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Fla. Gov. Crist Endorses McCain

McCain and Crist
Republican presidential candidate John McCain greets Florida Gov. Charlie Crist during a Jan. 26 Republican campaign dinner in St. Petersburg. (Reuters)

Updated 8:34 p.m.
By Juliet Eilperin
ST. PETERSBURG, FL. -- Florida Gov. Charlie Crist endorsed Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) presidential bid tonight, providing the senator with a boost just days before voters head to polls Tuesday.

Crist, a popular moderate Republican who has championed environmental issues and forged bipartisan compromises since taking office a year ago, asked McCain to join him at the podium just before telling several hundred Republicans attending the Pinellas County's Lincoln Day Dinner that while "there are a lot of great people who are running for president," he had decided to back McCain.

"I have to tell you, I don't think anybody would do better than the man who stands next to me," Crist said, as the crowd erupted into applause. "That is an endorsement."

McCain said he was confident Crist's endorsement would translate into votes Tuesday. "It means a lot in this race, let's be very candid," he told reporters.

The move came as a couple of aides from former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's campaign crashed the event, apparently in retaliation for the fact that two of McCain's supporters, former governors Tom Ridge (R-Penn.) and Jane Swift (R-Mass.), rode on the Romney press bus today.

Romney adviser Ben Ginsberg, joined by Carl Forti, mingled with reporters and said they had showed up in order to remind the press that today's dispute between the two candidates over Iraq was not Floridians' top voting priority.

"We wanted to make sure the record was set straight on Senator McCain's sadly flailing attempt to distract attention from the economy, which is the major issue," he said.

Ginsberg declined, however, to comment on Crist's decision to back McCain in Tuesday's primary.

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 26, 2008; 8:05 PM ET
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Americans who want a good President, not a career politcan on a power trip...

Support Mitt Romney on Sunday and Monday, by doing the call at home program for Mitt Romney...

Go to www.MittRomney/callathome

Go Mitt !

Posted by: scotay252 | January 27, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

The liberal, left-leaning NY Times ALSO endorsed McCain, AND HILLARY!!!

Most liberals, even popular ones, who are often called 'moderates' by liberal journalists (including Crist), are most likely to support a fellow liberal, like McCain.

Florida Republicans, please, vote for the one candidate who is most likely the one who can and will change Washington and our nation for the BETTER -- Mitt Romney!

What has McCain changed, other than his wife and his lines (conservative columnst Ann Coulter has pointed out that it is McCain, and NOT Romney, who is the REAL flip-flopper! Not only in past decades and years, but in recent months and weeks, it is rather 'straight talking' (meaning, he wants to get 'straight to the White House himself) McCain who changes his message according to his audience.

Even Bill Clinton has pointed out how similar McCain and his wife are to each other. And the NY Times, by endorsing both candidates, proves his point!

McCain lied at last Thursday's GOP debate on MSNBC about saying "I don't know that much about economics" to Tim Russert. Ross Perot pointed out what an opportunist the real McCain is.

Furthermore, in practice and in principle, Mitt Romney is the real conservative in the race. And the one who has both the intelligence and the experience to turn our government and nation around, and headed in the right direction.

Florida Republicans - vote for the candidate most likely to be effective in getting positive change. Vote Tuesday for Governor Mitt Romney!

Posted by: diligentdave | January 27, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | January 26, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

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