."

Legislative outcome: Passed House 327-85-18, Roll #250, on Dec. 21. 2020; Passed Senate 92-6-2, Roll #289, on Dec. 21; signed by President Trump on Dec 27 [after asking for an increase from $600 to $2,000 per person, which was introduced as a separate vote].

Source: Congressional vote 20-HR133 on Jan 15, 2020

Other candidates on Budget & Economy: Charlie Crist on other issues:
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Page last updated: Jul 26, 2021