- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014

CRAWFORDVILLE, Fla. (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie campaigned with Republican Gov. Rick Scott on Friday and did what Florida Republicans have been doing for more than two years. They said Scott’s opponent - Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist - is a political opportunist who can’t be trusted.

Christie visited a Panama City restaurant with Scott and U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland and then they later stopped at an historic courthouse in Wakulla County, just south of Tallahassee. Christie said he’s visited 29 states as chairman of the Republican Governors Association and hasn’t seen a bigger contrast between candidates as he has in Florida.

“Boy do you have a clear choice,” Christie said. “While you have honesty and integrity with Rick Scott, you don’t in Charlie Crist. See, here’s the thing, you can’t count on anything that Charlie says. And see, you don’t need to take my word for it, you’ve lived it.”

Christie then pointed out that Crist was a Republican attorney general and governor, hoped to be picked as a Republican vice presidential candidate and ran for U.S. Senate as a Republican in 2010 before he fell behind in the primary. Crist then lost that race as an independent and Christie said now the only way Crist can have a title is as a Democrat.

“How can you count on somebody who looks in the mirror and doesn’t even know who he is,” Christie said. “He doesn’t know whether he’s a Republican, an independent or a Democrat. He doesn’t know what he’s for … Charlie spends his whole career promising people things and then praying to God they forget because he knows he’s going to do the opposite.”

Christie, who is a potential 2016 presidential candidate, came to Florida in January to help Scott raise money and campaigned with him in Tampa in May.

Scott used his remarks to repeat his campaign talking points about how unemployed went up under Crist and has gone down since he succeeded him in 2011. He also criticized Crist’s political ambitions.

“I have a major announcement. Charlie Crist is a slick politician, a smooth talker, and I’m not. He’ll promise you everything and then he’ll do nothing,” Scott said. “What he did he do? He ran for VP and then U.S. Senate. Did he focus on jobs here? No! He focused on his job.”

The event wrapped up a two-week statewide bus tour that Scott used to highlight promises to cut taxes if re-elected.

On Saturday, Scott will be joined by another potential 2016 president candidate, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, during a Republican Party of Florida fundraising dinner.

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