Friday, February 13, 2009

Partisan FURY over Crist's stimulus support: "If they got Crist in a dark alley, all you'd have is a tuft of white hair"

GOP activists and politicos are outraged over Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's support for the stimulus.

Reaction ranges from measured anger to Christian Bale.

Republican consultant Alex Castellanos provides the measure:

"I don't think he's helped any national Republican ambitions he may have by stepping up to the plate and batting for the other team.... At the one moment when we've finally found our voice and remember who we are as Republicans, Charlie Crist forgets. It's stunning."

Can we add a touch of anger to that?

Broward county Republican Ed Kennedy:

"Every Republican in the state of Florida is wondering where his mind is. He's cooking his own goose. I worked for him, campaigned for him, raised money for him. Now we're sitting back and saying, 'My G--, what do we have here?'

And Republican consultant Ana Navarro provides the Christian Bale:

"They may not be saying it outright, but the Republican delegation is very angry. If they got Charlie Crist in a dark alley, all you'd have left is a tuft of white hair.... I've gotten about four or five calls from national Republican donors saying, 'What is this guy doing? Is he really thinking of running for Senate?'

There's one Republican in Florida who still supports Crist, and perhaps a voice crying in the pragmatist wilderness (Roger Stone -- yes that Roger Stone, the intriguing subject of that New Yorker piece).

"You still have the same division in our party between the base who are extreme and the moderates who are interested in getting something done. The extremists love purity. And they love losing elections."

For once Republican ideologues find themselves with numbers; pragmatists alone.

Quick P.S. Charlie Crist's approval ratings are 70%-ish.