Appearing today on Hardball, Gov. Charlie Crist (I-FL) said that the Republican caucus would have to do better than the current practice of opposing everything if they were to get his vote.
During the interview, Matthews repeatedly pressed Crist, who left the Republican Party this past April in order to run for Senate as an independent, on the matter of which party he would caucus with. Crist in turn seemed to avoid the issue, repeating his past refrains that he has to get elected first, and he would want to caucus “with the people of Florida” — that is, looking out for his state rather than for a party.
Then Matthews sharpened the question a bit. “How can you become a Republican if Mitch McConnell continues with his strategy of scorched earth — which is, vote against everything and hope you bring down the house?” said Matthews “That has been his strategy, he apparently announced it early on two years ago. We’re gonna bring down Barack Obama, we’re voting against everything. And every time a major issue has come up, they don’t compromise, they vote against. How could you join a caucus that’s a ‘no’ caucus.”
“Well what I want to do is join the people’s caucus,” said Crist. “You know, the caucus of the people of Florida.”
Matthews interrupted: “In other words, would you imagine voting as a Republican, becoming a member of the Republican caucus, if they continue with their strategy of just say no?”
“It would have to do better. There’s no question about it,” said Crist. “I mean, obviously if you’re looking at reducing taxes, reducing the deficit, maybe they’ve got some good ideas about that. It really depends on issue by issue, Chris.”
The TPM Poll Average shows Crist leading with 37.8%, Republican Marco Rubio at 33.2%, and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek with 14.7%. With businessman Jeff Greene as the Democratic nominee, Crist leads by 37.5%-32.9%-16.4%.