It’s on: Rubio vs. Crist on “Fox News Sunday”

posted at 6:48 pm on March 28, 2010 by Allahpundit

One says his favorite senator is Jim DeMint, the other prefers McCain and Lindsey Graham. Guess which is which. In case you’re not inclined to watch, I’ll give you a choice of pieces to skim — the NYT recap, which covers most of the noteworthy exchanges, or the full transcript from CQ Politics. Crist obviously didn’t want to have this debate — the higher Rubio’s name recognition gets, the better he polls — but a man trailing by double digits is in no position to say no. His goal here was to define Rubio for the viewers who are seeing him for the first time; hence the “slush fund” attacks right out of the box, a point he returned to throughout.

The big surprise: Crist vowed that he won’t run as an independent or quit the race for another shot as governor. It’s Republican Senate nominee or bust. The exchange on Social Security surprised me too. Rubio said raising the retirement age has to be on the table — a risky proposition in a Florida primary, but a no-brainer policy-wise given the looming entitlement crisis. Crist’s response?

WALLACE: Governor Crist, we looked all over your campaign Web site. Frankly, we couldn’t find a word about Social Security reform.

CRIST: Well, I think it’s important that we understand Social Security must be saved. It must be protected. The idea of having a higher age for people to be able to be eligible for Social Security really flies in the face of an awful lot of my fellow Floridians and it’s something that I would not advocate.

I think we need to take the fraud out of Social Security, the waste, as with — it is in Medicare as well. I’d like to get back to something that you were talking about with the speaker, and that is taxes.

WALLACE: Well, we’re going to get to taxes in a moment, but I would like to get your answer–

CRIST: I haven’t had a chance to talk about taxes.

WALLACE: We’re — I said we’re going to get to taxes in a moment.

CRIST: Thank you. Thanks.

WALLACE: But the question I have for you is you’re saying that even for people under the age of 55 you would not raise the retirement age or you wouldn’t change the cost-of-living adjustment?

CRIST: No, I would not. No, I would not do that.

He also said he would have voted for the stimulus. What could go wrong?




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We don’t charge Americans taxes, they’re user fees. If you don’t breathe, you don’t pay.

kagai on March 28, 2010 at 9:47 PM

I was watching every time Crist opened his mouth he confirmed what Rubio states about him. Crist two favorite Republicans are John McCain and Lindsey Graham? On the other hand Rubio prefers Jim DeMint. Charlie Crist digs deep and comes up with his favorite Democrat lite list.
Yeah because Democrats are so popular NOT.

Dr Evil on March 28, 2010 at 9:48 PM

Rubio explained whats at stake,America!!

canopfor on March 28, 2010 at 7:30 PM

That’s correct. Rubio’s sense of public service, as in being a good steward of the public’s money, is a far better definition than Crist’s. I have the sense that Crist thinks that more instituting or promoting or funding more government programs means public service. Nothing could be further from the truth.

onlineanalyst on March 28, 2010 at 9:48 PM

Ewwwwww….

…Crist is creepy.

Saltysam on March 28, 2010 at 9:55 PM

Charlie Crist was elected as the lesser or 2 evils. We all knew he was Republican Lite but the Democrat would have been much worse.

I lost confidence in Governor Crist the moment he latched on to Gov. Schwartzeneggar (?) and wanted to make Florida Green like California. Here’s California going bankrupt and Crist was to bring in some form of Cap and Tax. Luckily, with people like Rubio on the legislature, that never happened.

He embraced the stimulus so he could get money to keep more teachers working (he’s still bragging about those 20,000 teachers) instead of forcing tighter budgets which would have kept most of those teachers anyway and cut some services somewhere else. His policies sound a lot like Obama’s so we lose Arlen Spector and gain Charlie Crist??? I don’t think so.

Rubio is going to win this primary unless he does something really stupid. Crist has nothing to run on except slam Rubio, which certainly isn’t a winner. Hey Charlie, you need to give people a reason to vote for you. Kendrick Meek will go up there and rubberstamp the Democrats agenda, we’re not sure of you and Rubio won’t.

bflat879 on March 28, 2010 at 9:59 PM

Did anyone else notice Crist talking about raising fees but not raising taxes. Boy, he sounded just like Mitt Romney in 2008 talking about how he implemented fees but did not raise taxes.

C’mon hitting the pocket book is still hitting the pocketbook whether you use fees or taxes.

texasconserv on March 28, 2010 at 10:03 PM

I am glad that Rubio clarified that principle is more important than bipartisanship. Crist referred to bipartisanship as “compromise and concession.” Why do the principled conservatives or even Republicans have to concede to the Democrats, who have the poorer argument.

I like the fact that Rubio is attuned to Paul Ryan’s fiscal ideas. I wonder why he is not as inclined to revisit the partial privatization of SS for younger workers.

Why does Crist keep repeating that the stimulus helped out with teacher salaries. Were these the jobs that were supposedly saved? Aren’t teacher salaries a responsibility of the communities where the teachers are employed? I noticed that he pulled the “for the children” boilerplate, too.

onlineanalyst on March 28, 2010 at 10:04 PM

Rubio was very sharp. Rubio gave very specific policy answers. I donated to him once before, and now I will donate again.

texasconserv on March 28, 2010 at 10:11 PM

Rubio made a good point, too, that the TEA party movement is not a top-down organization. It is made up of assorted grass-roots groups that are rising to meet the needs and concerns of citizens re their representation in all levels of government. Some groups have joined forces to have more clout, but nobody is dictating from the top down.

I cannot imagine why people in The Villages would be skeptical about Rubio. Aren’t the residents there largely retirees? Don’t they want to be assured that their nest eggs aren’t damaged by bloated government spending?

onlineanalyst on March 28, 2010 at 10:12 PM

Rubio was very sharp. Rubio gave very specific policy answers.

texasconserv on March 28, 2010 at 10:11 PM

I couldn’t agree with you more Texasconserv….Christ had no substantive policies to talk about and Marco had some great ideas. I look forward to voting for Mr. Rubio in August

Nascar70 on March 28, 2010 at 10:18 PM

Just dimissing raising the retirement age? That’s a professional politician for you.

Heck, I’m 45, but I understand and accept that the change has to be made to a higher retirement age. It’s just simple logic – we live longer, so we should work a proportionate share longer during that life. Also, it’s been done before, though was over 60 years ago, I think.

I think a majority of people would accept that, if it was put on the table properly, and if lying liars would quit telling lies about how that does not need to be done.

connertown on March 28, 2010 at 10:37 PM

Crist is a sleaze. Stay in Tallahasse and be happy with that.

RobCon on March 28, 2010 at 10:55 PM

CRIST: No, I would not. No, I would not do that.

Rubio needs to simply and clearly make the case, directly to those disposed to vote for Crist because of this bit of pandering, that it is in their interest to support the candidate most likely to return the government to solvency.

Everyone’s going to take it on the chin in the next 10 years, whether they elect pandering politicians or not. It is best, both for the sake of their children and grandchildren, and most especially for the sake of the country they love so dearly, that we put this ship of state back on the course of stability, solvency and responsibility.

We’ve hit rock bottom as a nation; it is time to repent and return.

spmat on March 28, 2010 at 11:40 PM

Rubio needs to simply and clearly make the case, directly to those disposed to vote for Crist because of this bit of pandering, that it is in their interest to support the candidate most likely to return the government to solvency.

Everyone’s going to take it on the chin in the next 10 years, whether they elect pandering politicians or not. It is best, both for the sake of their children and grandchildren, and most especially for the sake of the country they love so dearly, that we put this ship of state back on the course of stability, solvency and responsibility.

We’ve hit rock bottom as a nation; it is time to repent and return.

spmat on March 28, 2010 at 11:40 PM

spmat for Congress. Let’s DO this. You so get it.

Mojave Mark on March 29, 2010 at 12:59 AM

At last, Real News, Real Reporting.

Nowhere else can this be found.

Kini on March 29, 2010 at 1:25 AM

I watched the debate.

It is clear that Rubio won that exchange hands down.

Conservative Samizdat on March 29, 2010 at 1:48 AM

I can see clearly why Crist is such a darling for David Frum.

Marcus on March 29, 2010 at 2:06 AM

OT, but there are at least 37 dead in two suicide bombings in the Moscow subway. Islam strikes again, I’m guessing.

Sharke on March 29, 2010 at 2:23 AM

Rubio’s tan is real, I like him a lot better.

leftnomore on March 29, 2010 at 2:47 AM

FOX got the seating arrangements correct, RINO Crist on the left…

What’s Crist gonna look like in a few months after the “tanning bed tax” goes into effect — besides in 2nd place, I mean?

Gohawgs on March 29, 2010 at 3:32 AM

I finally got a chance to watch the debate on the DVR. Crist is a very UNLIKEABLE person. He kept trying to lob the very old, very tired, personal attacks and Rubio stayed on message about the ISSUES. We need Rubio in the Senate, we do NOT need more friends of Grahamnesty and McPain.

karenhasfreedom on March 29, 2010 at 5:06 AM

Rubio’s tan is real, I like him a lot better.

leftnomore on March 29, 2010 at 2:47 AM

Real men aren’t orange.

highhopes on March 29, 2010 at 7:06 AM

Look, I love Rubio, will support and vote for him. But really… doesn’t he look like he’s in high school?

And Crist… what hetero man dies his hair blond?

I would say that Rubio has a lock on the seat, but after Obamacare, I won’t be suprised at anything. Is Crist holding a ace (Rubio skeleton) up his sleeve? It would perfectly align with Obama’s Chicago politics.

lionheart on March 29, 2010 at 7:08 AM

Raising the retirement age is a safe stance. It doesn’t affect anyone now on Social Security and those of us over 50 know we’ll never get it anyway.

Last time I checked several years ago, I’m at 67 for full benefits. Most people my age probably already know it was moved up for us a long time ago.

Jaynie59 on March 29, 2010 at 7:23 AM

Raising the retirement age is a safe stance. It doesn’t affect anyone now on Social Security and those of us over 50 know we’ll never get it anyway.

Jaynie59 on March 29, 2010 at 7:23 AM

That’s just tinkering around the edges. Krauthammer is right, we’ve got a national sales tax coming just like every other Western socialist government.

highhopes on March 29, 2010 at 7:28 AM

I went to a debate between the sitting congtessman of District 4 SC and four contenders. Congressman Inglis was just like Crist. He had the entitlement attitude, and attacked the competition rather than focus on answers. He called the tea partiers the torch and pitchfork crowd. He constantly talked about how governing was a complex issue and that it needed thoughtful anaysis. What is it with these buttheads that they don’t get the concept of a budget? If I earn $10 I can’t spend $15. Opps, sorry I’m a simpleton, just print more money!

chicken thief on March 29, 2010 at 8:44 AM

I live in FL and Rubio is a lock. No one is fooled by Crist and his tired meme of personal attacks and pettiness; he is the consummate political hack & we are sick of it. Rubio is young, energetic, eloquent and, dare I say, HHHHHAAAAAWT (sorry, but the dude is a cutie pie). Rubio by 25, if not more.

Ris4victory on March 29, 2010 at 9:00 AM

That’s just tinkering around the edges. Krauthammer is right, we’ve got a national sales tax coming just like every other Western socialist government.

highhopes on March 29, 2010 at 7:28 AM

I’m not sure. If they raised it to 90, the problem would dwindle. A national sales tax would turn us into a cash-black market society.

saiga on March 29, 2010 at 10:33 AM

As for “The Villages”, I suspect most of those old timers are from the north east and Ted Kennedy types.

saiga on March 29, 2010 at 10:36 AM

connertown on March 28, 2010 at 10:37 PM

At 31, I work on the assumption that there will be no Social Security for me, ever.

Count to 10 on March 29, 2010 at 10:42 AM

I’m not sure. If they raised it to 90, the problem would dwindle. A national sales tax would turn us into a cash-black market society.

saiga on March 29, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Pretty much.

Count to 10 on March 29, 2010 at 10:43 AM

t 31, I work on the assumption that there will be no Social Security for me, ever.

At 46 I feel the same way.

jpmn on March 29, 2010 at 10:44 AM

As for “The Villages”, I suspect most of those old timers are from the north east and Ted Kennedy types.

saiga on March 29, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Palin drew tens of thousands there in 08

Squid Shark on March 29, 2010 at 11:23 AM

I live in FL and Rubio is a lock. No one is fooled by Crist and his tired meme of personal attacks and pettiness; he is the consummate political hack & we are sick of it. Rubio is young, energetic, eloquent and, dare I say, HHHHHAAAAAWT (sorry, but the dude is a cutie pie). Rubio by 25, if not more.Ris4victory on March 29, 2010 at 9:00 AM

As a man, I couldn’t care less whether either of the candidates is HHHHHAAAAAWT (it might help with women’s votes, which have been a problem for Republicans), but Rubio is definitely very eloquent and has a strong, matter-of-fact command of the issues, which he expresses simply and clearly in a way that voters just “get it”. If I lived in Florida, he would have my vote.

Rubio is definitely a “rising star” for the Republicans, probably even more so than Bobby Jindal or Sarah Palin. Give him some time, he could become the next Ronald Reagan.

Steve Z on March 29, 2010 at 11:46 AM

We’ve hit rock bottom as a nation; it is time to repent and return.

spmat on March 28, 2010 at 11:40 PM

Very true.

We have to much to repent for both in our personal lives and as a nation.

Conservative Samizdat on March 29, 2010 at 11:56 AM

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