- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Looking to help raise money for the Florida GOP, Sen. Marco Rubio is labeling former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who has jumped between parties and is running again for the governor’s mansion, as a “phony.”

Mr. Rubio, a possible 2016 presidential contender, said in a Republican Party of Florida fundraising email that Mr. Crist is up to his old tricks after falsely casting himself as a conservative Republican during his campaign against Mr. Rubio for the GOP nomination in the 2010 Senate race.

Mr. Crist eventually decided to leave the GOP and run as an independent in the general election, but lost. In 2012, he joined the Democratic party.

“Now, Charlie Crist has switched from Republican to Democrat, with a pit stop as an independent. He’s running out of parties,” Mr. Rubio said.

Mr. Crist is running against Gov. Rick Scott, who is viewed as one of the most vulnerable incumbent GOP governors in the 2014 election, along with Paul LePage in Maine, Rick Snyder in Michigan and Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania.

The latest Real Clear Politics average of polls shows that Mr. Crist is leading Mr. Scott by more than 3 percentage points.

In the fundraising email, Mr. Rubio said that Floridians can’t let Mr. Crist’s “liberal agenda” to take hold, warning that the ex-governor supports Obamacare and refuses to rule out higher tax.

“On top of that, Charlie Crist has called for lifting the Cuban embargo, saying that Florida’s Cuban community needs to be stood up to, even while human rights abuses grow worse by the day for people under the Castro regime and while they export their brutal brand of repression to Venezuela as well,” Mr. Rubio said.