A gut punch near the end of a long interview with Newsmax dealing mostly with the conservative knock on Obama’s policies. (“If he believes that government ought to consume 40 percent of the economy, of the economic output, I don’t know what you’d call that, but it’s not American.”) Skip ahead to 23:12 for the bit about CC. The critique here is more subtle than the usual line on Crist: Bush doesn’t object to him accepting stimulus money — Rubio himself admits that he’d have accepted some funds as governor — but rather to the fact that Crist provided Democrats with political cover by backing the bill while congressional Republicans were trying to pressure them into changing it. Just yesterday I was saying that Jeb might be the only guy in Florida whose endorsement could turn things around for Crist; instead, despite professing his neutrality in the race here, he just handed Rubio a killer soundbite for campaign ads. Combine that with the new poll out today showing yet another 18-point Rubio lead — a 32-point turnaround since October — and I think it’s game over, kids.
If you’ve got time, watch the part around 18:40 too where he talks about Palin’s fabulous charisma but wonders about her intellectual curiosity in a “complex” world. Hmmm. Exit question: Is Jeb thinking about 2012?